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Former Catholic Church Member

 

I Had Never Heard Something So Amazing!


By Dustin Fadale

I am formerly a Catholic in a small town south of Buffalo, New York named Fredonia.

I grew up in a crazy life style that most non-members would consider ordinary. High school was a great time that I will never forget and it gives me a different perspective on life being on both sides of the fence.

My senior year in high school at age 18 was an interesting one, with much partying in anticipation of graduating, I had no idea what change lay ahead. As graduation came nearer I had influences from all sides I had friends inviting me to Baptists, Protestant and Catholic Church's following a hard night of partying, ironic isn't it.

I went to them all, went through the motions and it was the same thing over and over. Following graduation I had asked a friend about what church she attended. She said it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. "Cool can I come sometime?"

Now looking back I could just imagine the excitement and anticipation in their minds as they said "yeah sure we would love you to come." Now let me remind you, my friend was the only member of the Mormon Church in my high school of about 800 and the local branch only had about 65 active members.

Following my first Sunday of a ridiculously long 3 hour church meeting I had met the elders and agreed to take the discussions. Throughout the discussions I have never heard something so amazing. I thought it had to be true it only made sense. I never told my parents and friends in fear of their criticism.

The elders where doing a great job and I was sure that I had found a way to fill the void in my life. When friends and family found out I started to hear all types of false statement. "It's a cult, they force their religion on you, you were brain washed, and are you crazy" just to name a few.

Through all the debris that was spit at me I knew one thing was sure, and that was this religion was the true religion of Christ. I could never deny it.

"Lets set a baptism date?" The elders proposed. I said yes and picked the following Sunday to do so. How could I not, this religion was true and that's all that mattered. When Saturday rolled around I had met with the elders and they interviewed me for my baptism which was to follow the next day.

When I finished my interview I had an overwhelming feeling come over that could only be caused by one thing, and it wasn't God. The feeling that I should not do this and that I would be criticized and all the awful doubts that could possible come up did. So I backed out,

The elder stated that we must pray and until I felt that I should, after a half hour I was so scared that there was no way they would be dunking me in any water!

Many weeks went by, missionaries came and missionaries went I continued to go to Church but hadn't been baptized at that point. July rolled around and I was invited to go to the Hill
Cumorah pageant and see some of the church sites.

When arriving I saw for the first time protesters of all sorts and they angered me, but why? I wasn't a member of the Church they were protesting against.

After getting to our seats and chatting with the people around us, a friend invited me to go to the visitors center. Harmless and inviting I thought sure it was no big deal, little did I know that the events that were to follow would change my life forever and effect people I hadn't even met yet.

We sat down in the theater to watch the Joseph Smith video, which I have seen for what felt was the hundredth time. The movie started off the same, same old actors same old narrative voice, nothing was different right?

Then it happened, as Joseph was kneeling in the grove and saw the two separate personages who's glory defied all description, I had felt it! For the first time my heart burned, chills ran up my spine and tears rolled down my face.

The spirit hit me so strong that I didn't care if I was the only blubbering fool in a theater of about 100 people. I knew that the church was true and that I had to be baptized. Following the video there was a silence as we walked back to our seats. My friend knew and only waited for me to say it.

We sat down and I looked at him and said "I want to be baptized." Following much excited talk I called the missionary that was going to baptize me in the first place and told him the great news. The date was set and I was to go to Pittsburgh the next weekend and be baptized on August 23rd, 2003.

From that point forward my life has been blessed so immeasurably that I can't imagine where I would be today without it.

I am now attending BYU- Idaho and have made some of the most amazing friends ever. Some have blessed my life so immensely that I am not sure how I survived without them and the gospel.

I am so very thankful for this Church and for the elder that never gave up on me. No money could ever buy the happiness and joy that this gospel has brought to me.
 

 

 

 

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