“Not Just Another Business,” Ensign, Oct. 2003, 65–66
Not Just Another Business
Although my husband and I came from families with religious and moral principles, we were not satisfied with the way our own family of five was progressing spiritually. I attended the same church we had been reared in, accompanied by our three children—Beverly, Janice, and Ralph. My husband, Raúl, didn’t go to church because he thought that all churches were businesses. He thought they were highly commercialized and that many of the leaders profited from the members’ donations. He also believed religious literature should not be purchased but should be given to people who are interested in it.
In February 1986 my husband chanced to see two Latter-day Saint missionaries walk by our house, and he called them over. His intent was to ask them if the church they represented was interested in buying a lot to build a meetinghouse on. My husband is in the real estate business, so he saw this meeting as a sales opportunity.
The missionaries were not able to give him any information on that matter, but they didn’t miss this chance to ask him if they could set up an appointment for a discussion about the restored gospel. My husband was certain this was just another church like all the others he had come in contact with before, so he asked them to come back the next day. He intended to show them that their church just used God to do business.
We received the missionaries the next day with a bit of suspicion. But as they proceeded to talk to us about the Church and its history, we began to feel something very special in our hearts. When they left they gave us copies of the Book of Mormon, and my husband asked how much he owed for them. To his surprise, the books were free. His surprise was even greater when he realized that this Church was not a business. He became interested and started asking the missionaries all kind of questions.
We went to church every Sunday after that, and by 15 July 1987 our whole family had become converted. We were baptized and later were sealed for eternity as a family in the temple. Our son, Ralph, served as a full-time missionary and later married in the temple. Our two daughters have married returned missionaries in the temple, and we now have nine beautiful and healthy grandchildren.
My husband and I have served in many callings in the Church and have continued to grow spiritually and to help the gospel grow in our branch, located in the southern part of our beautiful isle of enchantment, Puerto Rico. My husband has presided over the Salinas Branch twice. The work has been hard, but we know that our example as a branch has left many seeds scattered over our little town.
What more could we ask of our Heavenly Father? Our gratitude is eternal. What started as a simple sales conversation and an effort to prove the Church was a business came to be the greatest possible celestial transaction for our family—the opportunity to be united with each other, with our Savior Jesus Christ, and with our Heavenly Father.