Brother I.C. was baptized last Saturday. Yesterday during Fast and Testimony meeting, he stood to share his most recent miracle — that of finding the Gospel.
When Brother I.C. was growing up in Nigeria, his parents and all of his siblings each went to a different Christian denomination but he never joined any of them, preferring instead to make the rounds, so to speak, in visiting each of the churches to which his family belonged in a type of rotation. He felt restrained from joining any one of them although he greatly enjoyed attending each of them in turn.
No longer in Nigeria, Brother I.C. was still searching for the right church for him. He specifically wanted to find the church that God would tell him is true. As time had passed since emigrating to England, Brother I.C. continued contemplating the question of religion. Recently, he was reflecting on this issue as he walked down the High Street in the borough where the local chapel is located. He stopped for a moment, closed his eyes, and said a prayer in his heart asking God to reveal the true church to him. As he opened his eyes he saw a man approaching him who said “Would you like to learn about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” Brother I.C. was stunned and found out that the man was Brother D., a man who belonged to the ward that shares a building with our ward.
When Brother I.C. told his friends about this incident in explaining his decision to be baptized into the Church, they told him he was being ridiculous and that it was just a coincidence. He responded by saying that a coincidence is when you wear the same suit or tie to work as your boss one day (to which we all in the congregation laughed) but that what happened to him was a miracle.
He explained that as he formulated his decision to be baptized, he was blessed with another miracle. He was reading in the New Testament and came across Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” He marvelled at this, considering that no one is or can be perfect, he thought. He prayed about this asking for guidance on how someone could possibly keep this commandment, as he referred to Matt. 5:48. He began reading the Book of Mormon looking for an answer and very soon discovered 1 Nephi 3:7:
I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
For Brother I.C. this was a revelation that baptism was the way that the commandment in Matthew 5:48 could be fulfilled.
One interesting aspect of Brother I.C.’s testimony — an aspect that we have noticed a lot in others in this ward which is comprised of many relatively recent converts — is this fresh take on the scriptures. Brother I.C. was discovering 1 Nephi 3:7 for the first time and was excited about how powerful of a scripture it was, whereas those of us who have grown up in the Church have, unfortunately, relegated that particular scripture to the realm of rote Sunday School answers. We all, I hope, learned a lot from his approach to scripture, revelation, and miracles.