Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Testimony...

After having been given an assignment to write down my conversion story for the sister missionaries, I felt impressed to share my testimony with all of those who might read my blog. And so I will:

The Testimony of Anthony Diaz, Member of the Georgetown Ward of the Exeter NH Stake of Zion
I suppose it all started back when I was about 15. My uncle had recently passed away, being only in his early thirties, and it was truly a shock to me. I had never dealt with the death of someone so close before in my life. I can still remember my father relaying over the phone in tears about his passing on. It is around that time that I truly started pondering those questions of the soul, such as, why I am here, and where do we go after this life? It is then that I truly made an attempt at prayer, not having ever really done it before. I suppose that I just wanted to know that someone was out there, looking after and watching over me.I increased in wanting some knowledge of why things happened the way they did, and it was around that time that I started listening to more music of a choral nature, finding it giving me just a little bit of that peace of the soul. Even with all this, I was still very pessimistic about my life, and had an attitude of mostly indifference as to what went on. It was around that time, in about September, that I met the two men who would change my life forever.
My mother, the children, and I decided to take a walk, for whatever reason, in downtown Haverhill one night. As we sat on one of the benches in the downtown area, these two college-age males,dressed up in formal attire with white shirts, black overcoats, and ties, started walking up to us as we sat. As they came into clearer view, I could read the names on their name tags:Elder Kelsey and Elder Hancock. I suppose that what struck me most about them was not their age, but the fact that they asked us if they could share a message with us before going ahead and talking, which was so unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses and others we were used to. They understood that it could be difficult to talk with complete strangers, and respected the fact that if we didn't want to hear what they said, we didn't have to. I have my mother to thank,for she welcomed the missionaries to share their message with us, and proceeded to set a date with them for us to meet at my house.
As I read the Book of Mormon and listened to the doctrines they presented, I was truly struck with awe as to the simplicity of their teachings, and yet was dazzled by the fact that they were so deep and profound at the same time. Needless to say, I prayed about the truthfulness of the book, putting Moroni's promise in the last chapter to the test, and received an answer unlike any I had ever received before. I know it was the Spirit of the Lord that made it clear to me that what I had been reading was true, and I know it now more than ever. Thanks to the faithfulness of those two beloved men, men who have become as brothers to me, I was baptized and confirmed a member of what I know to be the true and restored Church of Jesus Christ on this earth.The incredible Spirit I felt at baptism witnessed that fact unto me, and let me know that I was at the beginning of what was and what continues to be a new and wonderful journey in the Lord's Church. I testify unto the reader that I know that the fullness of the gospel is contained within this church, and that Jesus Christ does live again and leads the Church through revelation daily.I leave you my witness in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

4 comments:

Latter-Day James said...

Thank you for your testimony.

Alicia said...

Thanks so much for sharing your testimony! I also checked out youthtestimonies.com and put a link to it on my blog. What a cool site!!
Did your mom ever end up joining the Church or are you the only one in your family? Are there very many members in your school? Maybe you could post something about some of the things that have been difficult for you as a new member and how the Lord has specifically helped you through this transition in your life. (Maybe through a scripture that gave you encouragement, a talk or an article or something like that.)
For example, one time I was feeling discouraged and wondering, "What if"... what if it isn't true... what if all I have been taught is "made up?"
I knelt to pray and pleaded, "Please God, I just want to know that this is right and I just need to know that this Church is what it claims to be..." I opened up Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price and read the testimony of Joseph Smith. I had read it many times before but this particular time it hit me like a ton of bricks!!! I can't explain how I felt but as I read his testimony, I cried and cried and cried. Especially as I read this part:
"...I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it"- Joseph Smith
I know that he was an honest man. He was not looking to start a church or a following... he simply wanted to know which church to join... he just wanted to do what was right. No one in their right mind would have gone through what he did for a lie... nor do I think anyone could have... they would have buckled under the persecution and pressure. But, he didn't because it was true, he was telling the truth!!!
I know that Joseph Smith was called of God. He was a true prophet that was instrumental in restoring the Priesthood Authority and ordinances essential to our salvation. He counseled all who followed him to turn to Christ to believe in Christ and trust in His Redeeming power. One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is:
"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."- Moroni 7:13
Many Churches teach truth and they are good. We can admire and accept truth wherever we find it. But I know that it is in THIS Church where we will find "ALL the pieces to the puzzle." Why... Because it is the Church of JESUS CHRIST. I love it.
Whew! That was a long comment ha? And that's just the beginning. There is so, so much I could share about how my testimony is continually strengthened and how I have recieved answers to my prayers!!! But I need to leave room for others :)
Have a wonderful day.
Keep Blogging!

Tony said...

Alicia, the same thing happened to me with the JS story. I kept doubting, and prayed, and then I cried! and then i watched the Restoration, where he sees the Father and Jesus Christ, and cried again. You just confirmed that testimony to me. Thank you alicia :)

My mother and father are not members, but are supportive. I will have to write about my experiences with taht, and Ill let you know. There are few members at school, maybe 5 or 6 tops.

Thank you also james, glad i could share it.

Michael said...

First, thanks for your comment today over on my blog (http://brittonwrite.blogspot.com).
Second, thanks for linking to my blog in yours.
Third, I really appreciated reading your testimony.
Fourth (and this is for you and Alicia) - I don't know if I mentioned it in my blog, but
a) I gained my testimony from reading the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Pearl of Great Price (it was the first thing I read) - and this part: "For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it" is still such a powerful testimony to me.
b) I am the only member in my family.
c) I once gave my mom a copy of the Book of Mormon in Russian (she is Russian) and inscribed it (in Russian, which I don't write and had to copy letter by letter) with Moroni 7:13 (which you quoted below).
Fifth, and least importantly, I also happen to like Sigur Ros (I have the untitled () album), but had never seen one of their videos. That one was really cool.
Thanks for sharing, keep blogging, and hopefully keep reading and sharing my blog (which I TRY to update each Sunday.
And congrats about getting into BYU-Idaho!
Sincerely,
Michael