By Kat West
The day I got to walk down the aisle to be joined to my best friend and true love was the best day of my life. We exchanged rings as symbols of our never-ending unit. With clasped hands for all to witness, we proclaimed our love and unshakable devotion with our memorized vows. We shared heart-filled promises we intend to keep for a lifetime, and sealed it with a kiss. Til death do us part.
Over the year and a half we were dating, I was slowly exposed to Mormon culture and became genuinely curious. Above all else, the topic I was most interested in was “sealings”. To be sealed or united to your partner for eternity ignited a flicker of hope that our love might transcend death, a real-life happily ever after. It was this hope that became the key that would open the door to my faith. With that ambition guiding us, my husband and I decided to look into the church of Jesus Christ together after we got married. The first step was calling the missionaries to start receiving lessons about the basic beliefs of the church.
I was beyond nervous when the two Sisters came over to our house for dinner the following week. Would they be pushy? Judgmental? Outlandish? I didn’t know what to expect and still felt a bit skeptical. But the lasting impression the meeting had on me was something I could’ve never anticipated.
I can honestly say that meeting couldn’t have gone better. I felt completely comfortable the moment I met the two sister missionaries. They were nice, courteous, and polite. They asked if it would be okay to begin with a prayer, and I agreed to allow that to happen. We exchanged background stories and got to know each other and then started with the first lesson. I tried to keep an open mind.
What happened during that lesson is something I never believed possible, especially for me. Try as I may to justify it as anything else, I have to admit what I personally experienced can only be described as spiritual. I don’t think I would have believed the things they taught had it not been for the feeling that came over me. It was so powerful, enlightening and assuring it almost brought me to tears.
Before they left, they gave me one task: to pray to know if what they taught me is true. I felt there was no way I could deny that there wasn’t more to this religion, and I was excited to find out. So that night, not only did I keep an open mind, but also an open heart as I sincerely prayed for the first time in my life.
Without the teaching of the missionaries, I can truthfully say I would not be on this spiritual journey of finding faith. It has already blessed my life with so much love, tranquility and higher purpose that I never knew I needed.
The work of missionaries is so selfless. Young adults usually around 18-19, both male (Elders) and female (Sisters) volunteer to go on and personally fund their missions of 18 months -2 years. They leave the comfort of their homes, families and friends to be sent off to an assigned location in the world to help others find faith. I commend them for their bravery, strength and all they have sacrificed. Missionaries changed my life, and I’m eternally grateful.
Maybe one day I’ll go on a mission in hopes that I might be able to help someone like the Sisters did, and continue to do, for me. Yet for now, I want to dedicate this next 18 months to my personal mission on finding faith and purpose for myself though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.