Editors Note: this article was originally posted on Meridian Magazine.


I would like to share with you the conversion story of Johnny Ortuno.  His wife and daughter had been baptized three years earlier but he would never make the commitment, in spite of numerous visits from many missionaries over the years.  He always had many difficult questions for us Hermanas (sister missionaries), and he refused to read the Book of Mormon.

He also had strong opinions against tithing, he opposed the construction of temples, he objected to fasting,  and even disagreed with the need for a modern day prophet.  In short, he believed that all organized religions had been corrupted by men.  After visiting with him for several weeks, my companion and I decided that it was futile.  He was not sincerely listening to us and would often end the lessons with a conflict over some doctrine or gospel principle.  We decided to put him on the back burner because of his constant criticism of the church, and focus on other families.

Three months went by without any contact and one day, completely out of the blue, I felt a distinct impression to call Johnny and check on him.   I didn’t have time that evening, but the next morning, during our planning session, I picked up the phone and called him.  He sounded pleasantly surprised to hear from us again and gladly invited us to return to his home for a visit and lesson.  As we walked into his home at our scheduled appointment, I immediately felt a different spirit present.  The Holy Ghost was there during our pleasant conversation.   As we started the lesson, he was very receptive and open to everything we were teaching.  We wondered what had happened to him!

We asked what had made such a difference. He then explained to us…

To read the rest of the story, click to read it on Meridian Magazine.