“Unconditional Love” by Vertical Bones
By blog contributor, Teresa Delp
I would like to tell you my conversion story, not because of its importance, but because of the miraculous change that it made in my life. Even though I was 57 years old, it taught me that it is never too late for Heavenly Father to turn your life around. He has given me back everything I missed in my life.
I grew up in another faith where I was a devout member my whole life. Despite my commitment, I never felt accepted. Because of my visual impairment, they felt that I could not be beneficial to them so consequently was never asked to participate in any church function or activity. In my heart, I knew that many of their theological teachings were not right, but I had no answers. Then suddenly, Heavenly Father reached down for my hand and guided me in the right direction. He had a plan for me, and He was definitely in charge.
While visiting the home of a neighbor, the Lord placed two missionaries there at exactly the right time. My neighbors were new members of the Mormon faith and the missionaries had come to visit them. I was unaffected by this because I was already a member of another church and was on my way out the door. Heavenly Father had a better plan. I found myself so intensely involved in their conversation that I never made it to the door. The spirit drew me in and I just had to know more and more about what they believed. They were extremely kind and understanding and as I spoke with them, I could feel Heavenly Father’s love all around me.
After that day, the missionaries came to visit me in my home in an effort to be kind and helpful although it was understood that I was a member of another church. While visiting with me something quite unexpected happened; I found myself asking them to teach me about the Mormon faith through a series of discussions. They were so surprised! Here I was, an older devout member of another faith, interested in learning more about the LDS church! Their surprise and happiness was a delight.
This was a very exciting and difficult period in my life. From the day I had my very first discussion with the missionaries, Satan seemed to be attached to my heel. He knew my weaknesses and which buttons to push. He used all of them to try and stop me from progressing in the Gospel.
The first weakness he used against me was my terrible fear of water. As a result, I put of my baptismal date time after time. Another tactic was to send old-friends by to pressure me not to join the church. They kept showing up at my door, insisting that I did not understand what I was getting myself into. They even brought anti-Mormon literature for me to read. I told them I was not interested in reading, nor would my poor vision allow it. They offered to read it to me but I kindly asked them to leave. When they wouldn’t back down, I was forced to get tough on them. I told them that my disability was my vision and not my mental capacity. Before long, they left me alone.
Unfortunately after only four discussions, the missionaries were sent to a different location due to the severe winter weather. I was very disappointed but knew in my heart that Heavenly Father would find a way for me to finish hearing their message–and He did.
“Balloon Aerialist” by Cobalt 123
To me, the sister missionaries were ministering angels, sent to me by Heavenly Father. I know this is true because I allowed them into my life and heart. I was instantly friends with one missionary in particular, Sister Dye. When I was ready to start taking the discussions, she was transferred to serve in another area. We kept in touch and she continued to be an amazing support and inspiration. After the long winter and losing our missionaries, she was concerned that I may change my mind and not join the church–especially since I had not heard their final two messages. Luckily, she was able to get permission from the Mission President to come back to Boone and give me the discussions. She and her companion did an excellent job teaching me about the Gospel and went out of their way to use visuals that were large enough for me to see. As we sat around the table studying, the Holy Spirit was extremely present. I will never forget this touching experience.
I was now ready to set a date to be baptized. Sister Dye was finishing up her 18 month mission that May and her parents were coming to pick her up and to visit for a few days. Her family came to Boone and on May 8th, her father, Gary Dye, baptized me. Very tearfully, Sister Dye and I sang together at my baptism. Another one of my beloved missionaries flew in from Utah to attend this special event. I was confirmed a member of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost the very next day.
All of this was truly special to me and will remain in my heart forever. Sister Dye and I share a very special bond and our hearts and lives will always be joined. This has been a tremendous blessing in my life. Because of this Church, I have received many blessings from Heavenly Father. He has filled so many voids in my life and has given me new direction. He has even given me a new family to fill an empty space from long ago. The people have taken me under their wings and into their hearts. Through them, I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love. They have taught me so much about the Gospel and shared with me lots of new experiences. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to this Church and this Gospel. It has miraculously changed my life.
May Heavenly Father walk by your side and bless your life as He has mine.