This Is the Place
April 2018

“This Is the Place,” Ensign, April 2018

Latter-day Saint Voices

This Is the Place

man standing in the temple

Illustration by Allen Garns

My father, a devout Christian, taught me to have faith in Jesus Christ. That faith helped me survive Nigeria’s three-year civil war in the late 1960s when I was in the army. Later, however, I became confused and quit attending church.

When I came to the United States in 1981 to get an education, I felt that I needed God in my life. For two years I attended different churches in Boston, Massachusetts, but none of them appealed to me. I didn’t feel the Spirit, so I stopped looking.

Not long after my wife, Mabel, joined me from Nigeria in 1984, I started having a burning desire to again draw closer to God and belong to a church. A friend visiting from Nigeria didn’t know I was looking for a church, but he told me about a church he had heard of that had a book called the Book of Mormon.

After that, I continued looking for churches. I found a church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The word saint caught my attention. I didn’t know there was a church with members called saints. That Sunday I decided to check it out.

At the sacrament meeting I attended, the congregation sang hymns in a reverent manner, priests blessed bread and water, and the service was conducted in order and humility. Afterward, as I walked to the foyer and contemplated the service, I heard my name.

“Simeon,” the voice of the Spirit said, “this is the place.”

At that point, two missionaries approached. They introduced themselves and the Book of Mormon. I looked at them and said, “I don’t know anything about the Book of Mormon, but I know the Bible. I am ready.”

They began teaching me the plan of salvation. Less than a month later, I was baptized. My wife joined the Church a short while later. A few years after that, we were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple and our five children were sealed to us.

In the temple, many things have been revealed to me, but the words I heard my first day at church have been confirmed to me many times through revelation in the temple: “This is the place.” The impact of that statement from the Holy Ghost has forever changed my life and the lives of my wife and children.