"Don't Quite and Don't Give Up"
By Roger L. Martin
I had some serious questions about life in my
junior year of High School.
My parents were in-active members of the Mormon
Church, so home teachers from the Mormon Church would come and visit
us in our home. But there was one in particular who made a very big
difference to me. His name was Chris.
Then I started asking Chris some tough questions
when he would come by our home to visit us, he loved the questions.
I guess I was trying to prove that the Church and members didn't
know as much as they claimed.
I soon found out Chris was the wrong guy to tangle
with, he just told me flat out, "Roger, if we have an answer I'll
tell you it, but if we don't, I'll tell you that too. That seemed
more than fair enough for me, you see, I had asked other ministers
and religious leaders questions too but they didn't like the
questions and often didn't answer me.
I felt it was wrong of them not to answer my
questions. But Chris was different, and he honestly tried to answer
all my questions, but he also said I should find out for myself too,
and challenged me to read and pray about the book of Mormon, which I
did do later,
I don't know exactly what time of year this took
place but I do remember it took place before my junior year of high
school. In the fall of that year, another good member, a good
looking blond, in a biology class challenged me to attend early
Where I lived there was only one Stake of the
Mormon Church and if you attended seminary it was going to be before
school started. This meant I would have to get a ride into school
with my dad, and he still smoked!
I remembered him smoking in the pick up and I
would roll down the window, he would say roll it up and I would say
put the cigarette down or put it out, he would put it out and I
would roll the window up.
But that year the seminary class was studying the
Book of Mormon, and I didn't want to be ignorant of what was in it,
so I started studying, of course I needed to pray about it too!
To make a long story shorter, I gained a testimony
of the divinity of the Book of Mormon and later served a mission in
Korean, the Pusan Mission, from December of 74 to 76!
Now before I went on a mission several other
things happened to help me convert, I had a patriarchal blessing in
which specific questions were answered that only me, and God knew!
The mission helped me teach and gain a deeper
testimony of the Church, but it didn't end there. Study of the
History of the church and institute classes help me gain even a
deeper understand of Joseph Smith and of the prophets of this
It has also helped by teaching and serving in the
church. In short, the conversion is not over and it will not be
until I've done all I can to over come all things.
I had to overcome by going on a mission. I
remember going to Korea and my dad not wanting me to go, he wanted
to save me from danger and other things.
Overcoming the isolation of none of my family
members being in the Temple when I was married. Since I had no
active members by my side, there was one returned missionary friend,
and all of my wifeís family filling the other side of the sealing
She too was from a great family, but they lived
the gospel in their homes and I knew she would too. She would make a
great mother and example to our children, and thatís what I wanted,
full commitments and full activity for all my family.
It was almost 30 years later that I was able to
see my parents attend the temple and come into a much fuller
activity. Unfortunately, most of my family still remains inactive!
Conversion either is on going and increasing or it never really
happens, its one way or the other, there is no middle ground!
Even though I didn't get married until I was 30
years old, my oldest daughter who will be 22 the end of May 2007,
was sealed to a great returned missionary from Miles City. Those
covenants, my daughter made at her wedding, reminded me of what I
had promised my wife, some 23 years earlier.
Zion is greater than any other thing I can think
of, to say the least, don't quit and don't give in to the things of
this world, because they are so worthless compared to the eternal
blessings of Godliness!