My Scottish Conversion Story In Utah

By Catherine Murray

I was raised a deeply devout Roman Catholic, going to church every day. Studying the Bible was a normal every day event which I loved. My testimony of Jesus Christ was well established. He was my cornerstone, my iron rod. I had never visited any other church and was unfamiliar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I often prayed that I could be a good Christian example to my children.

During one of my prayer sessions, I experienced a very personal and sacred spiritual encounter. I shared this encounter with a local parish priest and was told these things don’t happen today, so I kept this to myself for many years. But it became foundational to my testimony.

When I moved to Utah, I became involved in the local Catholic community. I didn’t drive back then, so my husband would take me and the children. One Sunday we were running late for church and took a different route. On this route, we passed a building with a sign which read: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” Immediately, a presence came over me. Even though we were going about fifty miles, it felt like time had stood still. After mass, I mentioned to the parish priest that I saw a sign that said “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”. I expressed an appreciation for the name and asked, since we are the true church, why aren’t Catholics called this? He admonished me not to have anything to do with Mormons. This was the first time I had heard this word but the seed had been planted.

Some time later, there was a knock on my door. I assumed they were Jehovah Witnesses so I told them I wasn’t interested and they started to walk away. For some reason I called them back and asked them who they were. They mentioned they were members of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” This captured my attention, and I invited them in. They left me a Book of Mormon which began a friendship with two ladies who were members of the local Relief Society.

A few months later, my husband was asked to work on Sundays so I had no way of getting to my local church. Around the same time, my children began to interact with other children in the neighbourhood, which led to me being invited to activities at their local church. On my first visit to my neighbour’s church, they were showing a film of Joseph Smith's first vision. It was new to me, but when it came to the part he was bound, from my own experience years before, I knew this to be true.

As mentioned I wanted my children to know of Jesus as I knew of him, so I started to attend the Sunday services. I grew up in a Latin based church service where prayers and hymns were all in Latin, so this was the first time I had ever entered another church and heard hymns in English. I remember the first hymn I heard was “O my Father Thou That Dwellest.” It filled me with awe and is now my favourite hymn.

Thereafter, I was invited to the Relief Society and then my baptism came around. I think the whole stake came out to see this young Scottish girl being baptised in Utah. I have since held many positions in the church, such as Relief Society President, Primary President, Stake Primary President, and Sunday school teacher. Currently, I am in charge of Public Relations and Communications for the Greenock Branch.