From the talk "Was It Worth It?" by Elder David F. Evans in April 2012 General Conference.
Dave Orchard grew up in Salt Lake City, where most of his friends were members of the Church. They were a great influence on him. In addition, Church leaders in his neighborhood constantly invited him to activities. His friends did the same. Even though he didn’t join the Church at that time, his growing-up years were blessed by the influence of good LDS friends and Church-sponsored activities. After he entered college, he moved away from his home, and most of his friends left on missions. He missed their influence in his life.
One of Dave’s high school friends was still home. This friend was meeting every week with his bishop in an effort to put his life in order and be able to serve as a missionary. He and Dave became roommates, and as would be both natural and normal, they talked about why he wasn’t then serving as a missionary and why he was meeting frequently with the bishop. The friend expressed his gratitude and respect for his bishop and the opportunity to repent and serve. He then asked Dave whether he would like to come to the next interview. What an invitation! But in the context of their friendship and circumstances, it was both natural and normal.
Dave agreed and was soon meeting with the bishop himself. This led to Dave’s decision to meet with the missionaries. He received a testimony that the gospel is true, and a date for his baptism was set. Dave was baptized by his bishop, and a year later, Dave Orchard and Katherine Evans were married in the temple. They have five beautiful children. Katherine is my little sister. I will be forever grateful to this good friend who, together with a good bishop, brought Dave into the Church.
As Dave spoke of his conversion and bore his testimony regarding these events, he asked the question, “So, was it worth it? Was all the effort of friends and youth leaders and my bishop, over all the years, worth the effort to have just one boy be baptized?” Pointing to Katherine and his five children, he said, “Well, at least for my wife and our five children, the answer is yes.”
Sister Eileen Waite attended the same stake conference where Dave Orchard told of his conversion experience. Throughout the conference, all she could think of was her own family and particularly her sister, Michelle, who had long been away from the Church. Michelle was divorced and trying to raise four children. Eileen felt impressed to send her a copy of Elder M. Russell Ballard’s book Our Search for Happiness, together with her testimony, which she did. The very next week a friend told Eileen that she too had felt that she should contact Michelle. This friend also wrote Michelle a note, sharing her testimony and expressing her love. Isn’t it interesting how often the Spirit works on several people to help one in need?
Time passed. Michelle called Eileen and thanked her for the book. She said that she was beginning to recognize the spiritual void in her life. Eileen told her that she knew that the peace she was seeking could be found in the gospel. She told her that she loved her and wanted her to be happy. Michelle began to make changes in her life. Soon she met a wonderful man who was active in the Church. They married and a year later were sealed in the Ogden Utah Temple. Recently her 24-year-old son was baptized.
Sharing Time: I am very thankful for the missionaries who found my dad and the friend who introduced my mom to the gospel. Because of them and my parents' decisions to join the Church, I have an eternal family. Every one of us in the Church is the result of missionary work, whether in this generation or a hundred years back. We all owe gratitude to someone for sharing the gospel with us or our ancestors. What is your story?