What Is This Church?
March 2013

“What Is This Church?” Ensign, Mar. 2013, 70

What Is This Church?

Angela Fallentine, New Zealand

Several years ago I needed to get my car inspected for safety and emissions standards. I arrived at a garage one afternoon to find the line for inspections eight or nine cars long.

It was a beautiful spring day, so I decided to roll down the windows, turn off the car engine, and pull out a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which I kept in my car along with other Church materials. My stake president had recently counseled stake members to commit the proclamation to memory. This free time gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. Eventually, my turn came to have my car inspected.

One of the men who did the inspections indicated that he would drive my car into the garage. Then he asked me to wait in an adjacent room until the inspection was completed. Time passed as I watched other customers come and go. After a while I began to think that something serious must be wrong with my car.

Finally the mechanic came from the garage into the waiting room and indicated that my car had passed inspection. What a relief! I paid the cashier and walked out to where he had parked my car and found him waiting for me.

“Miss,” he said, looking at me intently, “can I please talk to you for a minute?”

“Of course,” I told him.

“I want to apologize for taking so long with your car inspection. You see, when I drove your car into the garage, I noticed a piece of paper on the passenger seat that talked about families. Instead of immediately returning your car to you, I sat in the garage and read that piece of paper over and over.”

He continued, “What is this church? What is this document on the family? Can I have a copy of it? It says it was written by Apostles. Do you mean to tell me that there are Apostles on the earth today just like in Jesus’s time? Please, I need to know.”

I was almost speechless but gathered my thoughts. I told him that there are indeed apostles and prophets on the earth, just as in the time of Jesus Christ. I told him about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel. I then gave him all the Church materials I had in my car. He gave me his name and phone number so the missionaries could contact him. Our conversation ended with his sincere expression of gratitude.

As I drove away, tears filled my eyes. I was grateful I had left a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” on the car seat.

I have never forgotten the look of eagerness in that man’s eyes. This experience was an unforgettable lesson on the power of the proclamation on the family, the reality of modern-day revelation, and the importance of sharing the gospel in everyday—and sometimes unexpected—situations.