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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Post: I Prayed to Know if Another Church Was True

It doesn't matter if you're man or woman, gay or straight, dark- or light-skinned. All can equally submit guest posts to Modern Mormon Men. Write something now and submit via email.

My name is Ethan Unklesbay. I'm a Junior in Spanish Teaching at BYU. After growing up in southwest Ohio, I served a mission in Chile, Rancagua. I play the guitar, the harmonica, and enough piano to get myself into trouble (because I can't actually play any hymns). I love literature, especially in Spanish or from Spain. Being a Mormon is awesome, but sometimes I think it gets complicated, and that more so at BYU than elsewhere. Scott Hales recommended me to MMM while he and I were on a trip through Logan (to visit the temple) and Brigham City (to visit the grave of Nephi Anderson's first wife, Asenath). Read Ethan's first guest post here.

Image by h.koppdelaney

It was on my mission. My first area was difficult, as I imagine most first areas are.

I can still remember the black-haired man in his white, short-sleeve shirt as he leaned out of the from door of his blue chilean house. After the initial rejection, we invited him to pray to know if our message was true before we came by again. His response was something I hadn't ever heard: "Oh yeah? Well I invite you to pray to know if my church is true. WIll you do that?" He was being kind of sarcastic, and I doubt that he really actually cared about whether or not I prayed to know if his church was true. Regardless, I agreed to do so.

I got home that night, and I remembered the commitment that man had left with me. I prayed quickly and asked, "God, is that man's church true?" I didn't get an answer, so I decided to go straight to bed, content with knowing that I was in the true church. Shortly after that prayer, however, I began to feel guilty. Moroni's words came into my head: "Sincere heart and real intent ... sincere heart and real intent ..." I thought about what that meant and began to ponder.

I realized that if his church were true, I was in the wrong place. If his church were true, I needed to go home, I needed to go back and right the wrong I had done, I needed to repent and get that condemnation off my head for having preached in favor of a false church and a false gospel. If God were to tell me that his church were true, then I would have to obey and drop everything I had known to be true.

I decided to let go of what I knew and pray with "real intent" of changing the rest of my life if God were to answer me and tell me that that man's church were true.

That's when I got my answer—I'd share it here, but I don't want to rob anyone of that very spiritual experience I had when I asked with "a sincere heart and real intent" if another church was true.

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