When I was 18 years old and had completed my Freshman year in College, I had the unrealized opportunity to investigate and possibly be baptized and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The youngest daughter of some family friends was visiting us at our summer home in Southern California for a couple of weeks. This family were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we were not.
One day while visiting us, the youngest daughter (Luana) introduced the Book of Mormon to me and asked me if I might be interested in reading it and possibly learning more about her church and religion? I did browse through her Book of Mormon. However, at that time, it didn't make any sense to me and it seemed very strange compared to the Scriptures that I had been used to using and reading in the Protestant Church that my family and I belonged to. I thanked Luana for showing me her Book of Mormon but told her that I already belonged to a Church and wouldn't be interested in learning about her church and religion. She did not pursue her invitation to me about the church.
Over the years, I learned a little about the Church. In 1976, while visiting my Father in Ogden,Utah with my two young sons, we traveled to Salt Lake City and visited the "Visitor's Center" on Temple Square. We found it interesting, but for whatever reason I still was not "touched" by the Holy Spirit or prompted to learn more about the LDS church. Over the years, LDS Missionary Elders came to my door in at least a couple of residences where I was living. I knew who they were, but after "thanking them," I still was not prompted to listen to what they had to say. Perhaps I wasn't yet ready.
Then, in the Spring of 2003 while living in Madison,Wisconsin, I was researching information about my 50 year High School Reunion on the Internet and came across a list of former High School Classmates. I came across the name of someone whom I had dated 2 or 3 times, but only knew casually. I thought to myself: "I know and remember her! We dated, and I remember that she was a very friendly and outgoing person; seemed to always have a smile and a good word for others." There were serveral other female classmates whom I knew, some of whom I had also dated. However, it was as if a "hand was put on my shoulder," and I received a mental message which said: "you should contact "Margaret" (the first former classmate I noticed on the list).
At that time, I didn't really know why, but I responded to this strong prompting and sent an email to Margaret. We had had no contact since we graduated from High School in 1953 and I didn't even know if she would remember me or, if so, whether she would respond to my email? To my surprise, but with a great feeling of happiness, Margaret did respond to my email, saying that she did remember me and that she was happy that I had taken the time to contact her.
Ours is as an amazing story and a great blessing. It would take several pages to tell our total story but I will jump ahead and say that it was my friend Margaret (now my dear wife) who introduced me (again) to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I fell in love with her after corresponding for over a year (she was living in Germany at the time).
In the course of our correspondence, she suggested that I investigate the LDS Church. She provided considerable information about the Church. As I studied, I grew to love the true gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and my local congregation. Several months later, I was finally baptized and confirmed in the Madison,Wisconsin First Ward. Later that year, I proposed marriage to Margaret on the telephone from Madison,WI to Germany. My Blessing! Maggie, as she is affectionately known, accepted my proposal. 15 months later, we were married and sealed in the Washington, D.C. Temple on August 11, 2005.
If I had investigated our Church and become a member when our family friend (Luauna) first introduced the Book of Mormon to me, yes, I may have become a member much sooner. But it would have been most unlikely that I would have come in contact with my beloved Maggie and been married in the Washington D.C. Temple at that time.
I believe that our Heavenly Father desired that Maggie and I become re-acquainted 50 years later; that we were the two persons meant to be married and sealed together for eternity at the time that we did. Therefore, apparently, our Heavenly Father did not intend for us to be together "earlier" but "later" during our mortal lives here on earth.