Liahona
The Power of Example


“The Power of Example,” Liahona, Jan. 2023.

Portraits of Faith

The Power of Example

I knew that the only way I could bring my wife into the Church was through my example. When I changed my behavior, she began to feel the Spirit of God.

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Praying

Photograph by Cody Bell

One day on the way to work I saw two young men preaching the word of God in the street. They stopped me and asked if I wanted to know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time, I didn’t know where my family was headed. We had no spiritual compass to find our way.

I had been drinking alcohol that morning, so I don’t remember much of what the missionaries told me. But they gave me a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet about the Prophet Joseph Smith, along with their phone number. Later that day, I started reading. Something touched my soul when I read the Book of Mormon, and I was amazed how a 14-year-old boy could have such a great vision.

I was searching for truth, so I started meeting with the missionaries. After taking most of the lessons, I knew I needed to get baptized. But as the day of my baptism approached, we held a lesson that was hard for me to hear. That lesson was on the Word of Wisdom.

That lesson was hard for me because I drank a lot. My work environment was tough. Everyone I worked with drank, and so I did too. I would often go out drinking after work and come home late at night.

But the missionaries did a great job. I still love them for it. They taught me that God wants us to be strong and that He gave us the Word of Wisdom to bless us. Obeying this law was really hard for me, but slowly, I started to keep it. I remember calling the missionaries every day, updating them on my progress, and telling them that I did not drink that day. They were so happy with my progress.

With their help, I got baptized and entered the fold of Jesus Christ. I felt the Spirit that beautiful day! But I was alone when I joined the Church. I wanted my family to be with me.

When I talked to my wife, Clirime, about the Church, she would not listen at first. Her grandfather belonged to a different religion, and she wondered why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had even come to Albania. I knew that the only way I could bring her into the gospel was through my example. Through our actions, people can see who we really are.

Clirime noticed changes in me as I gave up alcohol and started coming home early from work. Because of the changes I was making, she started to feel the Spirt of God as I told her about the Church. I cannot describe the happy feeling I had when she told me that one day she would also get baptized. Soon she began taking the missionary lessons, which I helped the missionaries teach. I was especially happy when she set a date for her baptism, six months after I was baptized.

With her baptism, and the baptism of our two children when they each turned eight, I felt that we could become an eternal family. But baptism was just the beginning. To prepare to go to the temple, we knew that we had to follow God to the end of our lives, keeping the commandments, going to church, partaking of the sacrament, serving in callings, reading the scriptures, and learning more about covenants and the plan of salvation.

The day we were sealed as a family in the Frankfurt Germany Temple was another beautiful day. In the temple, I came to understand more about the plan of happiness our God has for us, and I felt His love.

I still remember the promises Clirime and I made in the temple. Whenever something goes wrong or we are having a hard time, my mind goes back to those promises.

As a family we try to live in harmony with each other because that is what we felt in the temple. Every time I think of the temple, I feel happy and blessed. I know that God is real and that He loves us and wants us to be happy.