By John B.
At the age of five, I moved to Orange County, California with my mom where my love for sports was becoming deeply rooted into my DNA. Being from California, I love to be outside. That is a good thing because I love sports. Sports are a passion of mine. I live, love, and breathe sports. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. My parents divorced when I was ten months old. The transition back and forth was difficult going from Mom’s house, with no religion because none of them felt in sync with her realistic beliefs, to Dad’s house, with a religion with fire and brimstone that has been the family religion for decades!
A handful of years later I met my best friend on a sports team. I was only nine years old, but something was out of the ordinary to me about my friend and his family. They had something I wanted and yearned for—bliss. As practices and games continued I began to spend more time with them until I was spending almost 24 hours a day and six days a week of my time with this family! I shared sleepovers, family gatherings, road trips, family nights, play dates, dinners, and everything else.
Not being able to play with them on Sundays like we did throughout the rest of the week seemed odd, but I accepted it. My friend then invited me to come to church. I didn’t want this because I wanted to be with him and not some church where everyone says, “Shush!” By this time though, I so loved my friend and his family that I wanted to be them and do what they did. Whatever it was and whatever they did brought them happiness, which made me happy. Their examples were powerful to me.
I went to church and found that it too was a happy place—a place of refuge and calm from the outside world, a place to gather thoughts and emotions, and to leave my trials and tribulations to the Lord. I found peace and happiness within the walls of a church building. Attending classes only made my connection to God closer. As I continued my search for happiness, not only did I meet new friends, but I also gained a closer connection to what made me so happy and what guided me to these special friends: God.
I am of a firm belief that the organization of the church and the tidiness of it all is what helped me to have a spiritual experience, and be converted. I have a strong knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, God is our Father in Heaven, and that He gives us modern day prophets to lead and guide us by the Spirit. Much of this guidance comes from belonging to an organization which teaches and loves those who attend.