Deneto Forde—Saint Catherine, Jamaica
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“Deneto Forde—Saint Catherine, Jamaica,” Liahona, January 2021, 15

Latter-day Saint Voices

Deneto Forde

Saint Catherine, Jamaica

Jamaica: Family Life

Photograph by Christina Smith

I didn’t do much schooling, so I couldn’t read or write well. The only thing I could do was write my name. A friend I worked with gave me a phone number and said I should call. I called and it was a lady who was a teacher at the high school. She invited me to a reading class. After a while, she invited me to church and activities.

I went to church one day and met the missionaries. They said they wanted to teach me the gospel. One thing that drew my attention was the plan of salvation. There was this emptiness inside of me because I always said to myself that there has to be more to life than what I was seeing.

I had questions. “Where did all of this start?” “Where did I come from?” The missionaries said to me, “You existed before this life. You lived with your Father in Heaven. You came here as a test to do what is required for you to go back to live with Him.” This answered my questions!

The missionaries also taught me that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored. I didn’t know anything about that. The only thing I knew was that Jesus Christ died for me. After a month, I was baptized at age 25.

I wanted to serve a mission. A year after my baptism, I went to the Dominican Republic to be endowed in the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple because there is not a temple in Jamaica. If a temple was close by me in Jamaica, I would go every day if I could.

I attended the missionary training center in the Dominican Republic and learned what to do to be a better missionary. I came back to Jamaica and served for two years. If I could serve again, I would because it was wonderful. There are ups and downs on a mission and there is a lot to learn, but I enjoyed it.

When I went on a mission, I could hardly read the Book of Mormon or the Bible. During companionship study I would ask my companion to help me read a scripture I didn’t understand. He would help me learn what it meant. Over time, I learned more and more. By the end of my mission, I had read through the Book of Mormon, the New Testament, some of the Old Testament and Preach My Gospel. Now I can read anything anyone gives me. I can help myself and continue to learn more about the gospel. I know that’s a blessing for me for serving a mission.

The gospel gives me a reason to go on and look for better days.

It is wonderful to share it. Sometimes I’ll meet somebody having a bad day or somebody concerned about life. Maybe their grandmother, their father, or somebody close to them died. I can talk to them about the Restoration and introduce the plan of salvation to them. It is because of the Restoration that we know about the plan of salvation.