Jane_Doe

For PC: hearing about when you were "born again" or accepted Christ

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This thread is about @prisonchaplain and a spin off of other anther thread.  

He asked: 

23 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I would greatly appreciate hearing the long version of this experience. Were you alone, in your ward, in a different setting? How did you come to embrace the phrase "born again" (my Lutheran grandma never would use the term--she said she was born into the church, and believed from the get-go, so did not need to be 'born again'). BTW, I believe she was. In any case, I'd love to hear/read about this encounter--and perhaps, how some of your LDS brothers/sisters have reacted to your saying you're a born again Mormon.

Now, I know not everyone has a particularly special moment when it "clicked" with you that Christ is your Savior, but if you'd do, I think this would be a great place to share those stories!

Edited by Jane_Doe

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My story:

When I was ~6 six years old, I was going through a really rough time in life.  I was bogged down in the difficulties of life and in pain this existence can bring.  I also felt weighed down for my own shortcomings- that I couldn’t do this or that, that I wasn’t good enough, or that I had done wrong things, even things which brought pain to those I loved.  There was so much I regretted, so much I wanted to get away from—part of me even hated myself for all of this.  I felt very alone in all this, that no one self could understand what I was going through. 

During this time I would frequently go out the backyard swing set for solace to think with hanging upside on the monkey-bar swing for hours, just thinking. Sometimes I would get bogged down in my self-hatred.  Sometimes I would say a prayer to fight off those demonic feelings.  I wonder the purpose of it all.  On one such day, a song came into my mind that I had learned at church that day:

“Heavenly Father, are you really there?

And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?

Some say that heaven is far away,

But I feel it close around me as I pray.

Heavenly Father, I remember now

Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:

"Suffer the children to come to me."

Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.”

I remembered that song.  I remembered the story of Jesus which went along with it.  I remembered how He asked specifically for the little children to come to Him, and blessed them.  I remember how He lived, prayed, and died to understand all of us and to save us from evil.  He suffered for all of it—He understood all of it—even the littlest thing.  Like Jesus understood exactly what it was like to have a sister-with-a-temper!  He also understood the more complicated things I was going through.  And there was a reason for it!  The end of all this struggle was so glorious—such amazing great things to come!  God hadn’t forgotten about me or anything- I was His child- He cared beyond measure.

I sat on that swing and just poured my heart out in prayer.  I can’t express the relief to have someone to talk to- to have someone to understand.  That feelings of welcome and love….And then, to have someone to that could Heal on top of it—that knit up my heart so much that day.  To express it in words…. “the best hug ever!” is what my little self called it.  In fact, despite that I and my faith has grown over the years, those are still probably the best words I have.

 

As I grew up more, I had more moments and wavering and certainty in faith, and in God.  I knew God was the person whom Understood everything I was going though: my wishes, my desires, my pains.   I devote myself to Him every day: He is my Lord, my Savior, the only begotten Son of God.

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Thank you, @Jane_Doe. This is a great idea.

I was 10. My family was not church-going, but a friend invited me to Sunday School. Parents were happy for the free babysitting. The teacher explained to us that we were all sinners, which us 10-year old boys all understood easily. After all, our parents, siblings, teachers, classmates, and in some cases our principals, all told us so every day! :jail:

So...the idea that God sent his Son to die for our sins, and that if we'd believe in him, and follow his words and promptings, we could go to heaven and live strong, good lives resonated. I raised my hand, asked Jesus into my heart, and never looked back. I may struggle with temptations from time to time, and I have bursts of positive gospel behavior, and other times when it may seem oh-so-difficult, but I've never wavered in my belief in the one true and living creator God, who sent his Son out of love.  As for experiences that pulled on my heart, brought tears, and led me to an emotionally-charged commitment, my experience, at 14, at a Pentecostal camp altar remains seared in my memory. The experience of God's presence lasted about two-hours, and as I walked out of the tabernacle one of the adult counselors looked at me and said, "WOW! You really met God tonight! It shows on your countenance." I might not have been Moses, coming off the mountain, but yeah, that was a precious time. 

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Come to think of it, I never considered myself "born again". I have left the church twice. I've gone to two other churches where I felt absolutely nothing. Now that I'm back in the church, I never thought I was "born again". I don't understand that term, either. I could probably look it up and/or write trivia questions about it, but that's a different aspect.

As for me, it "clicked" when I was in a deep depression about five, six years ago. I went to my boss for help with the depression, and she suggested I go to church. She didn't know what religion I was, and it didn't matter. That's when it hit me. (Sidebar: My parents said to go back to church, but that was expected of them, even though I didn't want them to say it. I'm grateful they respected my wishes of toning that down.) I started going back, and my boss noticed the change. We aren't in the same religion, either!

Now, I'm not sure why it was different when my boss said to go to church. At first, it was something to do. It got me out of the apartment. There was a Family Home Evening with singles in the ward that I attended. Slowly, my spirituality grew. I eventually got the Melchizedek priesthood, after realizing some aspects to it that I didn't understand. (I was also afraid.) Then after some more time, I got endowed in the temple, and THEN I got married the next day . . . IN the temple to my wonderful wife. My spirit will be growing, and I have NO intention of leaving again.

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