United in Our Forever Church
June 2024

“United in Our Forever Church,” Liahona, June 2024.

Portraits of Faith

United in Our Forever Church

After moving from Nigeria to Sweden, we had a hard time finding a church that felt right to us. Then one day I met two young women who told me they wanted to talk to me about Jesus Christ.

husband and wife sitting together and holding hands

Photographs by Ashlee Larsen

Religion was an important part of our lives in Nigeria. My husband, Okoro, and I had great faith in Jesus Christ and loved Him. After we moved to Sweden, all our time was consumed when our twins were born three months early. We lived for four months in the hospital and didn’t go to any church at that time.

Later, we wanted to go to church again, but we did not find a church that felt right for us. We wanted a church that our whole family could attend for all our lives and forever. This desire continued for two years, but we were bothered that we had gotten out of the habit of going to church and praying together as a family.

When the children were a year old, I was out during a terrible snowstorm so I could attend school and learn Swedish. I heard someone call out from behind me. When I looked back, I saw two beautiful young women. I didn’t understand what they were saying, but I did recognize the words “Jesus Christ.”

When they realized I did not speak Swedish, they asked, “Do you speak English?” When I told them I did, they said, “We want to talk to you about Jesus Christ.”

“What about Him?” I asked. “I know Him!”

They laughed and were so excited that they walked up to me. I was impressed and eager to know what they had to say. They said they were missionaries of Jesus Christ, and I agreed to meet with them again and talk more about Jesus. As I left, I felt happy. When I looked back at them, they were just standing there radiating the same joy I was feeling.

woman sitting on couch

When she found the Church, Sister Okoro-Omaka “shed beautiful tears because I was so happy to be coming back to my Savior.”

Coming Back to Jesus Christ

When I came home from school, I said to my husband, “Sweetheart, guess what. I have found the church where we are going to be members!” I was shivering, I was so excited. I did not know where all these feelings were coming from, but I was happy deep in my heart about meeting the missionaries.

Soon we began learning about the restored Church of Jesus Christ with the missionaries. I shed beautiful tears because I was so happy to be coming back to my Savior. I had no questions about what they taught us until we came to the Book of Mormon. I had a hard time believing anything about it. The missionaries, however, asked me to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I prayed sincerely every day for weeks to know if it was really the word of God, but I never read it.

After several weeks without an answer from God, I boarded a train for a trip to Stockholm. On the way, I pulled out the Book of Mormon and began to read.

I read the introduction and the Testimony of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses, and I read about Joseph Smith. I was reading it and reading it and reading it. By the time I got to Stockholm, I was crying, shivering, and covered with goosebumps. I felt overwhelmed with the Spirit of God. I knew from personal revelation who Joseph Smith truly was—that he was a prophet and a servant of God. I knew that the Lord had restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth through him.

I then believed all that the missionaries had told me. Once I had read the Book of Mormon for myself, I knew it was true. I told the missionaries I wanted to be baptized. My husband brought our whole family to show their support for me.

After my baptism, we started praying together again as a family, and I began teaching them about what I was learning. Eventually, Okoro asked to meet with the missionaries again. He embraced their teachings, read the Book of Mormon, and prayed about it. He received the same answer I had, and he also asked to be baptized. At last, our whole family was united in our forever Church.

family sitting together

For Brother and Sister Okoro-Omaka, reading the Book of Mormon was key to their conversion.