“I Want to Go to Paradise,” Liahona, March 2021
I had been a committed member of another church, but then I started studying its teachings about purgatory. This idea teaches that the soul, after physical death, is admitted to a place similar to prison, where it must be purified before going to paradise.
As I thought about suffering souls in purgatory, I reflected on my own spiritual future and my relationship with Jesus Christ. I began praying, “What must I do to escape purgatory? I want to go to paradise.”
The first thing that came to my mind was to live the Ten Commandments. I felt that if I did, the Lord’s grace would allow me to avoid purgatory. I committed to keep the commandments and began an intense period of fasting, praying, studying the scriptures, and meditating.
During this time, I felt prompted to ask an unusual question of a doctor at the clinic where I worked as chief accountant.
“Dr. Thibaut,” I said, “is the Lord Jesus Christ in your church?”
He stated that he belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From that point on, the Spirit guided our discussion. I asked him about the differences between his church and mine. He told me about the Book of Mormon. As we continued our conversation, joy filled my heart. I felt that I was receiving answers to my prayers.
Two days later the missionaries gave me a Book of Mormon, which I read and studied with them. I found it wonderful to learn new things from the scriptures. I started obeying the Word of Wisdom.
When I realized I had lost interest in my church, where I had been so involved, I wondered what was happening. I prayed and asked God about this new path. When I did, I felt more convinced of the truth I had found. I decided to join the Church, even though I knew I would face persecution.
Persecution did come, but the Lord strengthened me. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the answer to my sincere prayer: “I want to go to paradise.” I know I can go there after I die if I remain faithful to the commandments of God.