Karen Mormon

Karen’s Conversion Story

Read her full story here: Part 1part 2, part 3, and part 4.

I still remember standing at the top of the stairs as a child wondering who I was and why I was on the earth. I hungered for that knowledge like no other, and I felt spiritually starved. I attended Catholic Church but asked what, to them were, unanswerable questions. I posed a few like these: “Well, who lived in heaven and took part in that war besides Jesus? (If there was a war in heaven, as taught, then there had to have been more than two people there, I reasoned); Why do I have to confess the same sins twice?” and “How can God and Jesus be the same person?” I lived as if on a daily spiritual fare of milk and toast, not knowing there was a buffet table divinely set and beckoning me.

Questions about the purpose of life sprung up as consistently as crocuses do in spring, any time I was willing to allow them to pop through the soil of my soul. At one particular point in my life, I began to despair that I would never know my purpose or the answers to the questions of my heart. Without those answers, the desire to live waned. The world looked cold and senseless. How could I function from day to day without knowing ‘why’ I was functioning? I couldn’t tick if I didn’t know why I was ticking.

As I continued my education, worked, and married, I continued to let go and let God, to know Christ in ways that I treasure more than anything in this life besides my own family and friends. I’ve come to know His grace—His enabling power—that applies to all I do. I feel as close to Him as I do the best friend I could ever have. He converses with me through His word and as I pray and listen, repent, and grow. He marks my path. He has a million ways of delighting me. He goes before me. He opens my eyes to things I’d never see on my own. He colors my world; He changes me. He tutors me, He sends angels to minister. He finds things I’ve lost. He embraces me and reveals Himself to me continually. He challenges me; He encourages me; He corrects me. He provides me with wisdom and hope. He beckons me. He intercedes for me. He continually extends His reach towards me, and extends my reaching of Him, my understanding of His atonement. He has poured out healing and balm in times when I may otherwise have been crushed by betrayal. When I stood alone in my marriage covenants, He filled and fills the void. Through and with Him, I don’t have to go it alone. As my children have been, in a sense, spiritually fatherless, He has been their Father; He has compensated. I know He lives and knows me. He knows when I pull in the driveway, when I’m sitting on my bed, when I’m trying to sort out the best of the best to do in His kingdom, when I struggle to overcome, when I long to be better, as I strive for excellence, when I plead for my children, when I seek Him.

I testify again that the Savior lives. I testify He wants to be found. I testify that all things testify of Him. I submit to you my love of Jesus Christ and my joy in my relationship with Him. His gospel has been restored in our day, and His priesthood power is on earth, which means that you and I have access to His presence again—in this life or the next. He will come again. I know that’s true and bear witness of these truths in the name of Jesus Christ.

25  Random Things About Me

1. I was born in Philly, PA. And yes, I love cheesesteaks and soft pretzels but don’t eat them.

2. I have a Roman nose — it gives my heritage away instantly. As if Trifiletti wouldn’t.

3. I enjoy writing, and my scribble sheets are envelopes, napkins, stickies, journals of all kinds and shapes and sizes, a whiteboard in my car, etc. I have a pen on my keyring and in every nook I can think of. But pen and paper together is often a mystery.

4. I replaced snacking on hard candy with teething Orbit . Not a good idea. Working on it. Sort of.

5. I escort bees out the window. Well, I don’t jump, but…I coach them and they typically respond.

6. I love the Savior. He saved me physically at least four times, emotionally a bazillion, and spiritually once and for all.

7. My children are my joy. I almost typed “job.”  That, too, in a divine way: “my work and my glory.”

8. I love sunsets. I wish I’d photographed more of them.

9. I believe in record-keeping, journals. I have oodles but my daughters have more.

10. I’m in that wonderful proverbial dance with God in which He promises to cut in my eternal companion. Credit to whoever came up with that metaphor!

11. My sister is one of my very best friends. I have awesome sibs.

12. I love to dance, and I love jazz–good jazz.

13. I graduated with a BA in French (that means bah, really?), an MA in Human and Organizational Development, and 2/3 PhD in latter as well (which means Phadeegle–I don’t know a whole lot about much).

14. I swam in a cancer marathon and slept for 18 hours afterwards.

15. My parents (passed on) believe in me. So does my God.

16. I feel the Lord close and love Him. I love the Father equally and feel Him just as near.

17. I want to be an instrument for good–and the more unusable I feel, the more usable He allows me to be.

18. I love board games, word games, but don’t relish higher math.

19. I could live on frozen yogurt and quiche and rich desserts, but I don’t. I drink protein shakes, eat regular yogurt, other healthy stuff, and have one bite of or drool over the rest.

20. I should have learned to cook all those homemade Italian dishes my grandma and mom made.  Learn from my mistake.

21. I love seafood. But I don’t like that it smells up the house if cooked indoors.

22. I like clean, but by my bed, clutter rules. A dozen or so books on the carpet and a basket-full within arm’s reach.

23.  I dislike noisy appliances but they find me every time… toasters, blenders, vacuums. And the toast jumps out and hides.

24. I have a passion for reaching the discouraged, the weak-faithed, those with a small or wrong conception of God, those without a knowledge of their purpose and God’s plan for them.

25. I love mentoring teens and being mentored by them.




2 Responses to “Karen’s Story”

  1. karenrose 5 years ago

    Brian!!! Thanks for sharing such a kind and generous response. I guess it’s a compulsive thing :)–have to get it ‘out there’ even if it just helps one persona turn to Christ and take a shorter path to happiness than my long, circuitous one. 🙂 So, how did we lose touch? Let’s reconnect. I sent you an email. I hope this finds you well. I knew you’d be headed for greatness, whatever direction your life path took. I’m eager to hear some of those adventures, and have no idea where you are.

  2. Brian C. Watkins 5 years ago

    Karen, My name is Brian Watkins. I’m sure you remember me from when you worked at PVP, and later at BYU. I must say, I was always impressed with your dedication to spirituality, and I’m duly impressed by these testimonials you’ve put together. You’re like the energizer bunny! I remember you were always writing down anything that inspired you, and you were a real spiritual anchor to everyone who worked with you, or that you were friends with. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve posted your story for others to glean from; no conversion story is insignificant, yours is deep and profound. I know this isn’t a social “catching up” forum, I’m just glad to see that you’re still that same great missionary I remember. Thanks for sharing your story.

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