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Former Catholic Church Member


"We Haven't Looked Back Since"

By John Sowell

Would you believe that I was not looking for a church? I just wanted to get Sundays off from work so that I could watch football. My friend who is also Mormon told me to go tell my boss, who happened to be Mormon that I wanted to investigate the church and he would let me off on Sundays.

I believed my friend and did as he said. I look back on it now and chuckle. He never gave me Sundays off. But he did send the missionaries.

My wife Kami and I felt weird about having them over at first, so we invited my friend to be with us during the first discussion. I did not know what Mormons were. I had tried to read the Book of Mormon once before. It was a hard read. I became bored with it and put it down.

The missionaries gave me a copy. I did not feel anything after that first discussion. Needless to say we dodged the missionaries for months after that; however, I felt compelled to read the Book of Mormon.

In fact I read the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I debated with my boss about the validity of the religion and I highly desired physical proof that it was true.

My friend knew that I was a reader and he got me other books, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder and Evidences of Christ in the New America. These works brought better understanding of the faith and they opened my eyes to some possibilities.

Several months had passed by and my newest desire was to see what the inside of a Mormon temple looked like. I knew that I could not go in and I respected that.

This was the hardest concept of the whole religion for me to accept. My boss told me that the Snowflake temple would be open to the public for a short while before it was dedicated. So on Presidentís Day weekend 2002. My family and I took the journey to see it.

We took 2 cars. There were 7 of us. My Fatherís car kept breaking down. It took nearly 7 hours to get to Snowflake from Scottsdale. My Fatherís car died right when we pulled into the parking lot at the temple visitor center.

By this point we were determined to see the temple. Nothing could stop us. We took the tour. I realized that there was nothing lascivious or evil about the temple. In fact looking back now, I laugh about the reservations that I had.

After the tour I had to figure out how to get everyone home. I had to work the next day. It was a late Saturday afternoon. Everything was closed. I was staring across the overlook at the temple talking to the setting sun asking how will I get my Dad home.

I turned around to see the sun glinting off of 2 BIG buses. I knew that was the answer that I was looking for. Long story short, the buses were from Scottsdale and they were gracious enough to give my Dad and daughter a ride home. I felt compelled to write a "Thank you" note. From that note the missionaries visited us again and our conversion began.

Still months past before I humbled myself. The missionaries said all along, "Ask Heavenly Father in prayer following the advice of Moroni 10:3-5". I finally did and my prayer was answered.

The hardest thing to give up for me was coffee. Kami and I were baptized on 3/15/2003. We have not looked back since.





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