Walking by faith, not by sight

by Geoff Shenton

Geoff with his Braille scriptures

This is my conversion story to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a blind person, I’m so grateful for the opportunities the gospel has given me.

I met my future wife, Judith, at Wigston Day Centre, Leicester in November 1981.

Judith was on placement for her pre-nursing course and I was attending the Centre twice a week.

Judith told me she was a member of the Church and I gave her a hard time but respected her because there was something different about her.  After six months of friendship, I asked her to send the missionaries to see me. After the first discussion, I was sceptical about the Joseph Smith story. Unbeknown to me, one of the missionaries told Judith I would join the Church. After a while, she said “if the Church isn’t for you, then we have no future together.”

That made me think very seriously about the Church, especially Judith, as I didn’t want to lose her!

Geoff and Judith

On Judith’s birthday, she said she was going to a church activity and said bluntly, “if you want to see me, you can come with me, or you won’t see me on my birthday!”  I was stunned!  It was a YSA fireside - and I was impressed! I liked everything I heard;  their testimonies  and their company. I was invited to Stake Conference and I also attended a cottage evening where I requested the discussions again – my interest was growing!

Judith kept a distance throughout, asking the missionaries to let me learn at my own pace. After reading 3 Nephi 31:5-6 (why Jesus needed to be baptised to fulfil all righteousness) I was asked about baptism. After much prayer, I said ‘yes’ and was forewarned about opposition from the adversary. My baptism date was set, but I then began to doubt my decision and asked my mum what I should do.  She said, “If you don’t do it, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life”. My doubts were dispelled and I was baptised by Judith’s father. 
Many years ago, I recall receiving a blessing that told me when I would eventually attend the temple, I would see things that physically sighted people would not see and I testify that this has happened to me. I have had the privilege to serve as a Counsellor on two Bishoprics, High Priests Group Leader, Elders Quorum President, Ward Mission Leader, Sunday School President, Primary Teacher and also in many other ways.

I’m so grateful for the gospel and for my eternal companion, Judith, who was instrumental in helping me to come to know my Saviour Jesus Christ.   
- Geoff and Judith are the proud parents of two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, who have both served full-time missions. They are also the grandparents to Isaac, Noah and Theo, three year old adorable triplets adopted by Jonathan and his wife Hannah.