WHY I AM A Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints--The Beginning:
Remember I mentioned my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a lot like finding pieces of a puzzle? That first piece I found, knowing that I was a daughter of God, was the foundation for my puzzle. The next piece was one of the greatest life lessons I ever learned. And one of the most lasting. And for me, heart-rending.
I was only five at the time.
The day before my family made the move from California to Arizona, my sister and I went around the neighborhood saying goodbye to our friends. I remember the day being sunshinny and warm--a friendly sort of day. My friend lived around the corner from me and she and I were outside her home, playing one last time on her lawn.
From across the street, a little girl about our age came up to us and asked if she could play with us. She was beautifully dressed in a frilly, light colored lacy dress. Her hair was done up in curls with
pretty little bows. Her mother had taken great pains to make her precious daughter look beautiful—and she did. Even though it was over thirty years ago, I can still see this little girl's face—the innocence and hope in her severely crossed eyes. I did not know this girl. Never seen her before. I wonder now, if her mother kept her from prying eyes and cruel children.
Anyway, the girl stood there, swinging her full dress back and forth, waiting for our reply. I looked to my friend. In answer, my friend began to taunt the girl, telling her she was ugly, and to “Go Away!” I had never been unkind to someone before--this was a new experience for me. I thought this girl, with her swishing dress and curly hair was beautiful, even with her crossed eyes, but was too afraid to disagree with my friend. My friend continued to be mean to her while I watched her growing uneasiness and sadness. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach, but I stayed silent.
The little girl, near tears, asked, "But don't you think my dress is pretty?" My friend said, "No! And you are ugly too! Isn't she Wendy?!" Then she looked at me, waiting for my answer. She was terribly bossy, and I knew I had to say something. I didn't want my friend to be mad at me, so I said, "Yes." and then I watched the little girl's face fall. She turned and ran home crying. Because of me.
The horrible feeling in my stomach turned into an ugly black knot that made me feel so ill that I told my friend I had to go home. The tears started falling as I ran home. I felt so ugly that I wanted to hide from everyone.
I ran to my room, avoiding my mother who was in the living room., climbed into bed and hid under my covers. I couldn't stop crying and didn't understand why I felt so badly.
Finally, I decided to pray because I knew Heavenly Father loved me, but I didn't want to leave my hiding place under my covers, so I prayed to Him from there. I don't remember what I said, but I do remember the crying with awful sadness for the way I treated that little girl.
In answer to my prayer, Heavenly Father first sent me a little comfort, letting me feel that warmth of His love. But then, this was also the first time that Heavenly Father taught me something through His Holy Spirit—
and another piece of my spiritual puzzle fell into place.
He let me feel His love for me that day, but He also let me feel His love for that little girl I had injured with my words and actions. He let me know that she was His daughter too and that she was just as precious to Him
as I was!
Oh, how much sorrow I felt when He let me feel His sorrow for the way I had treated His precious daughter.
All the while, He let me feel His love for me. He let me know that day that each person on earth was just as precious to Him as I was.
This experience was a tremendous puzzle piece for a five year old. And it is one reason I have never doubted there is a God. I know He is real and that He loves each and every one of us here on earth. That day I promised Him, at the age of five, that I would never purposely hurt another of my brothers or sisters on earth again. (Have I kept that promise? EEK! I have tried my best!)
But how did I come to know
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was
Jesus Christ's church on
the earth and that
was a prophet of God?
Well, that involves more
pieces of my testimony puzzle
falling into place. Click here to find out...