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Former Baptist Church Member

 

"He Guided Me To The Right Place"

By Jennifer Kirkland

My name is Jennifer Kirkland I am 24 and live in Memphis, TN, I have been a proud Latter-day Saint (LDS) for a year now. I grew up going to a Baptist Church with my grandmother and aunt. When I was 19 I lived in Mississippi with my grandparents, I wasn't very active in church then.

I eventually met a guy who was LDS and we began to date, I didn't know much about his religion. But every time I'd go over his house his parents would have the missionaries over and they tried to teach me several times, but my heart wasn't into it at the time, I didn't want to change a part of my life for someone else, I knew it needed to be my decision. Time went on and my boyfriend moved and eventually went on a mission.

Shortly after I moved back to a little town in Tennessee with a friend who was also LDS. We lived together for about 3 years but he was less active but his parents were very active and I went to church with them a few times but didn't understand. My friend's dad sent his records to where we lived and one day me and my brother were going to a store and a car pulled up in our drive way it was missionaries.

The missionaries had come looking for my friend, they came back several times and taught me a few lessons and tried to reactivate my friend, but still my heart hardened. So I had a copy of The Book of Mormon for several years by then and even after the missionaries stopped coming I still read it every once in a while. July of last year I was getting ready to move to Memphis with a friend I had known for 15 years and my current roommate was moving back home.

A day before the day to move my mother unexpectedly passed away, my grandmother had found her and then my grandmother suffered from a heart attack. I was crushed my mom was so young and it was so unexpected. A week after my mom passed I lost my job, and then my car broke down.

I knew I couldn't go on any longer I knew I needed to strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father in order to make it through my trials. So with all the confusion before and I just didn't know where I belonged I began praying that He would help me find a church home, and guide me to the right place so I could grow closer to Him.

Me and my new roommate began to go to many different churches searching for comfort and truth. One Sunday I woke up and decided I'd try going to the LDS church, I went alone and when I got there immediately walking through the door not even seeing anyone I felt my answer I knew I was home.

I went in sat down and it was Fast and Testimony meeting and I was so confused, I had no idea what was going on but felt the spirit so strongly. I began going every Sunday, I went 3 times before anyone noticed me. On the 3rd Sunday I was in Relief Society and they were talking about the spirit appearing when you need it most.

I thought back to my mom's death and my LDS friends family came down and stayed with me that night and set by the bedside the entire night watching over me and I remember feeling the spirit then when she told me I'd see my mom again. So I shared that experience and after people began to talk to me and before I knew it missionaries were once again at my door. They began teaching me about the gospel and I prayed about it, and immediately knew it was true.

They were coming back to teach me for the 3rd time and wanted me to read 3 Nephi 11 before they came back. So one night while preparing dinner I began to read it and again felt the spirit and it was testifying to me that I needed to be baptized. I immediately picked up the phone and called the missionaries and told them I was going to be baptized.

A week later I was baptized and confirmed a member. The spirit is an amazing thing. And now I have hope and strength I never had before. I know with all my heart that Jesus is the Christ who died for all of us and we have a Heavenly Father that loves us so deeply he has blessed our lives with the gospel and path to return to live with Him.

I know Joseph is the prophet of the restoration and that Heavenly Father is the same today, yesterday and forever and that is why He continues to call and speak to our prophet today, because He loves us and wants us to draw closer to him. He wants us to have faith in Jesus Christ, be baptized by His proper authority, and to have the gift of the precious Holy Ghost and he wants us to endure to the end, to return to Him once again.

I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life and to truly feel the love of God every moment of my life. I have been given this great gift and now I strive everyday to share it with the world.
 

 

 

 

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