Monday, April 13, 2009

Mormons Were Out to Get Me!

Deanna's Conversion Story

I’m not sure if my story is terribly unique from others you have available to you but it usually causes some raised eyebrows!

In 1995 I was an opportunity select active Catholic. My life has not been one raised in any church. As a matter of fact, my world had been anything but one of any faith at all.

I was not raised by my mother, but off and on by one of her sisters and her husband. My world was one of complete insecurity. I never had a home that was mine. Furniture that was mine. Even my clothing was usually borrowed or hand me downs until I was too old for the process.

Alcohol was an everyday affair in my family. Lots and lots of alcohol. Along with being sexually abused by two of my uncles these “assets” created a woman with serious anger issues, extreme insecurity and my own alcoholism. I had no successful or appropriate relationship examples in my life. I would fall into the trap of relationship after relationship trying to fill the hole in my soul for love.

By 1995 I had five living children and one that was killed in my seventh month of pregnancy due to a car accident that almost killed me as well. I won’t go into all the times I can look back on and find myself amazed I lived through them. In many ways my life was comparative to Glenn Beck. It seemed like the “Mormons were out to get me”!

It 1974 I went to the LDS Church with my neighbors. I was searching everywhere in every church around for a place where I “fit”. I loved the services, but unfortunately becoming members of the church destroyed the marriage of my neighbors. While the husband found a true calling to the Church, his wife found it confining and old fashioned. During their divorce their home was up for sale. The real estate agent had come to evaluate the home for his listing and left the gate to the pool unlocked. To cut a long story short, my second son fell in the pool and was nearly drowned. When he was in the hospital Richard’s Bishopric came and gave him a blessing. Every machine that Jason was attached to went quiet as soon as they laid hands on him. Two days later he was out of the hospital with a doctor – a man with only faith in science and medicine – amazed that he lived nonetheless was whole mentally.

But did I join the Church then? Oh no. Not stubborn me. Several years and many LDS friends and colleagues went by. My eldest son married a very sweet girl in 1992. Her family was LDS but she was inactive at the time. Again, long story short – by the time they had been married three years they had lost two children. Amy was pregnant again and Christopher came into the world quite healthy and happy. Don was sent overseas in the Marines and Amy took her little boy back to Church.

When Don came home he had agreed he would go to Church with Amy but never said he would agree he would join the faith. During the summer of 1995 my youngest daughter went to spend the summer with her brother so she was attending with the family as well. Due to health issues my daughter had it was necessary to allow Don to have custodial rights in case she needed to be treated. So when Don called me with the “news” everything was pretty much over and done with.

He called me at work and announced to me that the last Saturday he AND Kathleen were baptized and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was furious! What in the world did he think he was doing? By the time Katie came home to start school I had calmed down enough to look for a new place to live that would allow me to take Katie to Church and still be close enough for me to go to Mass. We went on this was until 1996.

Katie and Don were both quite the Missionaries. By spring of 1996 I agreed to take discussions but only so that I could prove them both wrong! I was baptized by my son (his first!) six weeks later. Since that time I have served in Relief Society presidencies, been called as a teacher, Stake Missionary, and found that place of security and family I never had as a child. When my first Bishop taught me about my Patriarchal Blessing and I had learned that I could continue to learn and grow and take it all with me to be with Heavenly Father. My Blessing told of my position of Warrior in the Pre-Mortal life (which explained my drive for justice), a calling to Family History and Genealogy and a promise of attending the Temple.

I was endowed in the Las Vegas Temple one year later.

My life now is clean and sober. While my husband is not a member he supports my membership whole heartedly. Two of my grandchildren attend church with me weekly (unfortunately, their parents are divorced) and love the scouts and Young Women programs they are involved in. I am serving as the Relief Society Secretary.

Keep up the good work. The Mission Field is white and ready for harvest – especially right now. May Heavenly Father bless your works and your world.

2 comments:

  1. Incredible. These are the people I hope I meet on my mission.

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  2. Well done and welcome Sister! My conversion story is some what similar but I lost faith for a time and I am moving back into the church a changed person. I had so much contact with LDS members before joining and I so badly wanted my Doctor, Chiropractor, friend to say let me take you to my church but it was not until some time later that some 'spunky' female missionaries told me they needed to practice teaching the lessons and I said OK. They were so filled with the Holy Spirit, they asked me to make a date for baptism and I did! No regrets at all. 12 years later now. Time flies and I have a lot of work to do here. God bless you Sister, hold on to the rod!

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