“Karisa’s Questions,” Friend, May 2012, 28–29
I guess I always knew that Mom, Dad, and Grandma were Mormons. Sometimes Grandma took me and my brother to her church, but my family didn’t go to Sunday meetings. I wasn’t a member of any church.
I never really talked about religion with my friends. I had seen my friend Lynsi at Grandma’s church, but other than that, religion didn’t come up much.
Then one day at school, Lynsi said, “Karisa, I’m getting baptized this weekend. Would you like to come?”
I couldn’t go, but I started wondering what baptism was. How did Lynsi decide to be baptized? Did she have to take a test? Why did she have to be baptized at all?
A long time passed, and I couldn’t hold all these questions inside anymore. I decided to ask my mom about baptism and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Well, Dad and I were baptized in that church when we were kids, but we haven’t gone to church in a long time,” Mom said.
“What does a person do to be baptized?” I asked.
“Usually people who want to know more about the Church talk to missionaries. They teach people about what they believe,” Mom explained.
“Can I talk to the missionaries then?” I asked.
Mom looked uncertain. “I’m not sure, Karisa,” she said. “Asking the missionaries to teach you is a big commitment. You have to be willing to attend church regularly and live what they teach you. Are you ready to do that?”
“Yes, I promise, Mom!” I didn’t know why I said that. The missionaries hadn’t even taught me anything yet.
“We’ll talk about it again later,” Mom said.
The next day I couldn’t tell if Mom was willing to invite the missionaries over, so I started on my homework. But all I could think about was asking the missionaries about baptism and what they believe.
A little while later there was a knock on the door. My brother Kaleb answered and called for my parents.
I was surprised when Mom, Dad, and Kaleb entered the family room with two strangers.
Mom looked at me and said, “Karisa, these are the missionaries. Did you ask someone to send them here?”
My eyes widened as I looked at the two young men wearing dark pants, white shirts, and ties. One held a blue book with gold words on the cover. Their name tags said Elder Kamalu and Elder Hengen.
“No,” I said. “But I really hoped they would visit soon.”
Elder Kamalu smiled. “May we share a message with your family?” he asked my dad.
Dad nodded his head and even smiled a little. The missionaries didn’t stay for very long, but they left the blue book for us to read. It’s called the Book of Mormon. They asked if I would read the first page of it. I promised I would, but I still had so many questions. I couldn’t wait to get more answers!