This story is part of our Tales of Return collection. Read more from Tales of Return.
I have not walked a traditional or simple journey of faith. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but struggled with inactivity for almost thirteen years. This is the tale of my return to activity.
I was baptized in 2005 after meeting the missionaries who lived in our neighborhood and taking the discussions with them. I knew about the Church already; my college boyfriend’s parents were LDS, and his father had always been kind to me. We had talked about his faith and the seeds that he planted were cultivated by the missionaries’ lessons. However, it was not easy being the only member of my family who joined the Church. My husband was skeptical of the Church’s beliefs. While he respected the family-oriented nature of the LDS Church, he felt that the doctrine was “legalistic,” and the principle of tithing made him especially uncomfortable. My husband was eventually baptized, but quickly became inactive. As I grew in my faith, he started to look in other places for information on the Church, turning to sources on the internet and YouTube. As his discomfort grew, I also became less active.
I returned to church periodically, trying to resume activity; however, each time, it became a stumbling block in my marriage. I became confused. Who did I choose? My husband, or worshiping my Heavenly Father and my Savior in the true church? I became more uncertain when my husband tried showing me some of the material he found. However, I knew that the sources he was accessing were deceitful. My discomfort persisted as our family tried other churches. None of them brought me the certainty of truth, peace, and love that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did. The Spirit had not left me. My quest for faith in Jesus Christ always led back to one place—the true church.
One day in the fall of 2018, my 13-year old daughter came to me, looked me straight in the eye, and said that she wanted to try going back to the LDS church—and that she wanted me to come with her. We talked about it, prayed about it, and decided that the Spirit was directing us to return to church. When I talked to my husband about it, he was not exactly excited, but he remembered the many times he had told our daughter that he would support whatever faith she chose. Now, he had to put that into practice! The beautiful Sunday she and I walked into our ward’s chapel for Sacrament meeting was one of the best and most memorable of my life. As I sat in the pew, listening to the sacred hymns, with my daughter smiling by my side, I knew with complete certainty that I was home. I realized that I know the truth, and as much as I love my husband and wish to honor him, I would find a way to nurture my marriage while also nurturing my faith. I made an appointment with my bishop, who turned out to be one of my strongest advocates as I returned to activity in the Church. I gratefully accepted a calling in the Relief Society, which has allowed me to get to know the women of our ward—and in so doing, I met a whole sisterhood who have supported and loved me as I became an active, involved member of our congregation. My bishop encouraged me to attend Temple Prep class; I did, and I loved every minute of it. The day I went to the temple for the first time was one of the most profound days of my life.
My faith has come full circle. My husband comes to church with us every Sunday now, and my fifteen-year-old son was baptized this month! Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, The Gospel, the Church, and my faith are sources of incredible joy. I am not willing to live without them, and I have learned that when they are under attack, I must lean not upon my own understanding, but trust in the Lord with all my heart.