Coming Home
April 2005

“Coming Home,” Liahona, Apr. 2005, 36–37

Coming Home

It had been four years since my baptism, and I had been less active for most of that time. I was drinking, smoking, and very depressed. My husband, Ian, was away at sea, leaving me home alone with two small children. And now his submarine had major defects and was in dry dock at the other end of the country. Each evening for six weeks the phone would ring, and Ian would say, “We should sail tomorrow.” But tomorrow never seemed to come, and the promised sailing was repeatedly delayed.

The bright lights on the horizon were my marvelous home teachers and visiting teachers, who came regularly to my door and shared their love and fellowship. I must admit I was not always polite and sometimes downright rude. Nevertheless, I knew I could pick up the phone at any time and they would be willing to help. My home teachers were consistent in their belief that if I came back to church, Ian would get baptized—but I had to set the example first. Yet I never felt the desire to put their faith to the test. I was too spiritually low.

One evening after speaking to Ian and learning that the submarine had again been unable to sail for home, I sat and cried, feeling utterly desolate. Then I began to pray, something I had not done for a very long time.

As I prepared for bed that evening, I was conscious of something I had not noticed before—a very strong, though not unpleasant smell. It stirred a memory long forgotten. I had to think for a while before I recognized that it reminded me of the chapel where I had been baptized. As recognition dawned I felt a warm, comforting glow within and an awakening desire to go back to church.

I phoned Tony, one of my home teachers. Soon he and his wife, Rosie, arrived at my door, and we talked as we had never talked before. All past barriers were swept away. I was going back to church.

I could hardly wait for Ian’s next phone call. This time he was met with excitement rather than depression. To my astonishment, his reaction to my story was to suggest that when he got home we should go to church as a family.

The following Sunday Tony and Rosie picked up the children and me and took us to church. I was surprised to see a missionary who had been sent back to the area for a second time. He had been to our home before but had failed, along with many others, to impress either Ian or me to go to church. He greeted me warmly now and announced that he had come back to our area to baptize Ian. I was skeptical and laughed, but during the following week Ian at last came home. As he had promised, he came to church the next Sunday. Elder Paskett approached him on that first visit and made arrangements to come with his companion, Elder Brown, and teach Ian the discussions. Within two weeks Ian had accepted the invitation to be baptized. The whole process took less than a month, and shortly afterwards the missionaries were moved from our branch to another area.

During those weeks the outpouring of love through the Holy Spirit and from the members of our branch was overwhelming. We made a commitment then that if we were going to live the gospel at all, we would live it fully. Shortly after his baptism Ian was called as president of the Young Men, and I was called to serve in Primary. Our Church life became full and exciting. Over the years our family blossomed from two to five beautiful children. We were sealed in the London England Temple in 1982, with Tony and Rosie in attendance.

The gospel has touched every part of our lives since that time. We have had our ups and downs but have never regretted our decision to serve the Lord. We have truly found a home in His Church.

  • Judith A. Deeney is a member of the Lerwick Branch, Scotland Edinburgh Mission.