Finding true religion is worth the effort it takes to investigate carefully and prayerfully, without fear, doubt, or procrastination.
Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort.” I agree with President Roosevelt. In my own life, I discovered that the harder I strive to learn something new, the more I absorb, and the greater my satisfaction is both during and after the process.
My imagination and creative instincts as a youngster received a boost one year when I received a special gift one Christmas. I was about thirteen when I unwrapped that little Kodak Brownie camera and two rolls of black-and-white film. The only trouble was I had no way of paying for photos to be developed—an expensive exercise back then. So I spent a lot of time deliberating over and composing every picture, making each one count.
When I began working part-time in a jeweler’s shop as an older teen, my money went toward buying film and getting it developed at the local camera shop in Hale, England. The kindly old man behind the counter got used to my requests to crop this bit off here and that bit off there from negatives. Looking back, I think he must have dreaded seeing me enter the shop. But he was always the English gent and believed in quality customer service.
One birthday, I received a small “how-to” book on photography and it became the most dog-eared thing I possessed. Terminology was simple, as were the diagrams, but it opened up new dimensions for me to grasp. I headed for the local cemetery to practice new skills and fell in love with shapes and shadows found there. I still have one cemetery picture.
That basic grounding in such a fun hobby came in useful later when I began writing for a glossy magazine named The New Era. Although I had to learn more aspects of photography when I bought an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, those early memories clicked into place and it all made sense. Now, of course, the digital camera has revolutionized photographic skills, and most of us can get a decent picture with a little patience and some Photoshop adjustments.
For me, however, the pleasure and knowledge that came from those black-and-white cemetery days was far more satisfying than any full-color photo shoot today—and that skill comes in handy even now.
Is Finding Religion Worth the Same Effort?
In the same way, the process of looking for and finding the right religion back in the 60s, and then living it, took much effort, prayer, and determination to keep going whenever things got tough. A shortened account of my conversion story is on Mormon.org at this link. I have to say, things did not go smoothly.
Hurdles and Hope
The worst obstacle to my missionary lessons from the elders happened when I came home from work in Los Angeles one night and fell down the apartment building stairs, wrenching my ankle so badly I fainted. Despite the pain when walking, I managed to enter the baptismal font the following weekend and was baptized by Elders Van Dyke and Abelhouzen. Two days later, I returned to England to a disbelieving family who took me to dinner and wanted to treat me to champagne. My refusal to drink alcohol caused a few raised eyebrows. There was much to explain. Living my religion in 1960s England wasn’t easy, either. However, hope shone bright and I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing.
In the years that followed, I married my husband Bob in a Mormon temple for time and eternity. We reared our family of four children within the protective fold of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Yes, there have been plenty of hurdles and much learning along the way. Gaining knowledge never ends, and I’m super happy about that. I understand that going through difficult times is for my benefit in the long run. Every time I lean on the Savior I receive joy and peace in return. The problems don’t always go away, but I gain the necessary strength to deal with them, plus increased faith to boot. I wouldn’t change any of it.
Finding True Religion is Worth Every Effort
It is my sincere belief that searching out true religion is worth all the effort we can give it. There is such a lot to gain from getting it right. Many religions have much truth in their teachings. However, I honestly feel there is only one church that contains everything we need for our salvation. It is the one that claims to be the re-established original Christian Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. – by Anne Bradshaw