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Former Catholic Church Member


Putting Together The Puzzle

By Deborah Wright

As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church. I was taught to pray scripted prayers and sent to Catholic School. One of my earliest memories at about age six was wondering why no one prayed "correctly."

Each school day I sat in the row with all of the other little girls my age. I listened to the Priest say the Mass and listened to his admonition to be a good child and do well in school. Then I would march back to our classroom and study Catechism questions.

"Why did God make me?" I dutifully memorized the answers and then I would go home and lie on my bed, look at the ceiling and "talk" to God in my own way.

As time passed, I asked my mother for a Bible. This was not something encouraged by my church, but after prolonged asking on my part, my mother finally bought me a Catholic Bible. I read it at age ten, then went to the store and bought a King James Version so that I could compare them.

Around that same time, I began questioning my friends about their religion. I was surprised that so few of my friends knew what they believed. They seemed happy to attend church and did not question anything they were being taught.

At age 15, I started attending other churches on a regular basis. I went to Mass in the morning, or Saturday night, and then I went to Bible study with my 7th Day Adventist, Baptist, Methodist and other friends.

In Catholic High school, one of the classes that was open to me was Comparative religion. I signed up and begin studying other religions, slanted of course by my Catholic teacher. In that book, I found nothing that satisfied any of my answers.

Soon my friends were coming to me with questions about things they had read in the Bible. I gave them my own "interpretation", which matched nothing that I had found anywhere else.

After graduation and marriage, my husband and I began searching for answers, but they seemed no where to be found.

My sanctuary was the local library. I began checking out books on religion. I started with the Aís and worked my way down. I think I was in the D section when two young missionaries knocked on our door.

One would think I would be happy to have two young men come offer to teach me about Jesus Christ, but I was not. I was busy that day and did not want to be bothered.

My husband, perhaps more in tune to the Spirit that day, let them in anyway. I turned off the oven, put down my apron, walked into the living room and saw two young men, about my same age.

I thought, "what can these young men teach me? I have probably studied more about religion than they have, and if they are like the others who come to the door, then they will not know as much about their church and beliefs than I know."

How wrong could I be? After a prayer, the missionaries said they felt prompted to stray from the normal first discussion and proceed to a lesson on the Pre-existence.

As they began to explain that we lived with our Heavenly Father before birth, I began to remember my conversations with God as a young child.

I vividly remembered living with my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I remembered walking with my other brother, Lucifer and begging him to listen to Father and not to be so stubborn. I remembered crying when some of my friends were cast out of Heaven.

The missionaries provided answers to all of my questions. My life had been like a puzzle with pieces missing. The Missionaries provided those missing pieces. Suddenly the picture was clear.

My husband and I were baptized a few weeks later. It was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me.

I know the Church of Jesus Christ is the Lordís church restored to this earth. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, in whose hands the Lord restored the Gospel to the Earth.

I know we have a living Prophet on earth today and that the Lord loves us and sends his emissaries to the world, to teach, to guide and to find His lost sheep. I am grateful that the missionaries found me and I thank the Lord for missionaries everyday of my life.





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