“I Woke Up to the Gospel,” Ensign, Aug. 2013, 76
I was raised by atheist parents and as a young man felt that my life was fine without God. That changed in 1989, however, when my large intestine ruptured, and I lay in a coma for eight days.
I have few memories from my time in the hospital, but I strongly remember envisioning a man in white standing next to me after my operation and telling me it was time to “return and wake up.” When I resisted, he added, “My brother, you are dead. You either go back, or you stay here.” I did as he said and woke up full of pain.
After leaving the hospital, I had strange dreams that included people I had never met. I had the feeling that I had promised to do something, but I didn’t know what it was. I set about searching and reading about different religions. As I read the New Testament, I realized that if the truth was on the earth, it would be found in Jesus Christ.
I searched from 1989 to 1994. I felt lost and confused as I searched for the people I kept seeing in my dreams. My struggle and confusion became great, and I found myself praying desperately for answers.
Shortly after these prayers, I met a new co-worker. She learned that I was struggling, and I told her that I was searching for the truth. She brought me a Book of Mormon, which I adamantly refused to accept. But she persuaded me to take it, and I read it all in one night. I immediately knew that I had found what I had been looking for.
When I met with the missionaries, I was astonished to see that one of them was someone I had seen in my dreams. I soon asked to be baptized, but I had to take all the lessons first.
As I studied the gospel and attended church, I found all of the people from my dreams. I knew that the gospel was what I had needed to find. The day of my baptism was one of the happiest days of my life. Six months later, I was called as the branch president. Now, nearly 20 years later, I’m still happily serving in the Church. Along with my family, the gospel is my most precious possession.