[Taken from my writings]
While serving in ‘D” Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, Hawaii, I met another Marine named xxxxxxx. This man’s character has defiled almost every commandment Moses set forth to the Hebrews. The only commandment I can’t recall is whether he murdered someone but afterward, in being his close friend, knowing his character, I can attest he never did. We always hanged together through training, the nightlife, and training schools. xxxxxxx was a great man since he loved the Savior after his conversion. He now lives in the Provo area of Utah.
My stay in that company was a short duration since I had some private family issues I had to deal with and with facing daily (leadership) prejudices from those who objected me, being assigned to Recon by not undergoing the customary indoctrination prior in joining this elite group of Marines. Between these two problems in my life during that time frame, my full focus was not on my job at hand. With the constant training throughout the month, finding time to clear up these problems was very hard. Thus, I parted my way to another Marine organization on the same base – Headquarters Supply, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines.
After being in this new command, I did manage to stay in contact with xxxxxxx since we lived in the same NCO barracks aboard MCAS Kaneohe Bay. Interesting to note, prior before my leaving on six-month Marine/Navy Westpac float (tour of duty aboard a naval vessel in the Pacific Rim area), xxxxxxx had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His conversion was made possible by a person who was less-active in the church and a return missionary. I did meet this individual prior to float and noted his character even being a less active exceeded those Marines in Recon. If my memory serves me right, his less-active status was due to immorality issues. At this point, I don’t recall Tim even having the Aaronic Priesthood prior to leaving on float since this was done in hast.
After being underway in the Pacific, I was assigned to the USS Duluth’s LPD-6 (a Marine amphibious ship) Logistic Loading Team. The team comprised of the unwanted Marines from the assigned floatable Marine units onboard that ship’s Marine Units didn’t want around. The slang term was called ‘slimes’. First Sergeant selected two of his best NCO’s or Sergeants that could shape and control these troublesome Marines. My assignment and sleeping quarters of being with this detachment was on the same corridor with Tim’s berthing space [Recon Marines].
xxxxxx stopped by my berthing space in September of that year to talk about a book and its historical narrative of what we term in our culture called the American Indians [a Gentile perspective]. I sat down to listen, knowing the great transformation in his personal character of great sin to one of great faith and righteousness. It really surprised me to see such transformation and wealth of spiritual knowledge from this man that it held me captivated during his presentation. At the end of his talk and trying to answer many questions that night, he handed me a paperback Book of Mormon. He thus went on to point out to me that the underlining scriptural references to study and different pages to read. Tim also discussed about gaining a testimony of this marvelous book and the Savior Jesus the Christ. He did mentioned that in the Book of Moroni, chapter 10, if I asked of GOD with great faith, being humbled, repentant of my sins, thus changing my way of life, GOD would talk to me and answer my prayers. I took his words literally. Perhaps, this was a positive move for me as you will see later.
I took the Book of Mormon and began reading it when I had the opportunity between the daily tasks and leading the troops in a daily taskings. After a week or so, I went back to xxxxxx and gave back the Book of Mormon. I told him it was boring seeing it sounded like an Indian historical book more than something that I could digest as relevant to current day’s dealings between GOD and man. Talk about pure ignorance on my behalf. xxxxxxx, being patient and filled with the spirit, asked me if I was interested in reading current revelations manifested to the Prophet Joseph Smith and those prophets who preceded him. I said yes. He gave me the book called ‘Doctrine and Covenants’ that contained the Pearl of Great Price and History of Joseph Smith.
Well, you never believe this but this book held me captive on those precious free moments at night or during a break. I read the book in its entirety; including the Pearl of Great Price and History of Joseph Smith. During that time, I was found among those called the Calvinists or Born Again believers; I went about preaching the word I had already learned. This was strange since I was not even a member of the church or received an answer to my prayer.
I kept praying for that answer every day since my initial visit by xxxxxxx. I didn’t rest until GOD answered my prayer literally as I supposed it was the only way for my own conversion. During that first week of November, we had to move our mattress due to bug infestation that someone contacted out in a local town in the Philippines, where the ship laid anchor. I managed to catch some sleep time while laying down under the hanging uniforms, my location as to my bedding to be near the troops in case of emergency call up during the night. We had quite of few of them during the last month or so.
Being a Marine, in a humble surrounding, very late at night where most troops were already asleep, I lay there staring up at the berthing space’s ceiling, offering my personal prayer in seeking an answer on which religion and church to join. Whether or not that the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith was truly HIS prophet.
Well, it happened that night on 8th November. While thus in prayer…the answer came. [Rest of the story was omitted]