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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inquiring minds want to know, part I

Earlier this week my friend Kris asked about my Grandpa's and my mom's conversion stories.

Since I obviously think they're pretty interesting, I got my mom's permission to share more details about her discovery of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Would you believe me if I told you her conversion was initiated by a project she undertook her junior year of high school? My mom participated in a project Sophia did at BYU last year, and here is her story in her own words:

"In junior year of high school, the course of study in my English class was American literature. In January of that year, the teacher announced that we would be writing a term paper. The subject for the paper had to be something American in origin; an American author, poet, industry, product, etc. At the same time that I was trying to decide on a topic, I became increasingly aware of the Church.

"At that time, my mother was often making disparaging remarks about the Church. The daughter and son-in-law of one of my mother’s good friends had recently joined the Church, causing a lot of dissension within their Catholic family. I was also hearing about the Church from a classmate who talked about the missionaries who were visiting her family. When I learned that this was an American religion that formed as the result of a young boy with a vision in Palmyra, NY, I had my term paper topic.

"When I began my project, I found myself short on materials. The research phase of the paper was supposed to take several weeks; mine was going to be done in a few minutes. Our encyclopedia had a couple of paragraphs and the local library had one book, Meet the Mormons. My classmate said she could put me in touch with the missionaries who had filmstrips, pamphlets and a book. I called the missionaries and set up a time to interview them. Armed with a series of questions about the history, demographics, and basic teachings of the church, I dutifully filled in the blanks. I had no interest in learning any more about the Church than what I felt was necessary to complete the term paper.

"As I started reviewing my notes and writing the first draft of the paper, I realized I didn’t have the book; I didn’t have a Book of Mormon. I called the missionaries and asked them if they had a copy of the Book of Mormon that I could have. From the title, I thought it would be some kind of reference guide. I met them during the week but didn’t have time to look at the book until the weekend."

Check back next week to read the rest of my mom's story! In the meantime, if you'd like your own copy of The Book of Mormon, please let me know.


  1. hi liv -
    i just wanted to say that i have enjoyed reading your blog entries. also, that you gave me the book of mormon in high school with a lovely little note written inside(remember?). and even though i am not a member of the church, i still have it and it is still very special to me.

  2. I like these stories- keep going please :)


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