My First Time at the Church

A heartwarming story I heard when I attended a service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the first time.

Hannah Field, Special Editor

     He was on the verge of tears, sharing a story from the core of his heart as he retold it before the eyes of over a hundred people, all watching as he spoke. What he had to say was important, a touching story that even reached me, although I had never been religious.

     I had never even attended a Mormon service. I’d seen The Bible before, but I didn’t know anything about The Book of Mormon. The heartwarming speech was more than a story; it was a lesson of perseverance and love.

     John Workman was a missionary who had just returned from a mission in Mexico. He had been working with his companion to spread the message of God’s love. “As missionaries, we just talk with people,” Workman said. “We began to teach them [if they accept us].” He was with his companion and had found lots of families who were interested in learning, a particular family being made of up five children and their parents, Francisco and Nancy.

     Francisco was a construction worker, working alongside Nancy to provide for their kids. When Francisco broke his leg, the family was left to struggle even more than before the incident, even with Nancy working two jobs. “They were [trying] really hard and [Nancy said] she was thinking of leaving her husband,” Workman said.

     According to Workman, Nancy was hesitant. She was turning away the missionaries and the lessons they had to share, but Francisco deeply wanted him and his kids to get baptized. They had previously looked into The Church, but that was years prior, and the couple couldn’t get baptized because they were not married.

     Workman was running out of time. He was set to leave that area soon, and Nancy was not budging. His hope was draining alongside the clock and so far, no miracles were on their way. “We had a bunch of people we were teaching,” Workman said. “But the people we were teaching started to diminish.” 

     Then Workman claimed he began to see something shift.

     As Francisco pushed and pushed, Nancy began to open up. “She wanted to better her life. She also wanted to be baptised,” Workman said. “She saw a change as we were teaching.”

“That miracle I saw, that took a lot of faith.”

     On Workman’s last day, he saw what he had been waiting for—the couple was married, and Workman got to witness a baptism of the family. “The miracle I saw, that took a lot of faith,” Workman finished. “He did it; He did that miracle and changed that family’s life.”

     I had never seen someone open up in front of so many people like that. Workman’s faith was true, and his loyalty to the religion was incredibly visible. Even though my expectations had been low before Workman’s speech, I was amazed by the end and what his perseverance had led to.

     The Takena Ward in Albany is a place of faith, love, and appreciation. Many members worked alongside Workman to create a peaceful environment for a newcomer like me, and make me feel welcome. What I know about The Church is small, but I know they have lessons that the right people can benefit from, like Francisco and Nancy.