“The Savior Had Not Forgotten Me,” Ensign, June 2009, 74
When I was young, my mother taught me how to pray, and I would attend church with her every Sunday. My sister and brother were members of the choir at the local parish church in Hertfordshire, England, and it seemed natural to follow their example and attend.
Because I was only eight years old, I wasn’t required to attend communion service early on Sunday mornings. I would sleep in but eventually would get up and cycle to the main morning service.
In the middle of the winter of 1952, with a foot of fresh snow on the ground outside and frost on the inside of my bedroom windows, I snuggled down in bed, determined not to go to church that Sunday.
My mother called for me to get up, but I pretended to be asleep. Then I could hear her footsteps as she started to climb the stairs. I called out, “It’s all right. I’m getting up.”
But then I said under my breath, “What’s the point? There is no such person named Jesus Christ anyway.” Immediately a voice came into my head and said to me, “There is, and you will serve me one day.” The voice seemed so natural, as if a friend were talking to me. The years went by, however, and I forgot about the experience.
I grew up, joined the Royal Navy, and after nine years began working for a fire-protection company. One evening after work, I heard a knock at the door. When I opened it, two sister missionaries introduced themselves. I was tired, dirty, and hungry, so I suggested that they come back later in the evening or some other time.
To my surprise they returned an hour later. I invited them in. As soon as they started talking, I knew there was something special about their message. My home felt different, and I knew it emanated from these two sisters.
They gave me the first discussion that night and the second discussion the following night. Two elders then came every night until I had received all the discussions. I began reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Getting down on my knees to pray for the first time in 20 years was the most spiritual experience I had had in my life.
I made the commitment to be baptized a week after finishing the discussions. After my baptism, Elder Ross and Elder Fullerger laid their hands on my head to give me the gift of the Holy Ghost. As soon as their hands touched my head, my experience with the Spirit 20 years before came back to me. Something precious that had been preserved within me—but had been suppressed by all the mistakes I had made in life—was spiritually reunited with my memory. I was overwhelmed to think that I meant so much to the Savior that He had not forgotten me.
I’m grateful to the missionaries who taught me the gospel and to the members of my first ward who nourished me. Most of all, I’m grateful to my Savior, whose existence I had once doubted but whom I now gratefully serve.