I have been wanting to do an interview where I get questions from the people who are planning on reading my story. I first want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for following my posts and journey with this book endeavor. I have been planning on writing a book for a few years and it was incidental that I met a person that awakened that possibility. I can’t say much about that coincidence but that there is no such thing as coincidence in my world. If you believe in God, everything is placed around you for a reason and for a season. The question is: do we enjoy the winter if we know the summer is coming? I think we should try to enjoy the process. Do I struggle with this? Doesn’t everyone…but you will find comfort if you ask for help. My prayers have given me a certain fortitude and my wife has added another support where negativity could not linger for long. I could teach anything in college before people head to the real world it would be a few things: I believe my journey was unique to me because I had a different philosophy as I opened myself up for truth. If I had a school that taught me these things, It would have prepared me for my journey a little better.
1. Learn to take a one year sabbatical to find yourself and let it be a journey for truth wherever it takes you.
2. Learn how to ask for help.
3. Learn how to say “Sorry” and finding the best time to do it.
4. Learn how to find mentors that will take you where you want to go. Find the shepherds and not the herders. I am excited to answer the questions that showed up on my Facebook page.
5. When you change your beliefs, associate with those that lift you up higher….not choke your new self.
What was your most memorable part of your conversion? ( Erin Lassal) The most memorable part of my conversion was my baptism. I never felt so alive before the actual event happened. It was the whole day and how it felt. Their was this feeling of warmth that permeated the room. I felt it and I thought no one else did, but it seemed like all the church leaders did. Later, the Bishop admitted that it was one of the greatest baptisms he has ever witnessed. He was being authentic with me and it seemed like everyone that spoke cried that day. It was a joyous and I will never forget the feeling; a wonderful heat in my heart that felt like someone was hugging my heart. I have also been prompted by the Bishop to remember how I felt that day whenever times get rough. I have tried to follow his counsel and it has served me when I felt like I was drowning in the depths of Nova Scotia.
What experiences did God give you earlier in life to prepare you to receive the gospel when it was given to you? (Joshua Tanner) I believe the greatest thing God gave me were faithful members of the church. These members were willing to reach out of their backyard and share a seed with me. When I was living in Utah and I went to LDS business college, I noticed that the sheep were acting like sheep in a grander scale. They needed to step out and not feel comfortable in the Gospel. The point of the Gospel is to feel comfortable where the brush fire is the hottest. Where its hot is where people don’t know about the Gospel and some resistance may emanate from them. The resistance is confused for negativity, but their questions (even harsh ones) are signs of someone who is struggling to let the truth come to them. Be patient with them, they might be the most strong-headed atheists in the world..but than they will be a strong convert at the end. As Paul of Tarsus of old, killers of the Christian faith have the ability to become one of the best missionaries in the world. If you have courage to talk to people; make sure to encourage people do missionary work by sharing your success stories outside the mission field. Joshua, never give up your missionary zeal; let it become contagious by sharing stories of missionary work you are doing outside the field. Great question brother.
How do you feel personally, now that it is completed? Wish you had added something more? (Kathleen Russo) I am supposing you are talking about the Book? As far as the conversion, we all know that conversions never end. It’s a continuous process where you are ridding the natural man and having the Holy Ghost consecrate your Body and spirit to the Lord. As far as the book , I felt like I said everything that I needed to say. The last chapter is where I ask people to look deeper into religions; specifically into the mysterious Mormon faith. I once read something that changed the way I look at biblical term “mystery”. This was my favorite chapter. I am coming from the core of my heart; which is to spread the love of God everywhere I go. God Mystery: This is a mystery that was left a mystery by God’s personal choice. We can ponder all we want, but there is wisdom in Him withholding information. We are never chastised for asking. We are informed by a Perfect God to ask questions at all times. However, in some modern scriptures, where Moses was being trained by God before he led Israel, some scriptures suggest that God has a reason why he keeps things to Himself. I respect that and honor his choices and we should too. God Mysteries (Contingent on the Asker) Mysteries of God are spiritual truths known only by revelation. God reveals his mysteries to those who are obedient to the gospel. Some of God’s mysteries are yet to be revealed.
- It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven:Matt. 13:11;
- Though I understand all mysteries and have not charity, I am nothing:1 Cor. 13:2;
- Nephi had a great knowledge of the mysteries of God:1 Ne. 1:1;
- It is given to many to know the mysteries of God:Alma 12:9;
- To such is given to know the mysteries of God:Alma 26:22;
- These mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me:Alma 37:11;
- There are many mysteries that no man knows except God himself:Alma 40:3;
- How great is the mystery of godliness:D&C 19:10;
- If ye ask, ye shall receive revelation and know the mysteries of the kingdom:D&C 42:61, 65; ( 1 Cor. 2:7, 11–14; )
- He who keeps the commandments will be given the mysteries of the kingdom:D&C 63:23;
- To them will I reveal all mysteries:D&C 76:7;
- The greater priesthood holds the key of the mysteries:D&C 84:19;
- At his coming the Lord will reveal hidden things which no man knew:D&C 101:32–33;
- The Melchizedek Priesthood is to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom:D&C 107:19;
Mormonism is for the truth seeker. I call out with a loud cry in the last chapter. I feel with that chapter..I have said all I wanted to say. I am already working on a second book. Thanks Kathleen for the question. If I left anything out, It will be included in the second book. As of now, everything was said. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I would like it to encourage people to take a year off to find oneself and include Mormonism in your journey.
Do you have any regrets? (Miriam Vasquez) I do have one regret. I regret the motion that a religion is perfect and the people within it are perfect. If it is God’s church, leaders don’t make mistakes right? (buzzer) WRONG! They do make mistakes and they are not perfect in any way. Church is for the sick as much as for the whole. It is to convert the sick to health and to humble the whole to continue to achieve higher levels of obedience. If you have had a bad experience with a member of the church, then welcome to the club. I don’t follow the Commandments or go to church for people, I go to serve my God and to show my love for him. If he commands me to forgive and serve His children, then that is what I plan to do. My biggest regret is having a very quick trust with anyone in my faith and giving people credibility because of their religion. We should always be on our toes no matter what faith you come from. I love every faith and I should use the holy ghost to discern the character of a person. As Jesus would say ” I know your hearts”. He would say that even before they opened their mouths..my goal is to gain this type of discernment one day. Great question Miriam; your spirituality inspires me. You are one of the best associations I have in my life.
If you could have lunch with Jesus, what would you ask Him? (Martin Solis) Thanks Martin for the question. I would ask him: ( I would ask him two questions because I think he would know what I wanted to ask and that two of them are equal in importance). I can’t see him cutting me off if we had lunch and also if my first question was a simple answer. FIRST QUESTION: ” How is my mother doing and Is she proud of me?” SECOND QUESTION: I have heard that you have comforted many of your followers. The prophet Joseph Smith had many visitations and I would like to know what I am missing in order to have that relationship with you. We are one of the only faiths that truly believe the words of Christ when he spoke to his apostles. Joseph Smith elaborated that all his children have the capability to be personally mentored by Christ. However, you must be sanctified to the point where we would feel comfortable around His presence. I would like to refer to article by Thomas E. Sherry. He wrote this and it is archived in the Harold B. Lee Library.
The term “Second Comforter” refers to Jesus Christ in his role of ministering personally to his faithful followers (John 14:21-23; D&C 93:1;130:3). Jesus taught his disciples that the Holy Ghost was a comforter (John 14:26), but he also spoke of a second comforter (John 14:16-21). Latter-day Saints have been given additional understanding about the Second Comforter by the Prophet Joseph Smith: After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses….
Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; …when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born [TPJS, pp. 150-51]. The Lord has counseled his Saints to “seek his face” (D&C 101:37-38). No sinful person can endure his presence, and hence will not obtain the blessing (D&C 67:10-13; JST Ex. 33:11, 20). In God’s wisdom, some faithful individuals are blessed with the Second Comforter while remaining in mortality. [See also Calling and Election; Jesus Christ: Latter-Day Appearances of Jesus Christ.]
I appreciate all the questions you posted. I am looking to share more posts where I can answer your questions especially once the book is released. If you have a question about my conversion from Catholicism to Mormonism; feel free to comment on this post and I will answer them. If I could do my conversion all over again, I would. It was a great journey and having it published for my posterity and all my brothers and sisters in the world would be an honor. I know I will receive criticism, but I hope this book will teach tolerance.
My biggest desire for everyone is to save up funds and take a a few months (or a year if necessary ) to find out what your doing here on earth. What is your eternal purpose? You give up your time for other people, why not give time to yourself and your Creator? You can’t take a hertz to your grave, so why not find out who you really are. This is truly my greatest desire for everyone in the world.
Do you have a conversion story? Have you ever thought about sharing it? Do you have any questions about the Mormon faith? Do you know anyone Mormon? Have you ever thought about taking some time off to learn more about yourself?