I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I joined back in 1964 after a long struggle with faith. I had loved the Savior ever since I could remember, but the church of my youth deserted me as it moved into the intellect movement of the 60's. Without spiritual guidance, I fell away. The Lord distinguished between the words of my mouth and the longing of my heart. He knew that I wanted to believe and so he sent a young woman who told me the story of the Restored Gospel. She bore her testimony of Jesus Christ and promised me that I could know for myself and have my own testimony.

Now forty-six years later I can only thank her from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to the church. Indeed I do have my own testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore Christ's church to the earth. We have a prophet today who leads and guides us. I am so grateful for Latter-day scriptures that bear testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It stands as another witness of the Savior and it's truths have touched my life in very personal ways.

I hope that my poetry reflects the growth of my testimony and my love for Jesus Christ.

I Learned to Pray

As a young girl I was taught to recite memorized prayers.  There were dinner prayers such as "God is great, God is good.  Now we thank Him for this food. Amen".  At night I knew "Now I lay me down to sleep. . ."  And of course, I knew the Lord's Prayer.  But there came a time when I wanted more.  I would kneel down at night and recite the prayers I knew and then kept adding more and more because I was just not satisfied.  I would memorize scriptures such as the 23rd Psalm and the Beautitudes and recite them.

Finally one night I just got frustrated and then brave and said something like this "I am so sorry, Father, but I just need to talk to you.  I hope you won't be mad at me."  and then I prayed.

It was shortly afterwards that I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The missionaries taught me the proper way to pray.  I was grateful to know at last that I could speak to my Father in Heaven.

Over the years my prayers followed the pattern I was taught.  I addressed the Father, expressed gratitude always before asking for anything, and ended in Jesus' name.  I was content.

But then sorrow came into my life - a long period of difficulty and self-doubt.  During all of this I never concerned myself with form.  I needed the Lord's help desperately to help me find the way back to happiness.  I cried.  I pleaded.  I expressed anger and fears and doubts.  Those prayers were very real and I learned during that time that He listens and loves us.  The form really didn't matter.  My heart mattered and it was reaching out to the one who knew it best.

In memory of that time I wrote "I Learned to Pray".

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