I was born in the church to a great family and liked church as a young boy. I was also one of those odd kids who knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up even while I was very young. I wanted to be an engineer or inventor, and as this was my desire later on for life I had a natural love for science and physics. I was baptized at 8 and enjoyed my time in the church, never wavering in my early youth.
At the age of 15 I knew life was presenting choices to me for the future. I had previously kept all the commandments of the church, but one was starting to seem difficult to me, I wanted to ski on Sunday. It seemed as if every Sunday the sky was clear and the snow was fresh. We would usually go to my families cabin for dinner after church and I was well aware that the ski lines at Sundance Resort were empty on Sunday.
I made up my mind to prove that God didn't exist, or that the church wasn't true using science. I started with evolution, until I read writings of several LDS authors about it and my argument was lost. I knew I had something with the Big Bang Theory until I went to my mom who smiled and said “out of everything nothing was created? Then who lit the match to start the explosion?” Once again I'd failed. I tried against the Book of Mormon but the evidence for it was overwhelming.
After my brief run trying to prove the church incorrect I was left with an intense desire to know if it was true. I always read the Book of Mormon at night and focused on Moroni's promise. Days went by with me on my knees every night, never knowing for sure. After about 2 weeks of trying I attended a baptism of a friend on a Saturday that would have been the perfect ski day. There, in the Stake Center sitting between my friends Matt and Jessica I felt the spirit really strong as a hymn was playing; in that moment I asked the Lord if that was my answer and that emotion that I'd never felt so strong before grew to a massive degree and so I asked again “Lord, does this feeling mean that Joseph Smith was your prophet of the restoration and the Book of Mormon is true?”, and as it grew again I received light and knowledge from heaven.
That was the first time in my life that knowledge was given to me like that. Everything else I'd studied was learned by study and based on theories, equations, or principals; this was so different as it stood alone as divine knowledge in my mind. I didn't head back to ski that day as I had previously thought to do, and the following day walking to church that mountain was non temptation for me.
Seventeen years later much has changed, but I still know. I've been on a mission in Italy, married a girl much better and prettier than I deserve in the temple, blessed with 3 great kids. I've watched my dad be called as a General Authority and seen the dedication, increadible sacrifice, love, and goodness of those with whom he serves. Most inspiring are the 13 sophomores who attend my seminary class each morning who are willing to wake up an hour early to read the New Testament with me.
All these blessings and the anchor of my faith was gained in a moment when I needed to know, so I asked, and He answered. I'll forever be grateful to the Lord for that witness and the blessings that have flowed from it into my life.