While I was born into the LDS Church, being born into anything should not automatically make one a believer. Everyone should have an experience that gives them a testimony. A marked event that they can recall and say, "that's my conversion story".

I had fallen away from the church in my teen years, and lived a life completely void of God, and the things of God. Well, as I don't want to make this page into a book, it will suffice to say that there came a point in my life that I wanted to change.

My parents had received inspiration from the Lord that they were to move to Utah, and told me that I should pray about it as well. I think that I was finally ready, to try. So one evening, I did, and the Lord moved me so strongly in my heart and soul, that I should move as well, that I simply packed everything and prepared to move. I didn't own much, so I had a couple of large boxes dropped off at greyhound for transport, jumped on my motorcycle, and left.

The trip was not without incident as I took a bad spill on the bike, but 13 hours later, I was there. I think I must have slept like the dead when I got there.

The next night, however, I couldn't sleep. So I went for a walk and found myself walking around the St. George Temple. When I got back, I went straight to my room and got on my knees. I was so moved at how I could have lived the life of a heathen, been such a great sinner for all those years, and that the Lord would still care enough to tell me that I should move. What great mercy the Lord had shown me . . . and what great sacrifice he had made for me. I prayed with all of my heart, even with all of my might, that the Lord would forgive me. What great Love, what great sacrifice, what a great price he had paid to redeem a sinner like me. It was that great price, that I felt I owed my Savior. A debt that I never could repay.

With weeping and sorrow, I acknowledged the debt I could never repay. I therefore told the Lord that I was placing my life on his altar, in the hopes that if he were to mold me as clay in the hands of the potter, and put me through the fiery furnace to purify me, that one day, I might be found worthy to be used as a tool in his hand.

I must break for a comment. The words that I spoke were true, and heart felt. However, I don't believe I actually knew what I was asking for.

As I began to sleep that night, I found myself in a long corridor. A long hallway which was dark where I was standing, but very bright on the other end. So I began moving towards the light and began to notice paintings on the walls that seemed to depict great scenes from the history of the world. Everything around me seemed elegant and beautiful. At last the end of the corridor came into view. There was a great double door, very tall, elaborately decorated with reliefs and gilded in gold. It was then that I noticed someone standing on the right side of the doorway dressed all in white. The man (angel) standing there spoke to me without moving his mouth. He said that they had been expecting me, but I had to wait for just one moment and it would then be my turn. As the moment passed, the messenger or guide opened the great doors and escorted me in.

The great room was so exceedingly white that I could not discern where there were any seams or corners. After a few yards I saw on my right, a few feet above where I was standing, a great throne covered in many colorful jewels refracting the light and one whose glory was so bright, that I could not see his face. Notwithstanding the brightness of his glory, the light was not harsh at all. It was warm, full of Love, and pleasing to the eye. The Lord spoke to me and said that he had heard my prayer, and accepted my offering. That if I was willing, he had something he wanted me to do. I immediately said, of course Lord, there is nothing you can ask that is too great because there is nothing I could ever do that would make up for the great debt you had paid for me. I don't think that I had even been able to relate that thought when he raised his hand for me to stop. He told me that it was required for me to know all that this thing would entail before accepting. Then, an angel standing on his right opened a scroll and began reading. It was a very long list of things I would have to go through. I was beginning to shake uncontrollably. The pain and torment of hearing the words the angel was reading from the scroll were more than I thought I could bear. The words were breaking my heart, and yet, how could I refuse. I told the Lord that I would accept, and no sooner had I done so when he took the memory of what was read by the angel and the pain and torment I felt because of it. He then reached down to the left side of his throne chair and detached the scepter. He handed it to me, and said, "this is to help you walk". I was still limping a bit from the motorcycle accident, and I thought that's what he meant, I didn't understand, but I knew that it was a gift from God and I should accept it.

No sooner than he had handed me the scepter, the messenger who led me into the room was leading me out. Now the scepter had a long polished shaft that seemed to be made from a dark wood that was black and shiny. The top of the scepter was spherical, yet faceted, a diamond a little smaller than a soft-ball, and when measured against myself, the large diamond was directly in front of my heart. As I began walking down that long corridor away from the light, I began using the scepter more and more as a walking stick. I was leaning on it and it seemed as if I was struggling with some unseen force trying to push me backwards, like a great wind, yet the air was still.

At long last, I was approaching the other side of the corridor. I could tell that the side I had just left was the heavenly Temple, and that these doors must be to the earthly Temple. Then, just as I was reaching for the door, the entire floor vanished from beneath me and was instantly replaced with the jaws of death and hell attempting to devour me. I held on to the scepter the Lord had given me with all my might. It was the only thing keeping me from being swallowed up and destroyed by the devil himself. I was praying, "save me Lord, save me".

I immediately woke up to find that some unseen force had in fact seized me and I was crying to the Lord to save me in my mind. I cannot explain in words how frightful and terrible the feeling was and how powerfully it was acting against me to try to kill me. As I prayed in my mind (I could not speak) for the Lord to save me, it did finally leave me, but it was still in the room. It was as if I could point to the exact spot where it was.

I stayed awake for at least another hour or so, but I was so tired. I drifted off to sleep again. I had another dream. It was a warning. It was terrible and it is a warning I must obey when the time comes. Again, I awoke to find the devil trying to destroy me. After praying for the Lord to save me, I again could feel exactly where in the room the devil was hiding.

By this point, sleep had pretty much gone from me, and I was afraid to fall asleep again. That, however, did not stop that evil one from attempting to overpower me again. This time, after praying and being able to speak again, I raised my arm to the square and commanded the evil spirit to leave and not return. It was a good lesson for me to learn because I couldn't even attempt to count the number of times I have had to cast out evil spirits.

There are many things that I want to say, and don't want to say about that experience. The trials on that list were pieces from my forefather Joseph, from Job, and the prodigal son. The warning, so terrifying, so real.

The point in sharing this, is that I KNOW that my redeemer lives, for I have seen him, notwithstanding that I could not see his face. I KNOW IT WAS YESHUA.

I KNOW that there is a reason that the scepter of severity is in his hands only. Only the Lord is capable of knowing a man's heart and using his own weakness to make him strong. We mortals tend to judge and not forgive or ever forget. This is why that judgment must always remain in the hand of the Lord. He is the good shepherd and uses that Lamed or shepherds crook to teach us. His teachings are at times accounted as severe or harsh, but he knows how to turn a man's heart. He knows how to put one through a refiners fire, pull you forth, beat the impurities or weakness from you, let you cool a bit, and do it all over again. Severe, but effective. Men must abide the tribulation, and if they endure to the end, they will come forth as jewels in the crown of the Most High [metaphorically speaking, as I saw no actual crown].

Knowing that the God of Israel lives, that he is real, that he is the good shepherd. I call upon all mankind, to remember your redeemer, Yeshua, the Son of the Almighty. Remember the great sacrifice that he has made for you. Remember the easiness of the way. Return to him. Return O Israel with full purpose of heart. Endure to the end, and you will once more be accounted as the apple of his eye.