I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was not raised in the church, neither of my parents attend church, they have their own set of beliefs, and feel no inclination to share them, let alone push them on me or my younger siblings. The only religious thing done was when I was five and my mom dropped me off at church on Sundays.
One Sunday it was Joseph Smiths birthday that day, so they were telling the story of the first vision. I was in awe that this boy just asked God which church was correct, was able to see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and be commanded to organize the true church. This inspired me too find the true church, so I prayed as often as I could, having faith that my prayers would be answered and hoping that I would be commanded to make my own church. Time went by and I wasn’t making my own church, I assumed that my prayers had gone unanswered, until my mom stopped taking me when I was six. I realized that I had been going to the right church because I missed the happiness and warmth I would always feel when I walked through those church doors.
A few years went by and I didn’t step foot in that church again until I was about eleven when Sister Thompson, one of the senior primary leaders, started inviting me to church. It was hard to go back because I had lost my faith, but as time went on and I started to go more, I gained a testimony of the church. When I turned twelve I started going to young women’s, a youth group for girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen, one day we were getting interviews from the bishop to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We don’t baptize dead people; what we do is if a person wasn’t baptized in this life we get baptized for them and they choose whether or not to accept it, so I was really excited that could get the chance to be baptized for somebody else. It was my turn to go in. He went through all the questions then he asked a question, which usually doesn’t get asked: “Madalyn,” he said, “when were you baptized?”
“I don’t think I’ve been baptized,” I responded, “Do I need to be baptized to do baptisms for the dead?”
Long story short, a few months later I was baptized in October of 2002. Since then I have received many wonderful blessings. In the summer of 2007 I received my patriarchal blessing. At the beginning of 2008 my little sister, Claryn, joined the church. This was the best blessing because I finally didn’t have to go to church alone and that filled me with immense joy. My faith in God and the church has brought and will continue to bring me profound joy. This I believe.