Karen’s conversion story
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.