By Cindy R. Williams
Childhood Faith led to Her Conversion to LDS Church
Even as a little girl, Janna O’Loughlin had strong faith.
“I talked with God; I had seen Him in my mind; I knew He was my Father. I knew He was all powerful and I also knew He was like unto the image of a man,” she says
“On lazy summer afternoons, I would lay a blanket on the grass in the backyard and talk with God. I remember asking, ‘I know there are other worlds out there and I want to know if you are their God too or if they have another God? Is Jesus the Savior for all the worlds or just planet Earth?’”
She had heard about the Mormons, but not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had no idea they were one and the same.
Janna says, “When I was 25 and planning to marry, my husband-to-be expressed his desire for our family to be grounded in the Mormon Church. Having been raised as a strong Bible-belt Baptist, my first question in response was, ‘Do the Mormons even believe in Jesus Christ?’”
The next step was meeting with the missionaries.
She says, although she had a strong Christian background, she didn’t accept the doctrine of the Trinity, that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are the same being in different forms.
“I knew from the depth of my soul that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost were separate beings, but one in purpose. With the first missionary lesson, I knew I had found the Church that believed what I had known to be truth,” Janna says.
It all seemed to make perfect sense, until they discussed baptism for the dead.
“Everything came to a screeching halt,” Janna says.
She knew other religions preached about saving others, praying them to Heaven, but knew this to be false. Confused and discouraged, she wondered, “How could I find something I’d been searching for my whole life only to have it taken away?”
Then, she says, “All of the sudden I felt as though I was rising up and cool water had been poured over my head and descended throughout my body. I had to look down to see if I was still in my chair. Where the room had been filled with bewilderment, it was instantly replaced with calm, sweet peace. I felt a voice saying, ‘Janna, listen to what they are teaching.’ The confusion was gone and I was able to be taught.”
Since that time, Janna’s testimony has continued to grow, line upon line and precept upon precept. Now a member of the Catalina Ward, Gilbert Greenfield Stake, she is grateful to have the Gospel in her life and encourages others to share.
“Trust that the Lord is already preparing those whose time has come to hear the Gospel,” she says. “Keep it simple; don’t stress over missionary work … the only thing you have to do is provide a reason for someone to seek you out when they have a question, which will start a discussion about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”