Trish Burkman

Trish Burkman

In 1996 I worked from home doing labor relations issues.  I interviewed employees and then helped them get their issues heard through work or legal channels.

It was a very cold day in February with horrible weather.  It was heavy winds and ice rain going on and I pretty much figured that my potential clients would be no shows or reschedule.   A couple of minutes before 10 a.m. and a few minutes before a new client was to show up I received a phone call.  I expected it to be my client cancelling or rescheduling but it wasn’t, it was a client whom I had just closed a case for with very happy results.

As I am telling this client what I had accomplished the door bell rang and at the door was a young woman, who I was sure was my client with a friend along for moral support.  As I finished my call I realized that I had been mistaken and had let in two Sister Missionaries with the Church.

As I have always prided myself to be free of prejudice, I couldn’t just toss them out as I had initially wanted to do.  So I decided to give them my theory on God and religion.

I started out by telling them I had studied the major religions and found all of them to have failed my test for being the “true church.” They all had good things about them, but they all had major deficits that would prevent me from joining any organized religion.

Then I began my list of things I knew would be part of God’s true church, if it existed on earth.  I also pointed out that I knew it must exist because the scriptures tell us that it does and the scriptures also tell us it will not be any of the big populous and popular religions, but I didn’t expect the true church to knock door to door either.

Now for my list, in condensed format without my reasons for them.

1) God would not condemn one who could not be baptised while alive.

2). God does not punish children for the mistakes of the parents, although our mistakes can and do hurt them.

3) Women are not cursed because of Eve’s sins in the Garden.

4) Every person on earth was chosen by God to be here, therefore we are all his Chosen Children.

5) No predestination.

6) Tithes should be paid in private, not in public manners like passing the plate.

And on and on I went.  The Sisters occasionally got the opportunity to ask me questions, such as, “Do you believe in Prophets?”

“Yes, of course.  I might not know who the true prophet of God is, but there has to be one.”

In short everything I knew would be part of and proof of God’s true church on earth is what The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, teaches, and will always be.

I will not say that I went quickly or easily into the Baptismal font.  I tested the missionaries; asked question after question and struggled with the idea that I was about to join a religious group hated around the world, a religious group that was so very much misunderstood and nothing like it is portrayed in school or in movies and books.   I was about to join a group that would guarantee that I would be subject to harassment and prejudice (and I knew only too well how terrible that was and how damning it can be to a family’s financial and emotional welfare). But once I had confirmation that what I knew in my heart was what God’s church would be like and the shock that God sent two women to bring me into the church I was Baptised.

On the other side of that story, is the one from the Sister missionaries who had sat in their car and prayed about their day.  Should they return to their apartment because of the dangerous and horrible weather or continue Knocking on doors.  They were prompted to knock on one more door; the yellow door, my door.

If all the things hadn’t happened just as they had (including my painting my front door yellow–a color all the other members of the family didn’t like) I would never have learned about God’s true church.

I have a testimony of this Church, that it is truly God’s church.  I testify that Thomas S. Monson  is a true prophet of God.  I have been blessed beyond measure since joining this Church and am now serving a mission with my beloved husband in Canada.

– Trish

*Patricia Burkman was an Employees Advocates In the Washington DC area for many years.  Her work and unique approach to conflict resolution caught the attention of many local attorneys and the Bureau of National Affairs which did an article about her innovative approach.  She and her husband Doug moved to Alaska in 2008, but are currently serving a 2 years mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Canada Winnipeg Mission.
* Patricia’s testimony was originally posted on on February 25, 2015


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