“Find Me a Mormon,” Ensign, Jan. 1996, 51–53
While my husband, Ray, and I were on vacation in New Zealand, we were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. We were touring the South Island on a motorcycle when we collided, head-on, with a car. I knew the accident was serious, and although I had not been active in the Church since my childhood, I felt we needed to have a priesthood blessing.
I kept asking the attendants at the small medical facility in Cromwell to find me a Mormon.
Eventually I was given a blessing by the branch president in Cromwell, and for the first time in many years I felt the Holy Ghost comforting me and filling me with peace. Suddenly I felt that Ray and I were going to be all right. Ray had been flown to the city of Dunedin, where missionaries met him at the hospital and administered to him. I was later taken to Dunedin.
Word soon spread among members of the Church in Dunedin that there was a Canadian couple in the hospital who needed them. These dear people responded with so much love and attention that it astonished us. They all but adopted us, and I could not understand why. Ray was not even a member of the Church, and I had not been active. I wondered why these Saints should care about us. When I asked them about it, I was told that it did not matter who or what I was—we are all children of our Heavenly Father and that was reason enough to care about us.
The mission president for Dunedin at that time was President Norman. The nurses and patients all liked him and referred to him as “Norman the Mormon.” On one of his visits, Brother Norman gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and asked me to read it. There was not much else to do in the hospital, so I began to read.
As I read, my mind filled with questions. Sometimes Church members would drop by and I would quiz them, and sometimes I was left to ponder my questions. Inevitably, when I would start reading again, I would find an answer to my question. It happened many times and made me want to keep reading.
Each day when the nurses would wheel my bed down the hall to my husband’s room, I would tell him all about what I had read that day. Ray would want to know what was happening with characters such as Nephi or Alma. These people were becoming real for us and we were becoming intrigued by them.
Eventually I was released from the hospital to the nurse’s residence across the street. I took the Book of Mormon along and continued to read. Although I spent most of my time at the hospital with Ray, at night before going to sleep I would lie in bed and read. It was during this time that I began to pray again. These quiet conversations with my Heavenly Father brought peace and comfort to my soul.
Long before I read the promise in Moroni 10:4 [Moro. 10:4], I had been asking if the Book of Mormon was true. I would read something and think to myself, Did this really happen? Almost immediately I would respond, Yes, it really did. When I tested Moroni’s promise and prayed about the Book of Mormon, however, it was different. It was not a thought that came into my mind, but a powerful, almost overwhelming feeling. It was like the feeling I had right after the accident when I received the priesthood blessing, but much stronger. I knew the Book of Mormon was true.
Two days after I finished reading the Book of Mormon, Ray and I flew back to Canada. More than seven years have passed since the accident. Ray and I are active members of the Church. In 1990 I gave birth to one of our Heavenly Father’s choice spirits, and Ray, who now holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, was able to give him a name and a blessing. Our lives have changed dramatically since that time we spent in New Zealand; we credit much of that change to the Book of Mormon and to the Saints who shared their love with us.