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Former Catholic Church Member


It Was No Coincidence, It Was Divine Intervention

By Michael Volz

One ordinary day at Grossmont college, I met a fellow pianist in a music practice room that seemed to have a little bit too much in common with me to ignore. As we began to talk we figured out that we both love Chopin ( a music composer of the romantic era). Through casual discourse and showing each other our skills on the piano, it was realized that both of us had been playing the piano 11 years.

A little interesting at first, but nothing to be amazed about, right? Nevertheless, we started to talk more and play less. " I'm going to start playing the organ next week at an Episcopalian church in North Park," she mentioned. At that, I looked at her and began to wonder how this could possibly be..." that's weird," I responded, " I'm going to start playing the organ next week at an Episcopalian church in Santee."

Needless to say we were very intrigued as to this not-so-common similarity. As conversation advanced she eventually invited me and a few of her friends to her house for tea.

She wanted us to see her room because she thought it was cute and apparently wanted to share this cuteness with us. Normally, a person you just met doesn't invite you to see their room. Upon entering her room, her friends and I looked about to see a clean, but ordinary room.

My eyes wandered to a small dresser beside her bed that had a familiar book lying face down on it. "Is that book 'Sophies World' ?" I asked. "Yes," she replied, " I'm reading it and love it. You should read it, it's a great book." I looked at her with a glance that was halfway between excitement and confusion, "I am reading it," I said.

That night we went to a concert and I took her to dinner. We had a great time. It was so much fun. As we walked out of dinner, she asked me what religion I was. "I was raised Catholic, but I guess I'm Christian now," I said.- "Interesting," was her only reply.

Not much more was said as I took her back, but as I turned the car off in front of her house, we began to talk more about religion. " I'm Mormon," she said. 'WHAT??!!!!' I thought. How could she be Mormon? We had so much fun, we hit it off so well, and yet this small statement at the end of the night shattered all hope in my eyes. " Why are you playing the organ at an Episcopalian church then?" I asked. " Oh, I'm less active in the Mormon Church, but I want to become active again."

After driving away from her house that night I remember asking God why, oh why would he send me a Mormon girl that had SO MUCH in common with me? This could be no coincidence, I thought. As I prayed, I realized what God wanted me to do. I felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost to read and ponder the Book of Mormon.

I proceeded to call my best friend since the 9th grade: Curtis. We went through high school together, relationships together, and cried on each otherís shoulders at times. And, as it turned out, he was LDS. After telling him of that days odd event, he was, of course, more than happy to bring me a Book of Mormon.

The next day I was reading this unfamiliar book with gusto. I read the 2 parts of the book of Mormon that the pamphlets told me to read. But as I read, I found the words to be... intriguing, but nothing more. I received no such confirmation from the Holy Ghost as to its truth. Frustrated, I shoved the pamphlets in a random page, set the book to my bedside, and went about my ways.

A few days past, and I woke up that Sunday morning feeling somewhat bad. I prayed to know why and figured out that it was because I was sinning. I knew that they were sins, but I found myself justifying them. I didn't really know what to do. Was I to repent? Or was I to just let it go? After all, I could have been doing worse things like murder, doing drugs, etc.

Confused; I looked down at my bedside and again picked up the Book of Mormon. I held it in my hand and prayed, " Father, I really need a clear answer as to whether this book is true. I don't know what to do about my sins. I don't even know if they are sins. I'm feeling weak and I need an obvious answer as to whether this book is true."

I opened to where the pamphlets were in the book. I looked to the right page and there was Alma chapter 5; an unfamiliar part as of yet. The first thing I read was the chapter summary at the beginning.

"To gain salvation, men must repent and keep the commandments, be born again, cleanse their garments through the blood of Christ, be humble and strip themselves from pride and envy, and do the works of righteousness-The Good Shepherd calleth his people-Those who do evil works are children of the devil-Alma testifies of the truth of his doctrine and commands men to repent-Names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life. About 83 B.C."

The whole chapter is about one thing: repentance!! I ended up reading the whole chapter. As I did, the confirmation I received through the Holy Ghost was like a rising tidal wave in the sea, that, by the end of the chapter, was the size of a Tsunami!

The last thing I read in this chapter said, "unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life."

It spoke right to me. I KNEW the Book of Mormon was true through Alma Chapter. 5. Soon after reading this, however, I began to have many doubts in my mind. I began to wonder if I had actually just had a confirmation, or if it was just all coincidence. I began to fear exceedingly for my own sake.

What will my family think of me? They were all Catholic. In short, a dark shadow had been upon me. I was very afraid. But somehow, by the grace of God, I was able to muster the courage to call Curtis and asked to be baptized. Of course, he was absolutely ecstatic.

I met him at the Helix ward and after we had finally let each other go after hugging for an extremely long time, he invited me in for the last 5 minutes of the sacrament meeting. As we sat down, I started to listen to the speaker and realized something peculiar about his message. He was speaking about repentance! Then he said, "I'd like to reference Alma 5..."

I could barely believe my ears! How could this day possibly have been a coincidence! After this, we went to the Santee 4th branch, which was to be my branch to attend. Behold, a sister was speaking of her conversion, and how hard it was for her because of her family. Some were Catholic like mine. She was speaking because she was about to leave on a mission. I was very intrigued by her message because it hit so close to me.





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