Thursday, May 26, 2011

Martha's Conversion

 While I was serving in Great Falls, Elder Willey and I had the opportunity to teach Martha Gladue about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Martha was a sincere seeker of the truth and eventually received her answer that this is the one true church. She did not receive that answer all at once, but the answers to her questions came over time through lots of study, prayer, and great amounts of faith. The following excerpt, which is in her own words, is Martha's conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

  "My circumstance is not unique to the world, but it is my own, hard fought and delicate. Prevailing from the darkness, my conversion to the Gospel furthers the testimony of the forgiveness and love that our Heavenly Father has for us.

   At a young age, I had felt a gaping hole inside myself. Having had a rough upbringing, I learned to be a survivor and adapt to different situations. My knowledge of the Lord was limited to hearing His name in the sporadic use of vulgar language and the reference to the chiming of the church bells Sunday morning. As I grew older, I started to be inquisitive about the purpose of churches and who Jesus Christ was. I was offered many invitations to the churches of my relatives and friends, but after attending nothing felt like a good fit. The world soon after sought out and consumed me. An overwhelming tidal wave of demands and responsibility swept over me, leaving me to drown in my own despair.

   At this point in my life I felt and heard the faint callings of the spirit. The desires of the world held my interest no more. My curiosity about the Lord started to become a priority. Again, I tried many different congregations but nothing stuck. It was in the spring of 2010 when our Lord answered my long sought after prayers. I had met a young married couple that invited me to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Admitting, I was a little apprehensive about going, but something pushed me forward. Months had passed while I kept a steady attendance to the church. All the members were so genuinely warm and inviting - it was hard not to want to be a part of it. The missionaries were also, so diligent in their teachings. Even then, there were still questions that lingered in me to know if this was the right choice. My questions felt like bricks being stacked, one by one, on my shoulders. I prayed for relief, and was soon answered.

   During the October 2010 General Conference, my spirit was awakened and consumed with the words of Christ. This was unmistakably, the testimony I had been searching for and gained about our living prophet and the one true church. I soon after was baptized and confirmed. As I look back, life then was just a passing fog and now the sun is casting its everlasting light guiding me to salvation."

   Since October of 2010, Martha has been to the temple to perform saving ordinances for the deceased. She loves doing missionary work and is not afraid to tell people about the gospel. She is one of the most faithful converts that I have seen on my mission and I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to be a part of her life-changing conversion!

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