Who is LdsMarco?

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Who is LdsMarco?

Postby LdsMarco » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:43 am

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It all began when I was walking home from a hard day's work. I started thinking about where was my life heading. Then I began to feel much sorrow, realizing I had nothing good to say about myself. It seemed as if I was completely blind to my whole entire life. I said to myself: "What am I doing? Is this it? Is this what life is all about?"

I was an alcoholic, but that wasn't the worst of it. Prior to that; I was selling and using methamphetamines. Also known as speed/crank. I call it the "devil's drug". I was going in and out of jail - something I am not too proud of.

Going back to the day I was walking home, I felt the need to pray to God. At this moment of time, I was in a desperate need for help. It's funny how that works - people remember God when they need something, but when things seem to be going okay, God is forgotten.

I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. I said: "God, I am tired of living this way. What do I need to do to change my life?" I was astonished how quickly He answered my prayer. He said: "You need to leave." My first thought was: "Leave? Why would He tell me that?" At this point, I was confused because I couldn't understand why He wanted me to leave my family. I couldn't bear to think to leave my two little girls behind, but without thinking any further, I made the decision, and left. Yes, this was very painful - especially because there were kids involved. My relationship with my girlfriend was very bad and this wasn't healthy for the children. Violence in a home is never good. You're probably thinking, why would God say that? Why couldn't He ask you to change, Marco? Well, I can only think of a few things. First, I was not the only one violent. Perhaps I could have changed, but my companion probably wouldn't have. Second, we were living in sin. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 reads as follows: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

Elder Boyd K. Packer once said: "... if you now live with another without marriage, leave! Withdraw from it! Do not continue it!..." (Ensign, May 1981, 13).

Where did I go, you may ask? I moved back to my mother's house. Considering, I wasn't a very good son; she was still willing to welcome me back home with open arms. I noticed a big change in my mom. I was wondering why she was so different, so forgiving. She also seemed so happy. I knew she was going to church, but I didn't know much about it. As a matter of fact, I had never heard of the church before. The name of the church was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka The Mormon Church).

The following Sunday, I decided to give it a try and see for myself what this church was all about. I was truly amazed how organized it was. I had never seen anything like it. I felt as if I was back in school, once again, but this time, I was learning. For once in my life, I felt free. I felt joy. I felt complete peace. The teachings were wonderful. There were many questions I always wondered about like, "Why am I here? What's going to happen when I die?" Amazingly, a lot of my questions were answered there. Everything taught there made sense to me. For the first time in my life, I felt the love of God. Therefore, this church began "to be delicious to me".

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves - it must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." (Alma 32:28)

"O then, is this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good, and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good." (Alma 32:35-36)

The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., on one occasion said of a doctrine and teaching, "This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you... You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given to me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more." (Deposition of a Disciple, p. 65) Alma and Joseph preached the same thing as a result of their trying successfully the experiment of the gospel's goodness. Therefore, I was inspired to do the same.

I decided to receive lessons from the missionaries. Our first lesson was The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It teaches about an apostasy that has occurred in the world. This apostasy resulted in the formation of many churches with confliction teachings. During this time, many men and women sought the truth, but they were unable to find it. Many good people believed in God and Jesus Christ and tried to understand and teach truth, but they did not have the full gospel or priesthood authority. As a result, each generation inherited a state of apostasy as people were influenced by what previous generations passed on, including changes to Christ's gospel.

As I continued the lessons - the Spirit was revealing to me that this was good fruit. The only problem I had was if I was being deceived. How will I know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God? Paul warned us against those who "lie in wait to deceive ... by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness" (Eph. 4:14) The Savior said that there would be imposters who would attempt to pass themselves off as his authorized representatives. He warned of false prophets who would come in sheep's clothing but who would have their own selfish motives to fulfill. He said:

"Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruits; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:15-20)

I strongly believe - for me to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling me in the wrong direction - I must have my own testimony. I would have to read the Book of Mormon and find out for myself, if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. President Monson promises, having a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon builds testimony in other areas of the gospel. For example, When we know the Book of Mormon is true, then it follows that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet and that he saw God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

A Prophet by the name of Moroni promised, if we pray in faith we will receive a confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true.

"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye should ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:3-5)

I am pleased to tell you - I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be. The more I tried to find mistakes, the more I was aware of truth. This is a self-testing book. Don't take my word for it. Read it, ask God in faith and He will tell you by the power of the Holy Ghost what you need to know. Bless you in your search.

I say these things in His sacred name, our Lord, and Savior, Even Jesus Christ, Amen
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Re: Who is LdsMarco?

Postby gardener4life » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:25 am

Hmm, I felt the spirit reading your story.

I think it will help if you hear that you really can become a different person. (And are doing so.)

The Story of Paul; Acts Chapter 22 Paul is his new identity as a child of God. He is Saul no longer. He progressed to the point where he really feels what it means to be a child of God and that he is no longer who he used to be. (But that also means staying away from his old life.) The closer he gets to Christ, the less he feels desires to return to his old life.

Enos (Chapter 1) (He remembers what his Father told him about the joy of the saints and cried out to God. He really cried out, all day long to plead with the Lord to help him become a new person.)

Ammon went about with the other sons of Mosiah and Alma...but was willing to do everything he could to change and become a new person even if he had to face persecution himself. He prays for the chance to help other souls come unto God, and cries out that no soul would perish if there was a chance to save them. This is the concept by why they had to go help the Lamanites. The suffering of those perishing spiritually began to make people like him feel pained that they could save them if they could, even if it took a lot of effort. The love of God is strong with the faithful, they love missionary work. They love helping people and for the right reasons. I say this because missionary work is a joy, not a chore. I pity those that see missionary work as work of pain. It's beautiful to help every soul possible come back to God.

We really do become a new person in Christ. This is why I can't explain why missionary work and sharing the gospel is so happy and joyful. The more we catch a glimpse of our future self and new future as a child of God, the stronger we want to take hold of the blessings he wants to give us. Then he asks us to share it not because we have to, but so we won't feel pained seeing others perish in unbelief. If only more of them would come back.

It feels good and so peaceful to know that we aren't the same person we used to be, regardless of what choices we have or haven't made because we see we're progressing. Untold possibilities are infinite as we discover how many different directions in eternity are possible for being obedient. We gain blessings and a future in Christ because of obedience, not because of how rich we are, how poor we are, what social caste we are, what skin color, or nationality we are.

The story of Paul is moving. I am driven and feel moved by how beautiful it is that Christ freely gives him a new identity and a chance to be something new.

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Re: Who is LdsMarco?

Postby LdsMarco » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:42 am

gardener4life wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:25 am
Hmm, I felt the spirit reading your story.

I think it will help if you hear that you really can become a different person. (And are doing so.)
I definitely believe people can change. Here is more to the story:

I would like to begin by saying this is very difficult for me to write. As thoughts run through my mind and memories that I wish I've never had - this here brings tears down my face. For those who don't know me - congratulations, you will get to know me a little more here on this blog. Previously, I wrote: "Things Can Change If You Want Them To", my testimony of my conversion. Now - I would like to talk about my past. Why would I like to do that? Well - I feel inspired to do so because I know deep inside it may help someone else.

I was about 20 years old when I met a friend who I will not mention. We became very close friends - even like brothers. At first we were huge pot smokers. There wasn't a day that past without smoking a joint or two - or three - or - well you get the point. Unfortunately, things got boring and we decided to add unto our habit with alcohol. Great! Alcohol and weed. How bad can it get right?

One night we were pretty much wasted and decided to have a little fun (so we thought). That night we did a lot of dumb things, but to make a long story short - The police were knocking on my door and pulled us out of my house and threw us in jail. We were charged with grand theft auto (GTA). Do I remember that happening? No, but I'm glad they dropped the charges because they didn't have any hard evidence

You would think I would have learned my lesson from that experience, but wrong! I was probably thrown in jail at least 6 to 7 times in my lifetime. You think I would remember how many times, but believe me - I have reasons to forget all this.

Within a 4 year period - things got really bad. My friend and I began doing drugs with his father and uncle. We eventually graduated to cocaine - from cocaine to crack cocaine - from crack cocaine to methamphetamines. We also did a few other drugs, but meth was our drug of choice.

My friend decided to move to San Francisco to make a new life. From my understanding, things got worse for him. He ended up stabbing someone and ended up a fugitive. He came back to California to hide, but that didn't last long. Within 2 weeks, we were taking a drive and was pulled over by police. We were surrounded by patrols and the last words I heard from him was: "it's over." Indeed it was over. I lost my friend and never seen him again.

Eventually I found another friend who was doing the same thing I was. We never got into any problems with police, but we did a fair amount of drugs to the point he ended up falling asleep while driving and getting into a car accident which had him end up in the hospital in a coma. Good thing I wasn't in the car with him that day. Since then, I haven't seen him either.

At one point I didn't sleep for days. It seemed weeks. I started to hallucinate and see many dark shadows as if they were demons. Where they real? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't doubt that they were. The day has come that I did way too much within 2 days. I ended up overdosing with a heart rate of 180 bpm. I remember the paramedics saying: "Yup, he's gotta go." Meaning I need to go to the hospital - Now!

The paramedics injected me with something (who knows what it was), but it felt very very weird. Supposedly it slows down your heart rate in an instant. Well - it didn't work. So they did it again. It seemed to work and I was on my way to the hospital. I don't remember anything else until I went home that same day and hallucinated the whole night seeing stuffed animals walking towards me and fishes swimming in my room. I wasn't scared or anything - I was actually having a laugh over the whole situation.

Don't get me wrong - this to me is very scary now. I didn't know any better. I'm only telling you how I felt and how it went. I'm being very honest and believe me -- this isn't easy for me to write. It seems as if it were yesterday and I dislike thinking about the whole thing.

After my overdose - you would think it would be enough for me to stop. Well - it wasn't. A week later I did it again. Well guess what? It happened again. I overdosed, but this time I was able to control it and wait for it to pass. That there was my wake up call. Well - for the next 5 to 6 years it was.

After several years I thought it was over. I thought I will never - ever go back. Wrong again! I met yet another friend. We became very close and ended up the best of friends. This time, it was different. We were hanging out with the wrong crowd. A VERY WRONG CROWD. To make a long story short - It got to the point that I had many sources to go to and I thought - why not make money off this? I was able to get it for cheap and make a fair amount of money from it. So I did.

At that moment I thought I had it all. I had friends, money, a nice car and for the first time a lot of attention. When I was going to high school I didn't have many friends at all. As a matter of fact I was a nerd. I did all my school work and never missed a day. Getting all this attention felt really great until things began to get loud. What is loud? It's when everyone begins to know who you are and what you're about. There was this one time that I went inside a bar and the girl bartender there came up to me and said: "So you're the guy." I asked "guy?" She said: "Yeah, the drug dealer for this joint." When she said that, I knew I was in trouble. This wasn't good at all. It's one thing that your clients know you, but people you don't know very well? No. Not at all!

At one point there were a few of us trying to gain clients. One will try to steal one from me and I will steal two from him. It began to be a battle of clients. It wasn't even for the money anymore, it was about power. This was silly too because it wasn't like we were Scarface or The Godfather in any way. We were pussycats compared to real drug lords. The point was that we were the main guys in our neighborhood and we always had it.

There was a huge investigation going on and many were going to jail. I decided to stop everything because I didn't want to end up like everyone else. I was clean for a few years and I was doing good for a while. I began to hang out with my friend again and things went back to the way it was, but this time, I was using a lot more and wasn't selling anymore. I began to be very addicted to the point I wasn't paying my rent or bills. I lost everything, including my family. I was sleeping in my car for days until my friend (who is my wife now), took me in. I stayed with her and I stopped the drugs for a while.

It didn't take long that I went back hanging out with my friend and began doing the same o thing. As you can see - there has been a lot going on and all this happened within a 22 year period. If you can imagine all the stories I have... I'm just telling you the basics. This is nothing.

The day has come that I lost my best friend from a drug overdose. This was a wake up call for me, because it took my friends life to make the decision to stop doing meth. For a long time I had a guilty conscience because I felt it was part of my fault. Now, I pretty much forgave myself because we are responsible for our own actions, not someone else's.

I came a long ways my friends... a very long ways. Indeed anybody can change - anybody! Nobody in this planet can tell me otherwise. For those who say that someone can't change - it's not true! That is something that Satan wants you to believe. I remember I use to wonder how I managed to stay out of jail or even stay alive. Now I know why. Because God made it happen. He has a plan for me and I haven't completed it yet. And I know that I am part of His plan. What is His plan? His plan is to bring all His children back home. He needs ME - He needs YOU! - He needs us ALL! Because He Loves Us! Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all can be transformed, cleansed and freed from addiction!

http://guerreromarco.blogspot.com/2014/ ... right.html

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Re: Who is LdsMarco?

Postby marc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:12 pm

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, hermano, de un Marco a otro.
35...I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity...thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.

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Re: Who is LdsMarco?

Postby kittycat51 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:31 pm

Thank you LdsMarco for sharing your story. Wow. Your story is inspiring, and goes to show one to never give up and there is always hope. God bless you.
'You'll never medicate your way out of diseases you behave yourself into" ~Dr. Roby Mitchell

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