“The New Recruit,” Liahona, Dec. 2007, 47
I picked up my husband’s memoirs and read, once again, his account of finding the Church more than half a century ago:
“As a 20-year-old in 1951, I was at the school of sergeants at the Kronborg Castle [in Denmark]. On Christmas night I was on guard duty on the embankment that surrounds the castle. At one point I stopped, looked up to the stars, and felt that there was more between the sky and the earth than I had thus far thought. In other words, I began to believe that there was a God, which I had never really believed before. My parents were absolutely not religious, and they and I came to church only for baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals.
“When months later I became a sergeant, I got my own troop: 44 new recruits—or more exactly, 43 plus 1. This one was very different, and when I asked him what it was that made him different from the others, he said he would tell me in the evening inside my quarters.
“There he told me about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for five evenings in a row. On the sixth day, Sunday, I went to church. And with that my new life began.
“The Church involved me completely. Little by little I became acquainted with the members of the Church. I found out that my recruit was not so much different than the overall membership.
“I became convinced that the Church was true, that it was the Lord’s Church—and I was baptized. A truly magnificent day.”
I am grateful that my husband, Orla, who died in 1998, included these words in his personal history. That long-ago Christmas night, when my husband first sensed that God truly did exist, and his conversations with the new recruit are responsible for our meeting each other, being sealed in the temple, and having five children—who have now brought grandchildren and great-grandchildren into our family. We have had a rich life in the Church and many blessings. I am grateful for that Christmas night and for the new recruit in Denmark those many years ago.