Where Did I Come From?

“Where Did I Come From?” Ensign, July 2010, 69

Where Did I Come From?

Betty Hollowell, Indiana, USA

As a young child I often wondered, “Where did I come from?” Deep within my heart I knew I had lived somewhere before I became who I am now, but I had no idea where.

For many years I was afraid to tell anyone—even my parents—for fear they would think I was crazy. But one day while I was in my early teens, I was brave enough to ask the pastor of our church, “Where did we live before we came to earth?” He told me I should not think about such things. He said no one lives anywhere before they are born; we simply do not exist in any way before.

I was afraid he was right and that I was crazy, but I still could not put these thoughts out of my mind. I kept searching, but no one had any answers.

When I was 18 years old, our family moved. I thought the preachers in our new town might know more than our last preacher, so I decided to ask one of them my question. His response was the same: he told me it was not normal to think of such things and suggested that I see a psychiatrist.

Soon after that I stopped going to church. I got a job, met a young man, and got married. Five years later the marriage ended in divorce. So I packed up all of my belongings, two children in tow and one on the way, and returned home.

Sometime during those five years, my mom had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had mentioned the Church when I visited her and had asked me to talk to the missionaries. I finally consented, but before our meeting, I made up my mind that I would agree to take the missionary discussions only if the elders could tell me where I had lived before I came to be who I am now.

To my surprise, they not only answered my question but also gave me the answer straight from the Bible (see Job 38:4–7; Jeremiah 1:5; Jude 1:6). After that, they had my undivided attention! Their answer helped me understand why all my life I had felt that I had lived before. Now I understood that I had lived in a premortal existence with my Heavenly Father.

It wasn’t long before I became a member of the Church. For the first time in my life, I felt like somebody and that I had a destination to pursue—to return home to my Heavenly Father.

I am grateful that the missionaries were able to answer the question that no one else could.