I’m Not Interested in the Church

“I’m Not Interested in the Church,” Liahona, Apr. 2011, 38

I’m Not Interested in the Church

Tanintoa Sexton, Marshall Islands

I didn’t want to have anything to do with the Church when my wife asked if the missionaries could teach our sons. But I didn’t say no because she was already a member.

When the missionaries started coming to our home twice a week, I would go to my friend’s house next door. My friend was a strong member of another Christian church. Every time I visited with him, he wanted to talk about the Bible. I told him I was not into that sort of thing and didn’t want to study religion. But he kept trying to convince me, and I finally said yes. So for a long time I studied the Bible with my friend while the missionaries taught my boys.

One day it was time for the missionaries to come to our house. But instead of leaving, I decided to stay in the next room. As the missionaries started teaching my sons, I found myself wanting to hear more. I moved closer and closer to the door to hear better. They were teaching my sons about apostles and prophets.

Later I realized I wanted to learn more. I spoke with the missionaries and decided to take the discussions from them—privately. My wife was always there, but no one else knew about it.

So when the missionaries came to teach my boys twice a week, I would go to my friend’s house. Then, on a different day, they would teach me.

One day when my friend said something bad about the Church, I defended it. Like many people in the Marshall Islands, he did not know much about the Church and misunderstood some things Latter-day Saints believe. When he said other negative things, I again defended the Church.

That’s how it went for seven months. Then one day I realized that the Holy Ghost had been confirming to me that everything the missionaries were teaching me was true. I realized I needed to get baptized, even though I still knew so little about the gospel.

After my baptism in 2007, I was so happy. We started saving money to go to the temple in Hawaii, where my wife, our three children, and I were sealed in December 2008.

Being a member of the Church has made a huge impact on my life. I decided to quit my second job entertaining at a restaurant because I would come home late and my garments would be saturated with tobacco smoke. Despite the loss of that extra income, the Lord has taken care of us.

I know the Church is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God because of the Spirit I have felt and the blessings that I have received.