Feeling worthless and very small caused me a lot of pain all of my life. That feeling was caused by how the world I lived in viewed me, how my parents related to and treated me, and the choices I made throughout my life up to that point. The choices I made the first 32 years were made with what I had learned and experienced. My attitude was one of a victim. The world was against me and out to get me. Happiness was what I was looking for and just could not find. I looked for it in all the wrong places. I tried to find it by outer appearance, social contacts, saying and doing what I thought other people wanted to hear or have me do. I worried about what people thought of me. In other words, I lived a lie and did not even know it. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ opened my eyes, mind, and soul to the truth that would help me find the happiness I was looking for.
I did not understand it all at once. I started to read the scriptures and church books and attended sacrament meetings and all related functions. It was a slow process because of my dyslexia and the inability to read well and comprehend things quickly. I knew that if I stuck with it, I would eventually succeed and succeed I did. Each day that I read and studied I learned a truth, however small. To understand that Jesus Christ loved me unconditionally, that I was of divine heritage, and that I had chosen to come to earth to learn and choose good over evil were hard concepts for me to grasp. It sounded so great and comforting, but my 32-year-old tapes in my head played a different tune, always reminding me that I was not worthy of such a gift. I wanted to be loved; I wanted to belong to that heavenly family! With that came a new struggle, a new pain, a new feeling. If my family and the world around me could not love me, how could God love me? Every time I got a glimpse of what that love was all about, and I could imagine the feeling just ever so little, my mind would play the worthless tape and the pain would start all over again. With that pain, I sunk into a deep depression, and the darkness of loneliness and abandonment became my companions. I had made a decision that no matter what it would take or what I had to go through I would never turn back to where I had been. Going back meant to be in pain forever, fighting to move forward meant that I would someday be out of pain. So I fought the depression by hearing the word and promise in my head that I read about in the scriptures, conference talks and other church related books. I took the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to heart and let them begin to heal me. One thing was in my favor: I believed the Lord’s promises with all of my heart, mind and soul. That’s what gave me the strength to put one foot in front of the other and draw closer to the Lord and His love and forgiveness.