Because of Just One Person

“Because of Just One Person,” Liahona, May 2000, 30–31

Because of Just One Person

I was 13 years old when I first saw the full-time missionaries. I was living apart from my family at the time, going to school in another town in the Philippines. One day while riding the bus, I saw two nicely dressed young men sitting near me. I didn’t know who they were, but I was impressed with what I assumed were their uniforms. For some reason, I wanted to wear one, too.

Several months later, on one of my trips home, I arrived to find my father reading a book. I was curious, and so was my mother.

“What book is that?” she asked.

“The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” he replied, adding, “One of the neighbors gave it to me and invited me to read it.”

Two weeks later, two young men visited the house and introduced themselves as missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They seemed to really care about my father. The following day, they began to teach him the gospel.

Because I was living away from home, I was not able to talk to the missionaries. But about a month later, I received word that my father had been baptized. He sent me a message, telling me to come home so his whole family could learn about the true Church. My mother supported my father’s wishes wholeheartedly.

And that is how the missionaries came to teach us all. We were baptized on 19 November 1988. It was the most wonderful day of my life.

About a year after my father’s baptism, he became very ill. Early one Sunday morning, he called my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and me to his bedside. There, he looked at me and said, “My son, I hope you will serve a mission.” After saying these words, he died.

My father’s dying words impressed me so deeply that I did wear the “uniform” of a full-time missionary. I served in the Philippines Quezon City Mission.

I am grateful for my father’s example, and I am grateful for that one person who cared enough to share the Book of Mormon with him.

Detail from The First Vision, by Gary E. Smith

Illustrated by Brian Call