Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

I have been thinking a lot and I have got the impression from some of my friend's and some of my family think that the reason I joined the church is just because of Misty. I am not saying that she did not help my efforts but I want everyone to know that I made the choice on my own and with what knowledge I acquired I still would of joined whether it was with Misty or not.

How it all started.

Misty had received a few phone calls from here Visiting Teacher (these are members of the church that are assigned family's to check up on them, find out any needs they may have) Well one day she decided to have them come over and visit with us. They would visit every month and Misty would sit and talk. After a while they invited us to church and we would attend some of the time.

Then we started to attend regularly and go to all of the meetings (there are 3 in a day) then this started into a series of events and things that made me make a few decisions that helped me progress. Now this is very condensed so far but I will expound on it in a little bit.

Why I feel it is important for people to know this.

I have felt for a while that people don't think I make my own decisions. I want you to know that this is because I am a very easy going person and if there is something that bothers me enough I will let you know. I am also very patient with most things and usually let things play out before making such decisions.

I also want you to know that this is very personal to me and it is not open for debate but rather a way for me to express how I feel and why I do the things I do. I appreciate all who read this and please know I care very deeply for those who take the time to help me in this hard time I am in.

Back to the Story...

One day while attending one of the meetings I was in a class that was discussing home and visiting teaching (home teaching is for men of the church to visit families, Visiting teaching is where the women visit with other women) In this lesson I was caught up with so much anxiety about the importance of this lesson. During the entire class I felt I needed to express my opinion on the matter. There were lots of thoughts going through my head... "Why should I say something they won’t care." and "I am not a member of their church they won’t listen" and many similar thoughts. Yet I still felt like I should tell them how much it means to me that they take time out of their lives to visit with my wife and me every month.

Just before the lesson ended I nearly leaped out of my seat and asked "May I say something?" I began to tell them my testimony of home teaching and the difference it made in our lives to have them visit with us. That same day we met some really great friends there and because a wonderful friendship.

This led us to asking a lot of questions about the church and cleared up a lot of misunderstood things that people say about our church.

Soon after Gordon B Hinkley challenged the members of the church to read the book of Mormon at the same time we had started to have the missionaries visit with us. Along with our friends they challenged Misty and I to start reading. It was hard at first because the only book about God I even sort of believed to be true was the bible.

As I read I thought of any way I could to prove it wrong in my mind and discount everything that was said. People would I how the reading was going and we would tell them "just fine". But we did not really read that much.

This is why my wife is so much better than me. She would pick up on things and tell me them and explain them in ways I had never thought of. She was progressing so much faster than I. And I think this is where people got confused about me joining the church just because of Misty. Yes she did believe it before me, but I still needed to make my own choice to believe myself. And the person that helped me the most is my wife. She expressed so much patience for me and so much love and understanding in my own personal doubts. Without her I would not have made it through the onslaught of satan’s influence you feel with doing what the lord wants.

As we continued to read I began to pray to know the truth of the book and the church. All I ever wanted was a voice to tell me whether or not it was true. As I would pray nightly with my wife. I would ask if it was true. Every single time I asked I would receive this answer "Why are you even asking you already know it’s true." Oh I heard a voice yet it was so small and so familiar to me that I thought it was actually my own. I literally thought I had been brain-washed.

The thing is they never used any equipment and I was asking all the questions they would just give me pure and simple answers. After a while I thought to myself. Could this really be true? Could these people of actually lived here on this Continent and wrote these things down? Would God actually care about someone other than Jerusalem? I said "I guess it is possible." it was like a switch gone off in my brain and everything began to make sense. And I actually believed it was true. All I needed to do was allow the possibility and God made it fact.

There was one other time I heard this voice during my conversion. I did not feel I was ready for baptism at the time but I pondered it a lot. Finally while I was showering one day I began to think and said to myself "if I were to be baptized when it would be?" Instantly I heard "January 4th" I knew at that point that it was not my own voice or thought. It was the Holy Ghost and he had been telling me the entire time that I already know it.

Now I already told you that I don't want a debate or trying to prove me wrong I am just telling you my story and why I joined these are some of my beliefs and you do not have to read them if you don't want to. Just know that I am not trying to preach but only express what I believe in.

I believe that when Christ was on the earth that he established one church with a specific teaching that did not accept the belief of man. But only the true teaching of the word of God. This made me think that there is only one true church of God or they are all wrong. I don't think that they are all right just as long as they believe in Jesus everything is OK. Now I am NOT saying that the church's today do not teach truth. I know that all church's that teach that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world are in fact teaching truth. I think there is just one that teaches the most truth.

When Joseph Smith was younger he went into the woods to pray thinking that with all of the different teachings there must be one that was right. He thought that God could not be the author of so much confusion and figured that one must be his church. He received an answer that was very much different than he thought. He was told that none were true and that it must be restored at a later date. Click here

This brought a lot of questions to my mind. "Why would Heavenly father and Jesus Christ appear to a 14 year old?" I thought about that a lot and figured he can do whatever he wants I guess. Stranger things have happened. child born of a virgin, Flooding of the world, 900 year old men, loins that do not attack a man that have been trained to kill. Then I thought more and found that he probably appeared to him because he asked. And he really wanted to know. He also needed to be prepared to do what God asked of him.

Do you really think that a 14 year old boy would make up a lie and defend until he was murdered from it in the mid 30's? And not only did it affect him but his entire family and everyone he would associate with. People were murdered because of this. I can’t think of anyone who would go through so much and not say hey I made it all up if it were not in fact true and really did happen.

I also believe that baptism must be done in order to enter heaven. And so do many other faiths otherwise why do it at all? Could you not just take a bath? I cannot believe that my nephew’s cousins and other family will not go to heaven because they did not get baptized. If we all must be baptized then there must be something for those that passed without it. See Paul's teachings in the New Testament to the Corinthians.

This is why I have a belief in temples that do this for those who have passed. It is always our choice to accept this if it be our will. If you think of it this way. If you don't need to be baptized then we just got wet for no reason. If you do well, you’re welcome.

I also believe that the God head are 3 separate beings. There are too many references in the scriptures that mention them as separate. Those that say that they are one I believe are not a literal One but One in purpose, one in likeness. Or in other words on the same side.

I also think that faith is an action and you must do good things and repent in order to go to heaven. James chapter 2 verse 20 says: But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? It is through our faith that we are saved but we must do our part to inherit the kingdom of God.

Here is a Scripture out of the book of Mormon that helped me to know this to be true.

"And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

"27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness. "

This is what happened to me. I let a little faith get planted into my heart and the Lord did the rest.

I pray that no one who read this is offended it is not my idea to offend but to show why I believe the things I do. I love my family I love my friends I thanks them both everyday for helping me get to this point in my life.

Thanks for reading


Taylor's said...

Jake you truly are amazing - seriously I think I take my testimony for granted - thank you for having me re-evaluate my testimony and where I stand - you always make me stand a little taller when you are around - there is no doubt in my mind that one day you will be sitting where the twelve or seventy are sitting today and Misty will be sitting on the other side smiling and what a handsome, wonderful husband and man you are (well, she is already doing that) - are you sure you are not translated already and just here to teach us? I think that might just be true about you.

Twisted Chicken said...

I really appreciate you sharing that. It's always so wonderful to hear great conversion stories. Everything I've read about you and Misty from Two Peas and from this blog and a few brief face-to-face meetings with Misty has always been so positive and uplifting. You both truly are special people with so much to give and share and teach. Thank you for sharing some of that here.

Bobi said...

Thank you, Jake, for sharing your testimony. I know that it's still hard. I also know that as you continue to strengthen your faith, you will continue to be blessed.

B Wallace Family said...

What a great testimony. I love how you shared it. I love how modern technology allows us to be instruments in the hands of the Lord and that you are taking such great advantage of that. It was also fun to read more about your conversion. Truly inspiring and uplifting. Thank you for opening up a private part of your life and sharing it :)