Motivated by my third meeting with the missionaries, I began to pick up the pace a bit. I was spending more time reading and studying and praying. We arranged for more meetings with the missionaries, and for them to happen more frequently. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
First, I was still very busy. Work was still a challenge, I’m pretty sure I was coaching by that point. Plus I had a new house and a new fiance. My attention was being pulled in lots of different directions.
And you still had the enormity of all the Church teachings I wanted to read and understand. For someone who had no familiarity with the Church before a few weeks ago, there was a whole history and culture to learn. And the missionaries asked me if I wanted to be baptised. I was surprised by the question, and said not yet. But that made me think about where my path was going to lead me. I knew the goal of the Church and the missionaries for me was to be baptised. And my goal was to eventually join the church once I knew enough about it to know that it was the one true church. There was just so much to take in at once.
I had also started listening to some podcasts that offer a less than flattering view of church history. Some people might call is “Anti-Mormon” literature, but I wanted to know as much about the church as I could, and that meant listening to all sides. I’m not sure I regret doing this, but it certainly slowed me down some. I guess I am glad I learned it then, rather than being surprised by it at some point later down the road.
The timeline here is going to somewhat overlap with the subject of my next post, which is the members of the church I would come to meet. But it was prayer and their inspiration that ultimately kept me on the track forward. From my own personal prayer and study, I came to learn that the past didn’t matter so much, and that the spirit of the church is pure and good. Many of the arguments against the church were either provably wrong, or irrelevant. The members I had gotten to know provided a good example to me of what living the church teachings can do for your life. I knew it was what I wanted for myself, and I knew that joining the church would help me get there.
I was also starting to gain a strong testimony that what the church was teaching was good, and was inspired. I know how I felt after reading the scriptures, or the church magazine. Or even just going to church and enjoying the service. From the website www.mormon.org here are the menu headings under “Our values”; Strengthening families, service to others, missionary work, freedom to choose, humanitarian aid, good citizenship, lifelong learning, family history. And this isn’t just lip service, this is what actual Mormons actually believe, and practice in their own lives. There were just too many positives to ignore. I had the desire to continue moving towards baptism, so I did.