What made you stop coming to church?
I think for both my wife and I, a lot of it came from the people we had met. I was a convert at 19, and I could never find anyone that could give me any real answers to my questions on faith. All I’d ever heard was, “We just do it this way because we’re supposed to.” I fell away after about 2-3 years after my conversion. My wife was born in the church, and had met some people who were “holier than thou”, and felt it necessary to convey everything she was doing wrong, and she fell away to get away from that group of people.
What made you decide to return to church?
My wife and I decided to return to the church after having some big life changes that left us feeling as if we had lost our foundation on what life was. It had been almost 15 years for either of us since we had been to church. We moved into a new neighborhood, and decided to meet with our bishop to seek his counsel on returning to church.
What was the hardest part of returning to the church?
Trading the weekend parties for family time. I gave up drinking, smoking, and coffee all in a few weeks time. It was difficult to readjust to the standards of the church, but over time it was worth more than I can say.
What surprised you the most in your return to the church?
Reading the scriptures. So many people have read 1st Nephi at least a hundred times. When I started this last time, something clicked and it all started to make sense to me. I couldn’t put them down. I was reading multiple chapters throughout the day, and actually seeing how they relate to me today. They have been such a huge blessing to me.
What did you miss about being fully active in the church?
Honestly, I never was. After I was baptized, I never had any guidance or plan to earn the priesthood. I sort of fell through the cracks.
How did you feel when you returned to church?
Our ward has been so amazing. People that care about our welfare spiritually, and as a family. I worked to earning the Melchizidek priesthood, and was able to baptize my son, and be a part of his confirmation in to the church. I don’t think I could have a greater gift. It has been a truly amazing experience.