You know I don’t think I was always a believer. I was taught that our Heavenly Father existed, and that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, but did I believe? Here is my story how I started my path to believing.
My Belief that He exists and answers prayers.
I was only eight years old where this story begins. My grandma and I had this special connection when I was this age. We used to live on the same farm. Every day after school I was at my grandma’s house, even if my mom didn’t want me to go. For one of my birthdays, my grandma gave me this MAD Ball. It was a ball that had a face of a monster. I loved this ball, because it was given to me by my grandma, my awesome grandma.
One day I couldn’t find it. I looked everywhere for it. Well as much as an 8 year old can. I was disappointed in myself for losing it. What would my favorite grandma think about me losing a gift she gave me? Why could I not find this ball? That is when I remembered from Primary class if I needed something, I should ask my Heavenly Father. I got down on my knees, and asked with tears in my eyes, to find that ball. As soon as I finished the prayer I had an impression where the ball was. I went to the microwave, looked behind it, and there it was. As young as 8 years old I believed that he existed and answered my prayers.
My belief that I am not alone and He is with me.
Throughout my youth I suffered from depression. I am not sure if I was clinically depressed or not. One Saturday in my 8th grade year, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I mean, I really didn’t want to get out of bed. I don’t remember exactly why I didn’t want to leave my bed, but I know it had something to do with being fat and being in the eighth grade. Since it was Saturday, my family had plans to run errands and spend time together. My dad was going to school during the day and worked graveyard, so seeing him was rare. When I saw him it was maybe a hour a day during the week. So it was a special occasion for all of us to be able to go.
At first, my brothers came in my room to invite me to come. I have never seen my brothers with a heart felt invite like they did that day. But I was stubborn and didn’t want to get out of bed.
My mom came in and asked if I would come. “No, I am okay where I am at.” I said.
My dad is very passive. He gets mad only when he is driving.
He walked into the room and says,”Get dressed, you’re coming with us.”
I said, “No.”
Then he yelled at me,”Get dressed, you are coming.”
“No”, I said again.
He left the room. My mom came in to tell me they are leaving. “Now is the time to let us know if you are coming”, she said.
“I am not coming, Mom.” I told her.
I heard all of them leaving and heard the final door shut. At that exact moment, I heard this very audible voice saying,”If you do not get up now, you will spend the rest of your life in bed.” What!? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in bed. I jumped out of bed, in my t-shirt and boxers and ran out the door. They were just pulling out and I was able to flag them down. I asked if they could give me 5 minutes to get dressed. It was probably one of the best times we had as a family, and we just ran around doing errands. Ever since that moment, I know that I am not alone.
My belief that He loves me.
As I before mentioned, I suffered from depression. So, I had my ups and my downs. During one particular moment in the 10th grade, I felt extremely low. I didn’t necessarily have suicidal thoughts, but I had thoughts, “Would anyone miss me if I was gone?”
I was in my room in the afternoon in tears, thinking that no one liked me or even loved me. Would they miss me? I was sitting on the edge of my bed and verbally said,”No one loves me, not even my family.” I kid you not about this next moment. It was as if someone put their arm over my shoulder, like a side hug, squeezing me, and a voice said,”I am here. I love you.” Instead of tears of sorrow, I had tears of joy! I felt this total bliss that my Heavenly Father loves me. ME! Of all people to love, He loves me. I came to find out later, He loves everyone. But He spent the time to tell me He loves me, when I needed it the most.
As I write this, I have tears of joy! Without these experiences I would not be who I am today.
Elder Bednar once said,”three basic elements of faith: (1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for which are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings. I describe these three components of faith in the Savior as simultaneously facing the future, looking to the past, and initiating action in the present.”
I have shared the “assurance of things,” So don’t just believe me that He exists, He is with us, and He loves us. Find out for yourself. Take action, and gain the “evidence” for yourself so you can always be moving towards Him.
I know everyone has different experiences why we believe. So, why do you believe? How have you felt His presence in your life?