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Former Baptist Church Member

 

"It Seems To Me, You Are Already Mormon"

By Melinda Patterson

I am an upcoming sophomore and almost 15. My family is from a Baptist back ground. My mother's father was a Baptist preacher, and my mom strongly believes that Baptist is the only way!

We hardly ever attend church because of my mom's hectic working schedule, and the fact that dad won't go without mom and mom won't go without dad.

I had always had a feeling that there was more to church, more to what I was learning in the churches I attended, but I always thought it was just because I didn't go to church enough to learn it all.

During my freshman year I began to take an interest in a boy that had been an okay friend since I was in sixth grade. We never really talked at all during middle school because he is a grade ahead of me in school.

But at the end of his freshman year our band director offered him the chance to enter band so he took it... thus we became closer because our band is a big family and we are all friends.

When I first told him I liked him he gave a positive reply, but also said that he couldn't date until he was 16. As a promise to his mother whom had died almost two years early and because of his church, and that he was going to keep those promises!

I would never ask him to break a promise so I said okay and during the four months before his 16th birthday we used that time to become closer and really make sure we wanted to date.

Now I know that for Mormons reading this you may be thinking that I am too young for him and that he should be dating someone that is at least 15, but he even asked his bishop at our local ward if it would be ok to date a girl 1 1/2 years younger than him and bishop said it is ok.

He never directly told me what church he was in... he just said things like 'my church has buildings all over the U.S. and other countries.

One day I was sharing a story with him about my fifth grade teacher who had told us a story about Latter-day Saints coming to her door and talking with her.

He took this opportunity to tell me that he was a member of the LDS church. At first this kind of confused me, and somewhat troubled me because I knew what I believed was different from what he believed (well I was wrong on that).

After I had prayed and pondered what he had revealed to me I began to be very curious about his religion and what he believed. I went to Google.com and searched 'Mormon' and although I came across some really good sites I did not take the time to really study them at the time.

One night after we had started dating I struck a conversation about my religious views (at the time remember that I had not studied the Mormon beliefs) and it turned out by the end of the conversation that I viewed things much like what he said a Mormon would.

He said to me "it seems to me that you are already Mormon and you just don't know it yet", that was one of the things he told me that night.

The next day the band had to perform at the graduation for the class of 2007 so my boyfriends guardians had invited me out to eat with them before we had to arrive at the high school to leave for grad.

On that day I had to ride with my boyfriends guardian to the local ward building because somehow my boyfriend had accidentally been left there. I had such an urge to go in and hear God's word at that time, but Lamar (his guardian) just said "wait here I'll be back" so I stayed in the truck as instructed.

Our local ward isn't a fancy church building because there are not many members attending the church there at all, but the plans are to build a nice LDS church went a good number of new members join.

It wasn't the looks of the building that appealed to me, it was the feeling I got sitting in that truck knowing that right in front of me was an LDS church, and I wanted to be a part of it. This was also the day my boyfriend handed me a copy of The Book of Mormon.

I have now had The Book of Mormon in my possession for almost a month and a week, and although I have not finished it yet I am currently at Alma 43.

It has been a great struggle for me because I am going against my mother and all her beliefs and even my father. I have to hide my Book of Mormon because I know if my mom finds it she will want to kill.

I have a myspace and one day I was just told to go onto the search and type in 'Mormon'. I clicked on the profile that seemed to have the nicest person, this person's number two friend was 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' and the owner of this profile is a returned missionary.

I started asking him every question that came upon my mind that I could not answer myself. I've been talking with him about my religious views and asking him questions now for maybe three weeks at present time.

I know it is bad to trust people on myspace whom you don't know, but God has told me that this guy is ok and that I can trust him. Wayne, the returned missionary, has never failed to answer my questions and he praises me for how much more I am beginning to be able to understand what I read.

This man has helped me to understand what I read in The Book of Mormon. I also found BYU TV, which for those of you who don't know is a LDS TV station broadcast from BYU in Idaho.

My life has changed so much in the past month that it seems a little overwhelming sometimes, but I wouldn't change it for anything!

One of my friends have the religious view that Mormonism is a cult, another praises me for my choice but says that they don't agree with Mormons.

Another says she doesn't understand the church enough to say anything bad, but she believes as long as I am in a church that believes in God that there is no room to say anything bad, and all my other friends ask me questions about the church.

They tell me things they have learned in their churches about the LDS Church, and some have realized that their church is being too 'judgmental of the LDS church' as one friend put it. Not only have my eyes been opened to the fullness of the Gospel, but my friends are curious and asking questions, and that's how it all started for me.

It over joys my soul to know that my friends want to learn about what I am going through and ask me to tell them things the Book of Mormon says. One friend even said that she will continue to ask and maybe if I join the church she will come to a YM/YW youth activity with me one time and maybe even attend with me as an adult.

I have not joined the church yet, nor have I been to a Sunday service. In one month band camp is starting and during that time I stay with my grandmother who is very open to other God loving religions, so she is letting me go to church with my boyfriend.

I can't say that I have joined the church, but I can say that I am a convert from the Baptist religion. I may not have been to a service yet, but I do watch Sunday service on BYU TV. I will come out to my mother and tell her about my religious decision after I finish the Book of Mormon and attend a LDS church service.

I hope that if you have read to this point that you will have me in your prayers because by the end of 2007 I hope to be able to discuss my religious decisions with my mother. This is kind of scary because she is abusive, but I will do what God tells me to, and I know that He will keep me safe.

I want to be able to tell my mother that I CAN testify to her that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the most correct church on all the face of the earth is The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, and that I want to be a part of that.

And that I want to be a part of it with all her blessings. I want to tell her that I can testify that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that the president of the church, Gordon B. Hinkley, is a true prophet of God also.

I want to proudly testify to her and all others who will listen to all the wonderful things God has done for me through my boyfriend and the Book of Mormon, and I want to testify also that I am proud to be a convert. I want to be a part of the wonderful Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.

 

 

 

 

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