Many years ago, when I lost my loving mom and dad, I thought it was the end of the world. As a 10-year-old boy with very little faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and very little understanding of the Plan of Salvation, I was troubled in my soul. I could not understand why I had to go through such a hard experience. I could not understand how could a loving Heavenly Father take both of my parents and on top of that allow my relatives to come and take everything that my parents had left for me and my siblings. My soul was deeply wounded.
But then, my loving mother left me with one gift. A divine lesson that she taught me for many years before she died. Every morning we would kneel on the side of the bed and pray, before we sleep we would kneel on the side of the bed and pray, before we eat we would bless the food and give thanks to God for the provision. My mom taught me how to pray, she taught me that the is a loving Heavenly Father who loves us dearly and always watches over us. Although she did not know much about the Plan of Salvation, she knew there was a God. And that is the doctrine that she taught me before she died. It was embedded in my soul. I grew up a prayerful boy. Although my Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was very little, but I always prayed in His name. My mom was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but she had strong Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which led her to influence me for good.
As I grew older, my life became harder and harder, especially when I was attending college. I got to a point in my life where I went deep into the world and got involved with what the prophets call in the Book of Mormon the vain imaginations of the world, things of no value. I was caught up into addiction and all sort of wickedness. I became a lover of the world. I started not to pray as often as I used to. I got to a point where I was considering myself amongst those that called themselves atheists, lying to myself that the is no God. Despite that midst of darkness, the light of Christ brought a question to my soul. In my school we had a lot of Christians which led me to develop a question in my soul. The question was, who is Jesus Christ? It is that very question that led me to visit a lot of different Christian denominations. In all those denominations, I always felt like my question was not answered at all. But when the Lord had prepared my heart and mind, I eventually met the missionaries. They were teaching my friend who attended the same class with me at school.
I joined one of their lessons and they answered my question from the very first meeting that we had. As they kept on seeing me, they answered a lot of questions of my soul. They were feeding my soul. They connected the Holy Ghost with the light of Christ in me and I had that celestial spark. The time when they taught me the Plan of Salvation, they laid the fall of man before me and helped me view my carnal nature. I did not only gain an understanding that death is not the end, that Jesus Christ conquered death. But I gained light, I gained truth, I viewed myself in my own carnal state, even less that the dust of the earth. From that very moment I desired a remission of my sins. I could not wait for my day of baptism like King Lamoni’s Father I desired that the wicked spirit in me, would be rooted out of my breast, and receive the Spirit of the Lord, that I may not be cast off at the last day.
When I was baptized on the 20th of December in 2014. My life was completely changed. I received a remission of my sins, and plus the gift of the Holy Ghost. My testimony about the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ and His redeeming power tremendously increased. As I stayed faithful and kept the promises that I made during the day of my baptism, I continued to receive more light. I continued to understand things as they really are. The more I applied the truths that I continued to receive from the Holy Ghost the more my Faith in the Lord increased. I reached a point where I desired to serve a full-time mission.
That desire came because of the many sacred experiences I had as I strived to live the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of those, was a visit that I had from my late Father after I took his name to the temple to perform a proxy baptism for him. The Lord permitted him to give me a confirmation that the baptism is something that he had been waiting for. Serving a mission is the biggest thing that has ever happened in my entire mortal life in strengthening my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As I turned away from the world and turned towards the Lord, I have come to not only know about Him, but know Him, literally. He Has made Himself manifest to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. All the rules that are given to missionaries they come from Heaven and they are for the benefit of the missionaries. They help missionaries retain the remission of their sins and starve the natural man which is the quickest way to put him off.
On my mission I have not just been blessed to deeply understand the atonement of Jesus Christ, but I was also blessed with the chance to utilize it to retain the remission of my sins and also I have been enjoying its enabling power. I have been blessed with an opportunity not only to be cleansed from sin but also to receive the image of the Lord Jesus Christ in my countenance. I have grown in becoming. I can say I have grown in charity which is a gift to those that are true followers of Christ. I have felt so much joy, the kind of joy that nothing of this world can give. I have been blessed to serve with awesome companions as well, that are more like brothers to me now.
I would like to talk a little about one of them. Elder Roche! He has been a brother to me. He was not just my mission companion, but we became friends and brothers. We worked very hard together and most importantly we loved each other. We further shared that love we had for each other with the people that we served. The love of Christ was flowing through us and reaching His people. I have learnt a lot of things from Elder Roche, both from His words and even His deeds. He helped me polish up my teaching skills. He helped me learn how to teach not just to cover lessons but teach to help those that we teach come unto Christ. We taught by the power of the spirit, we taught for conversion unto the Lord Jesus Christ. We taught for a mighty change of heart and fresh view of God and the world. We were preaching nothing but repentance. This might be funny, but Elder Roche also helped my Krio improve 😊.
We had a lot in common and during this course of striving to magnify our calling, we were also trying to overcome our weaknesses by relying on the Savior each day of our lives. I remember the goals that we set together and how much efforts we put towards achieving them with the help of the Lord of course. That helped me to improve in planning. I learnt to be more specific when it comes to setting goals, I learnt how to set simple goals that would bring big results. I remember during one weekly planning we realized that we did not have anyone feeding us in our area. We set a goal on getting FMs (free meals). Eventually we started to get FMs (free meals) as we acted in Faith. Our area became a model area in as much as teaching and proselyting is concerned, but not just our area, even us we became more like the Savior during that process. I will always miss Elder Roche. In fact, I love him dearly.
To cut the long story short. I know with a surety of my mind, might and soul that Heavenly Father came up with the perfect plan of salvation. I know it is a plan to help us feel His love and eventually progress to BECOME like Him. I know that Jesus Christ because of His humility and character, He made salvation possible. He suffered the will of the Father. He showed us the Father in everything that He did. When He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane more that man can suffer except it be unto death, bleeding from every pore and took upon Him all the sins, pains and afflictions of all kind and died on the cross. He was showing us the Love that Heavenly Father has for all His children. When He resurrected, He was showing us that Heavenly Father Has a glorified perfected immortal body.
I know that the Holy Ghost is the teacher of the plan of Salvation. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a principle of action, it grows as we choose Jesus Christ in our actions, words and thoughts. I testify that the plan of salvation is real. I testify that through His stripes we are healed. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that every single prophecy written in it will be fulfilled. It teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ very plainly. I testify that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true Church. It is led by Jesus Christ Himself through the power of revelation. The priesthood is here today, and those who humble themselves and go through the saving ordinances of the priesthood and stay faithful and repent daily. They will have the doctrine of the priesthood distil upon their soul as the dews from heaven. Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can feel joy in this life as we are sanctified. Through the atonement of Jesus, we can become pure and enjoy the fullness of joy after this life. I know that PRIDE is what stops the children of man from knowing the Lord and receiving His hand. I testify that our bodies are the temple of the Lord. I testify that the purpose of this life is to use our bodies in such a way that we present them pure in the last day. I know that sanctification is real, it comes to those who seek Jesus Christ with all diligence and humility in their hearts. I leave this in the holy name of the Master, even Jesus Christ Amen.