Sunday, November 23, 2014

I am Jacqueline Swainston and I am a Mormon

The truth: choosing to be a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints is not, nor ever will be, easy. At least not for me. Many people are blessed with perfect faith. My faith, my testimony, and my membership in this church are something that I have fought for. Something I will always be fighting for. I want to tell my story for those who are struggling with their search for truth. This is a little about my journey.

I was born into a Latter-Day Saint family. But I was not born a Latter-Day Saint. No matter how young you were introduced to the Mormon faith, you have to choose to be a member. To me being a member is more than the physical act of being baptized (although this is an important step), it is about deciding that you will dedicate your heart, your talents, and your soul to your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is a daily decision. It wasn't until high school when I really started to question the "why" behind the way I acted: going to church, reading the scriptures, etc. I vividly remember reading the Book of Mormon and the moment when I first thought "what if this is not true?". That doubt, like all doubt I have experienced after, made me physically sick. After long prayers and many tears, I felt the Spirit strongly testify to me that this was good, pure, light. I remember going to church programs like Girls Camp and Education Week where we would spend so much time studying the Savior and His plan for our lives. I honestly experienced pure joy. I cannot explain how powerful those spiritual experiences have been in shaping my life. I hungered for more. Reading the scriptures, listening to church music, and praying connected with my soul in a way that no earthly thing had ever done before. It spoke to my spirit.

Then I went to college. I met more and more people from different faiths. I heard more and more intellectual arguments against not only Mormonism but God in general. The sparkle and the glamour tempted me both intellectually and emotionally.  We hear that wickedness is never happiness. But to a young girl, they look almost the same. I had many dark hours of doubt. On one hand, I knew that the gospel of Jesus Christ had always brought me happiness. On the other, I really questioned the psychology of "why" I believed the way I did.

The reason the say that the world is "loud" and the Spirit of God is a whisper is because it is literally true. We are constantly attacked with rhetoric that goes against revealed doctrine. It is literally a battlefield every day for our souls. Everything seems to be controversial these days. People seem to disagree on almost everything. For goodness sakes, it is hard to know if eggs are good for your health or not with all the "science" out there. I have learned that there is only ONE way to learn spiritual truths. It  is through the Spirit of God testifying of truth to your soul. That is the one thing that has saved me from dark periods of doubt.

To this day, there are things that I do not understand. There is doctrine that is hard for me to accept. My faith is imperfect. My testimony still growing. However, despite all my imperfections, I know that my Heavenly Father still loves me. I know that the Book of Mormon is literally the word of God. I know that the temple is the House of God. I know that if I continue to pray, continue to search the work of God, and keep the commandments that I will be blessed with more light and knowledge. In short, my soul and heart know that this is the church of God, even if my mind sometimes struggles.
I believe in Jesus Christ.


  1. Thanks for sharing your testimony, mine is very similar. There are still things that I don't understand and are hard for me but the experiences I have had have made me realize its true and I can't ever deny that!