“His Example for Change,” New Era, Aug. 2020, 12–15.
On a warm day in July 2017, two elders knocked on a door in Cebu City, Philippines. Inside was a teenage boy named Lord Von Cedric (yes, his name actually is Lord), along with his family. The elders asked if they could teach the family the gospel of Jesus Christ. And while Lord’s parents said they weren’t interested, they were at least willing to listen to what the elders had to say. However, as the missionaries taught, Lord’s family realized they wanted to learn more.
After several lessons with the elders, Lord, his two sisters, and his father, Christopher, decided they wanted to join the Church. But there was a problem—only Lord would be able to be baptized. His sisters were still too young, and although Lord’s parents lived together as a family, they weren’t married—meaning Christopher wouldn’t be able to get baptized either.
It was difficult for Lord to decide to be baptized since he would be taking the step alone. However, as the elders taught him, he had faith that this decision would help him be able to share the gospel with his mom, who still wasn’t very interested in the Church. He says, “Before, I only knew a little about Jesus Christ. But then, I understood that He is our Savior and Redeemer. I knew He would help me if I followed His commandments.”
Lord kept working on obeying the commandments once he was baptized and started noticing a difference in himself. He was becoming, in his own words, a “good boy.” He decided to specifically work on listening to his parents more. He says, “Before, when Mother told me to do something, I didn’t always obey because it could be tiring. But now I do what my parents say.”
He also started making other goals as part of the Children and Youth program. He wanted to learn how to play the guitar, so he asked his dad to help him learn, since his dad already knew how to play. Lord also helped his younger sister, Nicole, set her own goals. She decided that she wanted to help out around the house more, so they worked together to do their chores each day.
As Lord tried to accomplish his goals, his parents noticed how hard he was working. His mom, Jeramie, says, “He has changed a lot. Now he is patient and very diligent. I am so happy that he has personally progressed.”
After a few months, Lord and his sister Nicole made a goal they wanted to work on together—they wanted to read the Book of Mormon as a family and finish it by the end of the year. The two kids hoped this would be a good opportunity to get their mom to participate in gospel activities with them.
But Jeramie was at work a lot, so Lord and Nicole came up with a plan— they would read the Book of Mormon and say family prayer after dinner when she was home.
Doing this each night helped Lord’s mom become more open to the gospel. Jeramie says, “As we read the Book of Mormon, I started to see how wonderful it was and how it teaches us about Christ.”
Soon Jeramie decided to make a change herself, just as Lord had—she quit her job, which would give her time to go to church. She attended for the first time in June 2019 and immediately could tell there was something good about it. She says, “I felt the presence of Jesus Christ while I was there.”
She also started participating in the missionary lessons, after many invitations from Lord and the others. “Before, my mother did not really want to listen to the missionaries,” Lord says. “She would even leave when they came to teach. My father, Nicole, and I told her to just try to listen, and maybe she would like it. And we were right—she listened, and she liked it.”
Lord’s mom learned more about the importance of marriage as she was taught the gospel, and realized she needed to make that commitment. She and Christopher got married as soon as they could and then started preparing for their baptism. Nicole happened to be turning eight around that same time, so she started preparing to be baptized at the same time as her parents.
In July of 2019, the baptism day finally came, and Christopher said that the timing made it even more special. “July is important to me because this month two years ago was the first time we went to church,” Christopher says.
Because Lord, Nicole, and Christopher had been waiting for almost two years for their whole family to be baptized, they all felt like their prayers were being answered.
Christopher says, “Since the elders started teaching us, I have seen how we have progressed and how our lives have changed because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why we will continue to endure to the end.” One way the family is planning to do that is by going to the temple to be sealed as a family in 2020.
Lord is particularly pleased with all the changes that have happened in his family. He says, “I’m so happy that my mother, father, and younger sister were finally baptized. I’m really glad that now all of us are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”