The Lost Pamphlet

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“The Lost Pamphlet,” Ensign, Feb. 2001, 60–61

The Lost Pamphlet

I was born and raised in El Progreso, a small town in southern Guatemala. When I was about 10 years old, an unusual pamphlet came into my hands. It contained the story of Joseph Smith, a young boy who saw a vision of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I was deeply impressed by this story. Unsatisfied with the training I was receiving in the religion of my parents, I wanted to know more about the boy in the pamphlet. But I didn’t know where to get information. In time I lost the pamphlet, but I never forgot about it. I wondered if I would ever find another like it.

As a teenager and young adult, I investigated several religious denominations. I even took classes in their doctrine and received diplomas. But there were aspects of these religions that troubled me, and I felt uncomfortable with the criticism that clergy of different faiths sometimes directed at one another. By this time I had started reading the Bible, and as I compared the Bible with what I saw in the religions I had studied, I became convinced those religions lacked God’s authority.

I knelt many times in prayer, pleading with God to guide me to His true Church. I promised that if He did, I would be faithful in keeping His commandments and would always serve Him.

I had dreams, too, in which I told God I was willing to do anything to receive forgiveness for my sins. I would wake up and find my pillow wet with tears. I also asked God to help me find the pamphlet about Joseph Smith again.

By 1968 I had a wife and son. We moved to Guatemala City so I could find better employment.

On the afternoon of 20 November 1975, two young American women, simply dressed, knocked on our door. They said they had a message for my family. We made an appointment for them to come back at a later time.

I remember the first discussion clearly. One of the young women said a prayer, and then the other one began to talk about Joseph Smith. In her hands was a copy of the pamphlet I had read as a boy! My search for the truth had come to an end in my own living room.

No words can express what I felt at that moment. I wanted to snatch the pamphlet out of her hands. The sisters noticed the way I was looking at it and said they would leave it with me. When they gave me that precious pamphlet, I could hardly believe it. I put it in my shirt pocket to keep it near my heart.

Two days later the sisters returned. When they saw the pamphlet in my pocket, they asked if I had read it. I told them they didn’t realize what it meant to me. I explained I had read it as a boy and had prayed to find it again.

On Sunday our family went to church. We arrived very early, and the sisters were surprised to see us. They hadn’t really invited us, just told us where the building was.

The sisters continued to teach us. Although they didn’t speak Spanish very well, they taught by the Holy Ghost. When they taught us about repentance, I felt something I had never felt before and started to cry. Then I realized we were all crying. I was convinced I had found the true Church.

My wife, Rosa Élida, had a similar experience. It happened when the sisters invited us to be baptized. “Sister Salguero,” they asked, “do you want to follow the Savior?” She realized right then that she did.

When I asked the Lord to help me find His Church, I promised I would serve Him. From the first time I went to church, I have faithfully attended and have tried to serve diligently. I have had many wonderful Church callings, including serving twice as bishop. My wife has served in the Primary and Relief Society and in the family history program. My eldest son served a full-time mission, and now his younger brother is preparing to serve. We have two daughters who are also active in the Church.

Whenever I am asked to speak in church, I try to communicate the joy I feel as a member of the Lord’s Church. I know that God lives and that through the Prophet Joseph Smith He has restored to us His gospel, His Church, and the authority of His priesthood.