The Center of My Life
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“The Center of My Life,” New Era, Jan. 2015, 14

The Center of My Life

Roberto Pacheco Pretel lives in Arequipa, Peru.

I knew of Christ’s ministry from the Bible, but could He really have visited the Americas?

Jesus Christ Visits the Americas

Jesus Christ Visits the Americas, by John Scott; Texture © iStock/Thinkstock

When I turned 18, my father allowed me to be baptized in any church I wanted. I wanted to join a Christian church because I’d studied the Bible in several congregations and believed in Jesus Christ.

One day my uncle invited two sister missionaries to our home. They spoke with much conviction about their belief in the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ, stating that He had visited the American continent.

On that point, I expressed my opinion that perhaps they were mistaken, since never in my life had I studied about that. One of the sister missionaries, with tears in her eyes and with kindness, said to me, “Brother Roberto, the fact that you do not know the Book of Mormon is true does not mean that we are mistaken. I know that Jesus Christ loves us and that He was on this continent and that He taught His gospel just as He had in the Holy Land.”

They tried to help me with my many concerns and doubts during that first discussion, agreeing that they would visit me the next week.

That night I began to leaf through the Book of Mormon. As I read the title page, one phrase caught my attention: “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” I also read 3 Nephi 11 about the Savior’s visit to the Americas, and I felt a gladness in my heart. So I did what the missionaries had told me to do: I knelt and asked my Heavenly Father if the book was true.

As I finished the prayer, I felt a peace and a surety that this was so. For a moment I thought that the tears of the sisters had moved me and caused me to believe in their testimony. So I continued reading the Book of Mormon until a little after 4:00 in the morning. Each time I prayed, I felt with more strength the confirmation that Christ had come to the Americas and that He wanted me to learn more about His true gospel.

Within weeks, I finished reading the Book of Mormon and felt a need to be baptized into the true Church.

Reading the Book of Mormon helped me to grow closer to Jesus Christ and to make Him the center of my life. I am so grateful that the Savior put the missionaries and His Church into my path.