Recently baptized member, Sister Paula Vernon, tells of how the spirit of the British Pageant influenced her family’s decision to come into the Church this past summer. As she looks back she realizes the spirit had been working on her and her family for a number of years. Upon moving house about three years ago, Paula and her children had been befriended by the Scotts and the Turners, missionary-minded members in her new neighborhood. She admired the inner calmness evident in the lives of these Mormon women. Their families would periodically invite her family to church functions and she particularly remembers being touched by the spirit when she and her boys attended the baptism of the Scott’s son Edward.
Both families invited the Vernons to attend the British Pageant this past summer and wouldn’t give up when Paula’s work schedule made finding a good time to go difficult. When a day was arranged they traveled by coach, and the many other cheerful, kind members aboard made her feel welcome and comfortable.
When they arrived at the Pageant grounds and participated in pre-pageant activities, Paula said it felt like coming to a family reunion and she immediately sensed a feeling of security and happiness just from being among these people.
The Pageant itself was an almost overwhelming experience for the Vernons. From the early persecutions of reformist believers to the departure of the Latter-day Saints headed for America, Paula felt the Spirit witnessing to her the truth of the message of the restoration. Her family eagerly accepted an invitation to be taught by the missionaries, something she never would have done prior to seeing the Pageant. Paula knew the Book of Mormon was true even as she only began to read.
Since her baptism, Paula continues to be generously blessed with the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost in her life. Looking back she realizes the Lord had always been there helping to put her where she needed to be at the right time to recognize and accept the restored gospel. She will always be grateful for her brave and loving neighbors who were willing to share their treasure with her and for the spirit of the British Pageant that gave her courage to accept the missionaries into her home.