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On 8/14/2019 at 9:03 PM, Anddenex said:

I think others have provided some insightful thoughts regarding joining the Church, and I will see if I can potentially add anything helpful to your journey.

1) There are two gifts of the Spirit and one often appears to be overlooked, and by some groups it is mocked. The first is that some are given the gift to "know" by the Spirit that this is the Lord's Church. This is the Lord's gospel.

The second is that some are given to know through their belief in other people's words. Both witnesses will lead a person to exaltation as long as we act in faith, hope, charity, and endure to the end.

Once you know the truth by either the first or the second gift of the Spirit, I wouldn't hesitate joining the Church.

2) Please continue reading the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and mind. If you haven't yet, read the Book of Mormon all the way through, and sincerely and with real intent accept the invitation from Moroni to pray.

All my children have read the Book of Mormon in its entirety before they have been baptized. All my children have accepted Moroni's invitation to pray and all of them thus far have received an answer. What I find interesting is how they each have felt a different fruit of the Spirit letting them know its true. My fourth child was baptized 4 months after he turned 8 because he had not finished the Book of Mormon. Baptism isn't a right of passage. It is a testament/covenant that I am willing to love and keep God's commandments to the end.

3) Remember, every member of the Church is at different levels of spirituality. Here is what I have witnessed in the Lord's Church:

  • There are members who are traditional members. They were born in the Church, they haven't felt the music (enjoy this video so you know what I am meaning).
  • There are members of the Church who are very knowledgeable, spiritual, and are a good example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
  • There are members who are over-zealous and can lead toward religious hobbies. (religious hobbies is something we want to avoid ourselves)
  • There are progressive members who care more about being politically correct than following the prophet.
  • There are ex-members, who are no longer followers of Christ's true gospel, which begs the question from Christ to his disciples, "Will you also go away"? or something to that nature Christ asked.

So, when a person joins the Church, like all others (like my mom and dad who are converts), they will have to decide for themselves what type of member they will become. Remember, there are many called and few are chosen. Choose to be chosen.

4) We choose to be offended. Like @person0 shared, if we truly have received witness, if we truly love our Savior (and that is the motivation behind our actions), then no matter how we feel the ward treats us we will still be faithful and attend.

Sadly, I had an experience that lasted for a few years where a leader had something against me. It was interesting how easily this man influenced others. I was at one point uninvited from meetings that I was supposed to attend. This was the first time I ever asked to be released from a calling. I looked at it this way, "If you remove me from magnifying my calling and meetings I am supposed to attend, then you obviously don't need me in the calling." I was released and called to the primary. Best calling ever! If I could I would only serve as a primary teacher for 8-10 olds, as this is the most rewarding calling -- in my book -- ever! I loved watching how easily the Spirit worked on these young members.

I also found it interesting that when this individual moved out of our ward how all of a sudden leaders were saying, once again, just ask the Anddenex family they will get it done. So, one person can influence people against other people. If that happens, always remember why we attend Church. I do not attend Church so that a bishop, a leader, or anyone else is my friend. I attend Church simply because of one reason -- I love my Master, my Savior. He died for me. I will serve him, even if people who are supposed to love me, do not.

What am I saying? No one in the Church is perfect -- no one. Don't expect it. If you come to Church to serve our Master/Savior, then you will be just fine. Remember, his love is greater than everyone else combined, and learn to trust in that love that is received through the power of the Holy Ghost.

5) Accept every calling you receive no matter how hard. Remember the following verse of scripture: Ether 12:27.

6) Growth in the Church, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, is accomplished through service, through continued reading of scriptures, and through honoring the covenants we have made.

7) It is OK not to rush into anything, as long as we are sincerely doing what is required and are willing to act when the Spirit bears witness. If the Spirit has already bore witness to you, then act, don't wait. Remember the day of Pentecost and how thousands were baptized after one day. I am not saying, go rush and be baptized. I am saying, if the Spirit has born witness, you know it has born witness, then act and obey. You will be blessed for your obedience even if you still feel nervous or afraid. Those are natural feelings that come upon us all.

A good read for you might be "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" : https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2000/03/cast-not-away-therefore-your-confidence?lang=eng

The best aspect of being in the Church -- IT IS TRUE. This is Christ's Church. This is his gospel. This is the path to exaltation to be with the Father and the Son and with our families. That is the best aspect.

The next best aspect, is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, constant companionship, that provides comfort, knowledge, and justification. We have a member of the Godhead as our companion. Learn to trust in His voice, which is God's voice, and his voice alone. This voice will never, ever, lead you astray. It will always bear witness of truth.

Another aspect, you can meet some wonderful, honest, good hearted people who will be friends for life.

Well, I think that suffices dear friend.

 

Thank you so much for the pointers and links. I'll definitely look in to these. I was first introduced (or maybe exposed to is the right phrase) to the Church by my friend, who I think very much falls into your "There are members of the Church who are very knowledgeable, spiritual, and are a good example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ" category. He only told me about things when I asked, and I instigated everything, so I was not pressured at all (unless that was indeed his elaborate plan!) I am loving learning everything but need to do it all slowly, I just hope its not too slowly! I think I will get to the point where I can approach the community more than just online, I'm just not someone who is comfortable in new situations with new people (so kinda throwing myself in at the deep end here) 

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22 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

No resentment at all-- we love new people and questions, particularly real-from-the-heart ones!

I have felt welcomed, definitely but always worry that I might offend with something I do or say because I'm not from a religious background in any way so lots of things are a little foreign to me! 

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22 hours ago, Serviteur du seigneur said:

Dont fear anything, come unto christ. The members in general are the most loving and caring people i ever met, they dont belong to this world.

I genuinely believe that my friend who is a member was sent to me for a purpose by someone. He is definitely of a higher regard in my eyes 

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10 hours ago, Grunt said:

The Church loves new people.  Depending on where you live, you could get an incredible amount of support.

I think that's the one big worry for me, is acceptance after being "the new person" I'm in England 

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1 hour ago, Phoenix7093 said:

I have felt welcomed, definitely but always worry that I might offend with something I do or say because I'm not from a religious background in any way so lots of things are a little foreign to me! 

Honestly, if you completely stick your foot in your mouth, folks will just get a laugh at it and move on.

1 hour ago, Phoenix7093 said:

I think that's the one big worry for me, is acceptance after being "the new person" I'm in England 

England is very friendly towards new people.  We have a couple of forum members who are converts in England. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 7:10 PM, Phoenix7093 said:

I think that's the one big worry for me, is acceptance after being "the new person" I'm in England 

Honestly, I don't think it's anything you need to worry about.   However, if Heavenly Father is calling you, MY experience during my conversion is that it's best to answer him, regardless of the situation.  He knows what's best.

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Thank you again for all the feedback given, it really solidifies for me what a wonderful community this is that I am hoping to join 🙂 and helps me feel really welcome

On 8/15/2019 at 2:02 PM, Grunt said:

The Church loves new people.  Depending on where you live, you could get an incredible amount of support.

I think that's the one big worry for me, is acceptance after being "the new person" I'm in England 

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On 8/13/2019 at 5:53 PM, Phoenix7093 said:

I have been looking into joining the Church for around 6 months. What is some advice you could give me what to do next. I have started reading the book of Mormon, have spoken to missionaries online (I've not felt ready to meet in person), and have been to Church once with a friend who is a member. I don't like to rush into things and would like to know what people think are the best aspects of being in the Church and also what are some thing to consider (good and bad) before taking the step

My advice is to never be afraid or hesitant in doing what is right and true.  If determining what is right and true is a problem such that you do not know what is right and true - then what you do will not matter - you will only know or learn from your failures and you will have many more failures than successes because success can only come from knowing what is right and true.

 

The Traveler

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