Monday, January 21, 2013


As I was growing up I remember very distinctly being taught by a lot of leaders in the church that you shouldn't look into "anti-mormon" literature.  Well, as we all know I left the church when I was 14 years old for a number of reasons.  When I came back to the church I really had to make sure that it was right for me.  How did I do that? I started researching EVERY piece of mormon and non-mormon literature I could find on the LDS church.  My research gave me the knowledge that the church is True.

Let me start a little earlier than age 23.  When I left the church at age 14 I knew God was real.  I know that I had a Savior that died for me, I just didn't know what church was true.  I had such terrible feelings towards people in the church that I wasn't even interested in learning about the Mormon religion because I didn't want to be associated with the people that I took offense to.  So I started out with the Catholic church.  I went to church after church, spoke with some of the most amazing men I have ever met.  Some of the most knowledgeable men I have ever spoken with, and it gave me an amazing confirmation that the power of God is real and that he loves us no matter what.  I just didn't get that feeling that it was the church for me.

I then looked into Baptists, Protestants, Born Again Christians, and on and on.  All of them had pieces of the truth that I could connect with but none of them had the full truth that I needed to be okay with.  At age 19 I still wasn't going to think about becoming a mormon, but I was interested in learning about the church.  My heart had been softened enough to start "looking" into the Mormon religion.

President Uchtdorf said "Truth is true even if nobody believes it."  

The truth can't be denied, it can't be changed, and it will always, ALWAYS be the same.  Knowing this, I went into my research of the church with somewhat of an open mind.  I still had bad feelings towards the church but I was willing to think about it.  I wanted to find the truth that I was looking for, and I went into my research with that kind of an open mind.  No matter what I was told if the Mormon religion was true then that was that.  I wouldn't be able to deny it because it would be true.

I remember one day reading about Joseph Smith.  I read all of the non-mormon sides of him, and the mormon sides.  There are always 2 sides to every story, and I wanted the good and bad.  I have to admit when I started learning about Joseph Smith I was shocked. I thought he was as crazy as a delusional clown.  No way did this guy who didn't have an education write the Book of Mormon.  And then he created polygamy?  Why because he was a crazed sex addict?!  I was so furious with the stories about Joseph Smith that, that is where my research stopped.  I closed off that opening once again.

It wasn't until I met my sweet husband at the age of 24 that I started to look into the church again.  Even though I had a problem with Joseph Smith, and I thought he was a crazy person (Yes, I still do a little bit) it wouldn't change the fact that if the church was true, than Joseph Smith had to be a true prophet of God.  If it's true it's all true.  So, I read the Book of Mormon for the 1st time in my life.  I got down on my knees and poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father.  I begged him to soften my heart towards the prophet who restored the gospel, and teach me about the true church if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was really the true church.  You know what happened?  He taught me that it was true.  I prayed with real intent, having faith that God would answer me and tell me if this was the church that was true.  If this was the church that he put on the earth for this day and time.  And I got the feeling for me, that this was the most perfect church on the planet.  This was the church that I needed to be with.  I jumped in with both feet and I haven't looked back.

All of this seems so perfect.  "Oh, Jill got on her knees and God told her it was true and she lived happily ever after."  WRONG.  I still struggle with my feelings towards Joseph Smith.  I still get a knot in my stomach when I think about him, but it doesn't change the truth.  My own personal feeling towards this man that I think is a little crazy doesn't change the fact that he found the true church of Jesus Christ.  It doesn't change the fact that he translated the Book of Mormon, and that book is true.  It doesn't matter how he translated the Book of Mormon, because all that matters is that I know that it's true.  I can struggle with certain things that my church has done in the past or even now, but the knowledge and faith that my Father in Heaven has given me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the most perfect church on the planet for me is all the truth I need.  

Because of the research I did, I not only found my eternal companion, I found a purpose in this life, I found out the woman that I am, and I became who my Father in Heaven always wanted me to be.  I became a true daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love him.  If you are searching for the truth in your life, read the Book of Mormon.  I promise you that if you go into with an open heart and open mind that Heavenly Father will teach you, just as he taught my stubborn soul, that it is true.  He loves us. He wants us to be happy.  He wants us to return to him someday.  He is there and all you have to do is ask for him to show you the way.

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