By Margaret Curry
I have always been drawn to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have an early re-collection of the Church on the Holywood Road when it was just built. It stands on the outskirts of Belfast, Northern Ireland. We used to visit my Aunt Annie (my Mother’s Sister) every Saturday.
Every time the bus took us past the Church I would ask what the letters along the side of it said. My Father would patiently help me to read it every single time. He never ever grew tired of constantly answering our repetitive questions. He would read with me; “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”. Then he would say that it was also known as The Mormon Church. The word ‘Mormon’ was familiar to me as my Mother’s two brothers and their wives were Mormons. So it made me more sense to me.
One Saturday afternoon, when we were on our way home traveling, by bus, down the Holywood Road, it had just stopped raining as we drew level with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I looked up and there was a rainbow just over the top of the Church.
It looked so beautiful. I pointed to it out to my Father and told him that one day I would go into that Church. He just smiled. I was never under any illusion that one day I would indeed attend the Church.
Living in Northern Ireland we were ever mindful of the great religious divide that imposed itself on our Country. We attended many of the children’s clubs in a number of Churches around Dundonald.
“The Troubles” started again in Northern Ireland in 1969. However, despite them, or maybe, in spite of them, we had a happy childhood. Every so often ‘the troubles’ would brush lightly against our lives but thankfully never much more than that. We were so fortunate. Many families in Northern Ireland lost loved ones but we were lucky our family remained in tact throughout. Seldom a day went by without someone dying and that lead to all types of denial.
Denial in God was rife then. Growing up in a Village like Dundonald was a privilege we had green fields all around us. We would get up in school holidays and go ‘fishing’, catching smicks in a net and putting them into an empty jam jar with a string tied around it. In spring time we went up to a little pond and we would ‘fish’ for frogs’ pawn but my parents had warned us that under NO circumstances were we to bring any of that home!!! In winter we would go there when the pond was frozen to try to walk on the ice.
In 2001 I was going out with Stephen Gordon and he was going to Salt Lake City and invited me to go with him. During the day when he was working I would often sit in the gardens at the Tabernacle. It was both peaceful and serene and hard to believe I was in the center of a busy city.
When we were in the Tabernacle I remember feeling a sense of belonging, of coming home and I remember saying to Stephen that maybe my Aunts and Uncle had been in that very spot almost fifty years before me.
After Stephen and I split up, my life just seem to drag on. I had nothing in it, no one special. Nothing. Then I did something I hadn’t done since I was a child, I got down on my knees and I prayed for the first in years. I pleaded with God to please let me know what I had to do. Show me the way. Help me.
Later that evening out of the 200+ channels I had on my TV I was watching one that was advertising “Find Faith in Christ”, a DVD for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In early August two Missionaries, Elder Hillary and Elder Moyes, called out to my home with Brother Stewart.
After their visit I decided to go to the Church the following Sunday. As soon as I went into the hall I met the two Missionaries and Brother Stewart. They introduced me to some of the Sisters and I went into Relief Society.
Later in the morning we went into Sacrament in the Chapel and I immediately felt I had come home. I continue to have this feeling every time I enter the Church, “I am home. I am where I should be. Heavenly Father has guided me home.” I know now that He was always trying to guide me to the true Church but I was always too busy.
I was Baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on the Holywood Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday, 24th September (the 5th anniversary of my Father’s death.) This is truly the best decision I have ever made. My Baptism was filmed for the BBC and it was lovely to “witness” the entire event.
I will soon be a year in The Church and I am proud to call myself a Mormon or a Latter-day Saint. I’m not good with abbreviations. I’m the person who thinks that they sell furniture at MI5 (MFI) and if I used the LDS initials I would probably go about saying that I was an LSD, then people would think we were into drugs or something.
I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I love my Heavenly Father and I love the Holy Ghost. I love my Church and I know it is the true Church. I have a Testimony that ours is the True Church and that the Book of Mormon is true. Also, our Founder Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet of God and that our current President Gordon B Hinckley is also a Prophet of God.