“And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good” (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:55). For years I followed my own path, no matter what my parents or others said. By the time I was a young adult and the pressures of life were just starting to press on me, I realized I wasn’t prepared. I was a wanderer, a pleasure-seeker, completely distrusting, and miserable.
Finally, I listened to my parents and agreed to their test to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, and pray about it. I was miserable enough to be willing to look anywhere, and as I read the words of the prophets and leaders in the Book of Mormon, I found that many of them had gone through similar situations and struggles. In the happy cases, they’d turned to Jesus Christ and His guidance. In the tragedies, they had held to their own abilities until pressures destroyed them. By the end of the book, I knew it was true, because so much of me was mentioned in its pages. But I prayed anyway, and to my surprise, the answer was firm, direct, and absolute: “You KNOW it’s true.”
I started following the teachings of Jesus Christ, included in that and other books, both of scripture and other inspired works. By seeing what others had done in the past, I learned of things I could do to get to know my Savior better. I learned that prayer really can be communion, a conversation between Creator and child. He is entirely interested in our well-being, and will offer counsel and comfort to whatever measure we will allow and invite it. He craves a deep, meaningful relationship with each of us, and loves us like children.
It’s been about 25 years now since that initial conversion, and the Lord has completely transformed me, my attitudes, the way I treat others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ contains every answer to every question or problem we can face, and He really wants to join us for the journey and adventure of life. He not only wants to cleanse us and teach us goodness, but He wants to help us fill the full measure of our potential. I love Him forever for His forgiveness, His wisdom, His love.
This has been my experience with the Lord, and I testify before God and man that it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, and with my love. Amen.
– Jared Butterfield