“Praying with Real Intent,” Liahona, February 2016, 43
In 1960 I met a young man at a party who told me that Jesus Christ had visited the Americas after His Resurrection. I found the idea fascinating and wanted to know more, so I began searching in libraries and inquiring at the various religious denominations in my hometown of San Miguel, El Salvador.
I searched for almost three years but found nothing. When I mentioned to religious leaders that I had heard of Christ coming to the Americas, they told me I had been deceived. Because my search turned up no information, I eventually came to believe they were right.
One day, two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to my home and said they had an important message for my family. I immediately asked them, “Do you know if Jesus Christ came to the Americas?”
One of them said, “We bear witness of that.”
At that moment I felt a great excitement in my mind and heart and asked, “How do you know that?”
He took a book out of his bag and said, “We know Christ came here because of this book, the Book of Mormon.”
What the missionaries taught me during the first discussion troubled me, and I doubted the account of the Prophet Joseph’s vision of the Father and the Son.
However, the Book of Mormon intrigued me, and the missionaries kept teaching me. One afternoon they asked me, “Have you prayed to find out if what we are teaching you is true?”
I told them I had but had not obtained any answer.
“You must pray with real intent,” they said.
I had been reading the Book of Mormon for several nights. I had read about and believed in Christ’s appearance to the Nephites. But I still could not accept Joseph Smith’s vision. My internal struggle was terrible.
One night I knelt alone and opened my heart to God. I told Him I needed to know if He had really manifested Himself to Joseph Smith. If He had, I promised Him I would be baptized into the Church and serve Him all my life.
When I got up early the next morning, the answer came to me through the Holy Ghost. My mind cleared and my heart filled with peace. From that moment to this, I have had no doubts whatsoever that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know Christ came to the Americas after His Resurrection. My soul delights in this marvelous knowledge that was taught to me by the power of the Holy Ghost.