How I Joined the Mormon Church – The Hard Year

Here is the next post in my series: How I Joined the Mormon Church

You can read the previous posts here:

I was ALONE at college.

I was baptized less than a month after arriving at Vanderbilt.The process of getting baptised as a Mormon is very different that it is when children do at a Methodist church for example. You have to go through a process where a series of temple recommend questions, which are asked by the bishop. They basically want to find out your “worthiness” to be a part of the temple. Initially, I wasn’t too sure on the whole idea, but as I began to develop my faith, it became clearer that this was where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do if I wanted to get closer to God. There was one other member at Vanderbilt that year. She left by midterms. There was no Institute program. I felt all alone spiritually.

This surprised me as I had been “alone” at home, but in reality I had friends and families from my ward who helped hold me up. Seminary helped me stay close to the spirit in High School.

At college I was REALLY alone. I was figuring out where I fit in my college world with little support to live the Gospel. It wasn’t pretty.


I went to church, there were members kind enough to pick me up each week. By a certain point I felt pretty lost and in a dark place. I could feel the temptations all around me and it was hard to resist. It was hard sitting in alone at night while all my college friends went to parties and got drunk. Sometimes I would go out with them, though I never gave into the temptation to drink. Taking a friend to the hospital after she got so drunk she passed out and we couldn’t wake her up, was a good reminder of why I didn’t want to drink. The smell of Pantene hairspray still makes me nauseous, as I was smelling her hair as she vomited on me.

Then there was a Born-Again Christian group I had looked into for friends who would want to do more than just drink. They just tried to convince me to leave the Mormon church and join theirs. When I wasn’t willing to do that, they were not my friends anymore.

I had friends and they obviously were not drinking all the time. But my spirit was lonely.

Boys – well those were much more of a temptation than alcohol or drugs. Some of the boys I dated were really good guys and some weren’t.

I would say it was one of the hardest years of my life.

I felt like I was swimming through darkness, with just random shafts of light coming in.

Making light of darkness

So I just struggled and moved forward day by day.

Learning how to manage college classes. It was the first time in my life I had to study to get good grades and that was hard for me.

I was eating horribly, drinking a 6 pack of coke a day.

I was physically empty and felt spiritually empty too.

I was making some bad choices and missed the spirit I had felt. I knew I was on the wrong path, but didn’t know how to get back on the one I desperately wanted on.

I was making good choices too.

I know I studied my scriptures every day. At least a verse a day.

I know I prayed and wrote in my journal.

I know I was loved by my Heavenly Father.

But I also knew I was lost and I wanted to be found, but didn’t know how.