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Why I Joined the Mormon Church - Kwaku's Story | 3 Mormons

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Feb 24, 2017

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Why I Joined the Mormon Church - Kwaku's Story | 3 Mormons
Why I Joined the Mormon Church - Kwaku's Story | 3 Mormons thumb Why I Joined the Mormon Church - Kwaku's Story | 3 Mormons thumb Why I Joined the Mormon Church - Kwaku's Story | 3 Mormons thumb

Transcription

  • So, if you've been watching the show
  • you've heard me reference how I'm a convert
  • a few times.
  • Well today I thought I would share with
  • you guys my conversion story. It's a
  • pretty fun one. So, if you're interested
  • hang on for the ride; it's going to be a
  • lot of fun.
  • It starts in a beautiful little city
  • called Cypress, Texas. Home of Danielle
  • Bradbery, country singer and season four
  • winner of the voice and rapper Riff Raff.
  • So it's Kwaku, Danielle and Riffraff;
  • it's a notable, notable number to come from Cypress, Texas.
  • It starts in middle school.
  • I was a raised in a Christian-ish family.
  • You know it's kind of a bit of a mix of everything.
  • We kind of were able to do whatever we wanted.
  • We had just about
  • every religion in our family so we can
  • take our choice on what we wanted to
  • believe in. I went to a church called
  • Harvest Bible Church which was this
  • beautiful church in the middle of the woods
  • near my neighborhood, right? And i would go
  • with my friends every Sunday and
  • Wednesday and I would listen, I
  • don't know what they were talking about
  • but it was fun cuz there's always donuts and
  • coffee in the back room and I would
  • always get coffee without my mother
  • knowing. And i would go on Wednesday, we'd
  • have Bible study, it was a ton of fun.
  • Even as a little kid I had questions
  • though. My biggest questions were: what
  • happens to people who died who aren't
  • Christian because I didn't really think
  • it could be possible that they would
  • just, you know, you just go to hell. Like this
  • all loving God loves everyone but if you
  • have the wrong religion he's gonna send
  • you to the flames of Mordor.
  • I did not think that's how God worked.
  • So that was a big question. I had,
  • I wanted to know what happened to babies who died,
  • what happened to mentally-challenged people, what
  • happened to gay people. Just
  • people who were different in certain ways,
  • what happened to them when they died because you
  • had a certain knowledge to understand
  • Christ and even I didn't have that
  • knowledge so if i died right there,
  • what would've happened to me, you know? So I had
  • these questions and I would speak to my
  • pastor, I would speak to friends and they never
  • really give me an answer and I remember
  • being, I think I was in seventh grade
  • and I was sitting in the pews of this
  • wonderful church, by the way, it is a
  • wonderful Church-- listening to the pastor
  • and I just remember thinking, "Who says
  • this guy is right?
  • It's just some guy with a Bible who's
  • speaking up there. How do we
  • know if this guy's right, you know?"
  • In seventh grade I had this idea, I was
  • like this is just a guy who's saying
  • something, we don't really know if he's
  • right, so I would listen and I
  • would come up with these questions and
  • he would try to answer them and I'd be like yeah well
  • what about this? And it was, it felt weird.
  • So eighth-grade came and I just kind of
  • decided, you know, I'm pretty sure this
  • might just be a bunch of hullabaloo. I don't
  • believe in Santa Claus anymore, I don't
  • believe in,
  • I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, I
  • don't believe things like that so maybe
  • God just isn't real.
  • Maybe religion isn't a real thing, it's
  • just a man-made construct, there's no
  • truth in it. So I went into high school
  • just thinking, "You know, there's probably nothing
  • there." That all changed when a really
  • pretty girl came into the picture. Actually it was two
  • girls. I was talking to them and then
  • out of nowhere
  • Daria invited me to go to something
  • called Fall Riot with her which was
  • this big celebration where there's
  • Christian rock bands and we raised a
  • bunch of money to build wells in Africa
  • and my main thing was that Daria invited me.
  • I'm like, yeah i'm gonna go! And so I
  • went and her first words when I walked
  • in were, "Oh my gosh you actually came?"
  • I was like "Yeah." So I was super
  • nervous and this was not my
  • normal crowd. All my friends at the time
  • were like skateboarders so
  • these are like
  • preppy, nice, wholesome people who were
  • not at all like me and I was like, "Oh
  • this is not my scene and I felt really weird
  • and I was sitting down and i was
  • listening to the youth pastors and
  • great music and I was like, "You
  • know, this is nice.
  • This feels nice. This is how
  • things should be. And I was listening. I didn't
  • buy half of it but I still felt
  • something, I felt a little bit of a-- you
  • know when you're lighting a birthday cake, you
  • don't-- lighting a birthday cake!
  • Lighting a candle on a birthday cake--
  • you if you hit the switch a couple
  • times, only a little spark comes up out,
  • that was that, it was just a little spark that was coming.
  • And I was a paying attention,
  • I decided, you know what, maybe I'll come
  • back next Wednesday, I'll come back to this youth service
  • next Wednesday. I came back, partially
  • because it felt good, other part because there was a pretty
  • girl there. So I started to believe
  • in God again but I did not feel like it
  • had all the answers. Like there were
  • things I didn't understand and as I was
  • there longer,
  • I started to see people I went to high
  • school with who were not following the
  • rules very well, even to church I
  • would see girls and their shorts
  • were like, you know, they're wearing like two
  • post it notes and a sugar packet, you
  • know? They like weren't wearing
  • anything and ummm
  • I was kinda like, "Huh, that's
  • weird for church. Ah, it's fine. Or I would see people
  • right when they would leave, I would hear
  • people cussing-- just things I
  • felt like weren't that good. And mind you,
  • I'm not an angel at this point either.
  • I'm just the guy who's looking around
  • trying to see what I think, what I
  • believe in
  • so my questions are becoming like, all
  • right well, what is a Christian, I mean
  • we're supposed to follow rules, right?
  • Because i figured if i want to be a
  • Christian, I'm gonna be like a Christian.
  • I'm going to be full in, I'm gonna
  • actually try to live it the best I can
  • because I don't want to seem like a hypocrite, right?
  • That was one of the moments I kinda
  • realized I didn't want to go back to a
  • Second Baptist Church anymore because i
  • felt like if i was going to be at a church
  • I didn't want it to be around people i knew
  • weren't doing good things. My good friend
  • Cameron, his mother was a pastor of
  • a Methodist Church and a lot of my
  • friends are heavily involved in this
  • methodist church and he invited me after
  • he knew what happened, he was like, "Hey man,
  • you know, why don't you come to our Wednesday night
  • youth service?"
  • And I was like, "Sure yeah." And I came and
  • I immediately felt like i was home, I
  • felt great. I had this little
  • accountability group led by someone named
  • Mr. Dunbar and every week we would just
  • talk about Christ and how to follow
  • Christ better and just felt great. I
  • would start to go every week. I got
  • involved in the youth worship band, I
  • could not sing to save my life but I
  • still did it so I had like a place that
  • felt good and at the same time I was
  • involved in theatre in school and the
  • Book of Mormon Musical was very popular
  • at the time and we were always singing
  • songs from the Book of Mormon Musical
  • and Mitt Romney was running for
  • president so Mormons are becoming the
  • talk of the town, they're building a
  • meeting house in my neighborhood and
  • people just kind of like, "The Mormons are
  • coming, they're coming for us!"
  • And they built it right next to the middle school.
  • It's like, they're going to get the little middle schoolers!
  • They're going to baptize them, you know? I
  • remember actually sitting down in
  • this new church I was in and they
  • sent someone who was an ex-member of, you
  • know, the LDS Church, and he was kind of
  • spilling secrets. He was like, "You know
  • guys, Mormons are nice but I used to be
  • one and let me tell you, it's a bad
  • church. Don't join it.
  • There's some bad things there." And everyone's
  • like. "Oh no!" I'm just like, "What?
  • Why would Mormons believe that? That's
  • terrible. And then part of me was like, all right,
  • okay well what do they really believe and let
  • me hear the other side of the story? At
  • the same time, I found a Book of
  • Mormon. I was sitting at lunch and
  • we were actually talking about Mitt Romney
  • I think and we were talking about Mormons.
  • Little did we know the entire like, the
  • rest of the table listening to us were
  • Mormon. They're all sitting together and
  • this girl, I think with Megan her name,
  • she tapped me, she was like, "Hey, we're
  • Mormons." I'm like, "Oh no!
  • The power of Christ compels you! Get
  • away from me!" And eventually, we just
  • started talking and they gave me a Book of Mormon.
  • I asked for one, kind of as a joke.
  • The next day they'd brought me a Book of
  • Mormon, they gave it to me. And I was like, "Oh,
  • what do I do with this now?" Well eventually I
  • went on this mission trip to Oklahoma
  • with my Methodist church and it was a
  • lot of fun. At this point, as those
  • questions are coming back into my life, I
  • started to understand
  • that God did exist. I didn't quite
  • understand Jesus Christ and his role
  • being our Savior or even what the Savior
  • really meant but I knew that God was real.
  • I had a testimony that God existed, he
  • had answered a lot of my players, so I
  • went on this trip and it was a lot
  • of fun. We went to Apache Oklahoma and we
  • ran a vacation Bible school for little
  • native american children and I made a
  • lot of friends, it was great and
  • there's actually a native american
  • history museum with beautiful artworks,
  • I'm tracing the history of their tribes,
  • all the way back to the creation of the world
  • some of them and as we're learning about
  • these wonderful tribes and their
  • divine foundation and, you know, how God
  • was present in this land, this American
  • continent, right as we leave there's an LDS
  • church across the neighborhood and I was
  • like, "Hey that's funny because they have a book
  • about stuff like this! Anyway." And then I left.
  • Just did not make the connection. The
  • year came to end and i started working
  • at a restaurant and there was this girl who
  • worked there whose mother will be
  • watching this so I won't say her name
  • and she was very, very pretty.
  • There's a lot of pretty girls in this
  • conversion story, I guess i was really
  • shallow in high school and God had to send
  • pretty girls to get my attention. Um, she
  • was mormon and I was always asking
  • questions about it because, you know,
  • Romney was running, it was the talk of town-- I
  • actually think Romney just lost at this
  • point, he lost. You know, Mormons are
  • everywhere, everyone was thinking about them. So
  • I just asked her. And she's like, "Yeah, I'm Mormon, do you want to come to
  • church with me this Sunday?" And she was really
  • pretty so I'm like,
  • "Yeah tell me all about Joseph Smith, yeah sure let's go."
  • I totally went, I was super excited cuz she
  • was cute. I go and as I walk in, two sister
  • missionaries just like attack me. They're
  • immediately like, "Hey, where you from, what's
  • your name? My name is sister Bowden and
  • Sister something Polynesian, I can't say the
  • name correctly but they immediately started
  • talking about the gospel and they had
  • this light around them and it felt
  • really good but a few weeks later, a few
  • days later that we go to panera and
  • we start talking and they're just like,
  • "So tell me what you believe in?
  • And we're not trying to convert you." And
  • I'm like, sure you're not.
  • I just told them what I believed in, I
  • believed in God, I was an active member of
  • the methodist church, I was on the youth
  • worship band there, I had a lot of fun.
  • I didn't meet with them again
  • but I felt really good. I had prayed
  • about it, I prayed to know if the Book of
  • Mormon is true and prayed to know if the
  • church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
  • Saints was in fact, you know, the Lord's
  • Church. I didn't receive a no but it
  • didn't look for yes either. I just kind
  • of did it. I prayed about it twice I
  • think and I was like, "Alright,
  • okay, well I don't really feel anything."
  • So I didn't think about it. My senior year
  • comes and I wanted to know what I
  • believed in. I needed to really know. There were
  • a lot of things that didn't make
  • sense to me, I still wanted to know what happened
  • to people who died who weren't christian,
  • what happened to, you know, Muslims, what
  • happened to gay people, what happened to babies, the
  • mentally challenged people, those who just don't
  • believe, you know, there are so many holes
  • and I wanted to know because it did
  • not make sense to me that you just go to
  • hell if you're not a Christian. So I was
  • coming up with my own reasons and making
  • up my own answers. I was completely
  • relying on myself and not relying on
  • what the scriptures said. It was all,
  • you know, man-made philosophy to justify
  • why only Christians would go to heaven.
  • And it didn't feel right.
  • I wanted to know what I believed in. So I
  • had this feeling I should just look into
  • the Book of Mormon a little more. I open it:
  • "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents." I
  • close it and I don't pick it up.
  • Eh, that's enough. You
  • know when you open the Book of Mormon--
  • wait, can I get a Book of Mormon? When
  • you open the Book of Mormon, you see the
  • picture of Jesus, right, it's a nice little painting,
  • but then you see this picture of Joseph
  • Smith and I thought it was like Thomas
  • Jefferson or something, I didn't really
  • know who was. And I was like what? What is that
  • about? That is not Moses, that looks
  • like Willy Wonka, I'm not going to be
  • a part of this Church, it's weird. And then I saw
  • these people like, what is going on here?
  • Of course I hadn't read it so I was just immediately
  • judging it but i was looking at this art like
  • what's going on? This is weird like Jesus
  • and the Aztecs? Give me a break, right?
  • I want to know what I believe. I start
  • talking about Mormons with some people
  • in my methodist church and we go to this
  • big youth camp. And in the Protestant
  • world you go to these big youth camps a
  • lot. It's always like a stadium full of
  • people or a big, big gym full of
  • people and they have a band and have a
  • youth pastor. We weren't learning about prophets,
  • we weren't learning about the Atonement, we weren't
  • learning about a lot of things.
  • A lot of it was just, I like to call it meme
  • Christianity. We were high schoolers
  • who were doing things that weren't good
  • and then we would see some kind of
  • meme or sermon about, "Hey God loves
  • you no matter what. And we're like, I love
  • Jesus. I'll go back to smoking weed and
  • having sex. Like that's really the
  • mentality. I know that's really messed up
  • but that's the way it was. So I was sitting
  • there and I was in this wonderful
  • conference and I just didn't really buy
  • a lot of it. I didn't believe that some
  • guy, some pastor with no authority--
  • it's not like an angel came and told him
  • or God was like, "Hey, you can
  • preach my word." He was just some guy who
  • signed up to do it and who knows if he's right? He was
  • just spewing his opinion out and a lot
  • of it was good but it was still his
  • opinion. There was no way to know if it was
  • completely true and I knew that it wasn't
  • completely true because i looked at the
  • fruits and the fruits weren't that good so I
  • began praying about the Book of Mormon
  • again, praying about Mormonism. I knew
  • there was some funky stuff going on in
  • the Mormon Church but the people seem to
  • have good fruits and I felt something.
  • So the year ends, I go back to Apache
  • Oklahoma for a second mission trip and
  • as I'm there, one of the chiefs came to our
  • campsite and started telling us about how
  • Christianity was brought to Apache and
  • he said two Mormon missionaries came and
  • I was like, "No freaking way!" Because I was
  • looking for a sign, I was like no way, no way
  • was it that. Like I was like, in my head
  • I was like, "I think I found my answer."
  • And I just felt like, I need to go pray
  • about this. And in that moment I knew like, I
  • need to be Mormon. I go home and
  • I actually remember, I'm sitting outside of
  • my house and I have my little
  • Samsung Galaxy tablet and I'm looking
  • on LDS.org, and I'm reading about the
  • kingdoms of glory and the layers of heaven and
  • baptism for the dead. And the spirit hit
  • me so strong. Like for the first time I
  • really felt the spirit strong.
  • I was crying, I had tears coming
  • out of my eyes, I was like, "This is it!"
  • I felt it. So I message my LDS friend
  • Paige and I was like, "Hey, I think you
  • guys are right. How do I become a Mormon?
  • And you can make a Mormon more happy than
  • saying, "Okay, I think you're right, how do
  • I become a Mormon?"
  • We immediately go to Panera and we start
  • talking about what i believe. I was like,
  • I just think you guys are right.
  • So I go to FHE with her older brother
  • after. And there are two sister missionaries
  • there. Sister Lu and Sister Huber.
  • Paige was just kinda like, "Kwaku wants to take
  • lessons, he kinda wants to be a Mormon."
  • And they're really chill about it, they're like, "Cool, cool.
  • Yeah give us your number." But I knew right
  • when I turned around they're like, "YES!" Like I knew
  • that right when I was gone they were celebrating.
  • The first lesson they asked if I wanted to
  • be baptized if I felt that it was true
  • and I was like, "Yeah I feel like it's true, I'll get baptized."
  • And I take the lessons, I get baptized.
  • I had to tell my family and friends. I had a
  • very liberal family and I knoew that we could
  • choose what we wanted in life but for
  • some reason I was still afraid to tell them about Mormonism
  • cuz Mormons are weird. So if I became
  • catholic, they'd be like yeah, yeah, Catholic,
  • you know. Episcopalian, Methodist, do what you want.
  • But if I feel like Mormon would be like alright,
  • we need to draw a line somewhere,
  • alright? We can only
  • allow so much crazy, alright? The
  • golden plates and Kolob, that's a bit
  • much, I don't know if I can let that in my
  • house. So I got baptized and I didn't tell
  • them. Like I hinted at it a few times but that
  • was about it.
  • The missionaries were always like, "So how do
  • your parents feel?" And I'm like, "Uh huh, yeah."
  • So I got baptized and then I tell my mom and she
  • was like, "If you believe in it you should
  • be baptized." And I was like *phew*
  • I thought you were going to react a lot
  • worse. And their overall opinion was
  • like, I mean it's weird but I mean a talking
  • snake in the Garden of Eden causing
  • the downfall of the world, that's
  • also weird. So I mean it can't be,
  • it's not that crazy. And I was like, "Yeah, no it
  • really isn't."
  • I get baptized, I become a latter-day
  • Saint, no coffee, no tea, I'm trying not to
  • using the foul language. There's so
  • many rules. And I'm just like, "Oh man." But I
  • still believed it. Even though it was a little
  • hard, I believed it and I was going with
  • it because I felt something really really strong.
  • I knew that the church was true. I didn't
  • know everything about the church,
  • I had a lot of questions. A lot
  • of things I didn't have a testimony of but I
  • kept trying and kept searching and kept
  • waiting for the answer to come to me. A lot of
  • people join and they have questions and
  • they stop searching, they stop growing in
  • faith until they can answer that one
  • question. I didn't do that. My questions were
  • like a book. I put them on a bookshelf
  • and eventually I'd have an answer and I'd
  • go back and be like, "Oh, now I understand
  • that!" But I kept going and I started to receive
  • all those answers and it felt great. I
  • started to really understand who I was.
  • Because before I didn't completely know who, you
  • know, what I represented, what I'm
  • supposed to do, why I was here, but I
  • understood who I was, as a child of God and
  • what that means for me and what that
  • means for all of us and I understand why
  • Christ is necessary,
  • why we have a Savior. I understand what
  • we can become. Hey look, different shirt. So
  • I was baptized, given the priesthood and
  • then almost immediately spent my first
  • year of college in San Francisco so I
  • was baptized then I moved to San Francisco
  • and a lot of members back home were like,
  • "Oh no, he might go inactive!" But I didn't
  • go inactive.
  • I'm from San Fransisco dude. Get out!
  • This is my video! That
  • wasn't even planned.
  • It really wasn't. But I met a
  • wonderful ward out there and I had a
  • great Bishop named Bishop Gerdin and he
  • honestly help me understand and learn a
  • lot about the gospel, I felt very
  • welcomed there and I would just like to
  • say that I know that Jesus Christ lives.
  • I had very personal spiritual
  • experiences where I can promise you that
  • Jesus Christ lives, that God is our Father,
  • that we have a Father in heaven, that he
  • looks like us, that Joseph Smith was a
  • prophet, that Brigham Young was a prophet
  • and that Thomas S Monson is a prophet
  • today. I promise you these things, I can
  • testify to you that angels visit the earth,
  • that the Lord's church is on the earth. And I
  • say this in the name of Jesus Christ
  • amen.
  • John Taylor is a prophet, for the record.

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Description

Kwaku shares how his seeking for the truth lead to his conversion to the LDS Church.

Kwaku’s journey to becoming a Mormon started when he was a young kind in Cyprus, Texas. He visited different churches and asked many people what they thought the truth was but he still wasn’t able to find exactly what he was looking for.

During this time, Mitt Romney was running for President of the United States and “The Book of Mormon Musical” was really popular. So Mormons became the talk of the town where he was from.

He started working at a restaurant where he met a Mormon girl who eventually invited him to church with her.

At church he met the sister missionaries and began investigating the church. After he prayed about the Book of Mormon and came to learn of the Plan of Salvation and baptisms for the Dead, he knew that the LDS Church was the church of God on earth. He was baptized soon after.

What is your conversion story? Comment below and tell us how you came to know the Mormon Church was the right church!

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