This past week I was working on making a mormon.org profile because that is one of the things I need to do before I leave for my mission. When I opened it I realized I had started working on it a couple years ago when I was 16, and I was reading some of the answers I had put for the questions they asked. One of the questions is,
Why am I a Mormon?
It's a pretty good question. It's certainly not the popular thing to do. People think a lot of weird things about Mormons and that there's a lot that we "can't" do. I definitely wasn't going to church in high school because it was what my parents wanted me to do. I love them, but I guess part of being a teenager is having the desire to do the exact opposite of what your parents are doing. Living the gospel of Christ was something I had to decide for myself or else I was not going to do it.
I had many experiences growing up that helped me gain a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For most of them I feel I was too young to really understand, but there was a part of my soul that could recognize the truth.
When I started high school, I struggled and I felt very alone for a long time. I was really unhappy. I felt lost and like my soul had no worth. Honestly, I hated myself and when I was in a good mood, there was still a pit of unhappiness in me. I had already read the Book of Mormon, I knew it was true. And when I felt like no one could understand what I was feeling, there was a part of me that knew that Christ still could. I decided one day during my freshman year that I was going to change, I hadn't been making the best decisions, but I knew that if I kept down a bad path I would never find the happiness that I sought.
I prayed my heart out. It didn't all change at once, but eventually one day, I could feel the pit lifted from me. The pit of unhappiness was gone. I finally understood that yes, I am a daughter of a King. God is my Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ came and suffered for my sins so that I could be made whole again. And no matter who we are or what we've done, we can be made whole again. Yes, not everyday is sunshine and lollipops, but I'm grateful for the hard days too. Because if we didn't know sadness, we couldn't understand the joy.
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." (2 Ne 2:11)
I believe the Book of Mormon to be true.
I am grateful for the support from my family, and their own humble testimonies, but I have come to know through prayer and study for myself, that this church is true.
There is so much that I've learned in my life, and I wish I could share it all! I am so excited to serve a mission. Sure, Italy sounds like a cool place, but I'm not doing this mission thing so I can vacation and get away from the world for 18 months. I'm doing this because the gospel is true and I want to help others find this out for themselves, remember the divinity of their souls, and help them find their ways back to their Father in Heaven.
(Quote from President Boyd K. Packer)