Taiwan Congregation Follows Teen-Ager
Wang Tien Te
"The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." (Psalm 25:9.)
About twenty years ago in Taiwan, Wang Tien Te1 decided not to affiliate herself with any church but to start one of his own. He chose to teach the gospel strictly from the Bible. His wife worked by his side in the small church they built in front of their little house.
From the Bible Wang taught his flock many truths, including tithing, study of scripture, daily prayer, abstinence of all things harmful to the body, and baptism by immersion. He was their shepherd.
One day Wang and his family learned that their fifteen-year-old Julie (Ju Ling) was interested in a new religion. She had been moved upon by the Spirit to learn about the restoration of the gospel.
Julie's courage in her "little sixteen years," as she charmingly expresses it, and her parents' wisdom shine through the two simple narratives of father and daughter. They represent some o/ the finest examples of conversions to the gospel in the latter days.
God has always given responsibility to common people so that their faith can be tested. I am just a common man, a faithful member of the Church. I have had a most unusual life. I have nine children whom I have provided for with my own two hands, [p.27] assisted by God's kindness. My only schooling was six years' basic education in an elementary school.
Through enthusiasm and faith in the Lord I led the members of my church in Ko Liao to live God's commandments. At times, however, I found myself feeling empty. I do not know exactly how to describe that feeling. I did know, however, that God loved me and that he would give me what I needed.
Through the power of God, my youngest daughter Julie was led to the true Church. Since her conversion, my family, myself, and the members of my little church have found the fulness of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because of the biased comments I had heard from people who were against the Mormon Church, when I first saw the Book of Mormon in Julie's hands I became very upset with her. Julie cried after I scolded her. But I forbade her to touch the Book of Mormon again. Her eyes were full of tears as she quietly said to me: "Father, I love you very much and I respect you. I do not want you to hurt me. I can tell you that I have found the true Church and the true gospel. I was not told by man. I was moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord and I have to insist that I know this is God's true Church. I know that only through this Church can I go back to my Heavenly Father's presence. Father, please do not stop me!"
I was very surprised that she was so firm. She had never talked to me like that before. She had changed greatly—from an innocent little girl who did not know anything to a mature girl who knew what she was talking about. Her testimony at that time did have some influence on me.
Before very long, she brought her baptismal application form to me to be signed. I spoke sharply to her without any feeling for her desire. I wanted her to join my church, but she refused. She said: "Father, I will not accept baptism without authority. I have to be baptized into the true Church, through the power of the priesthood. God wants me to join the true Church. He wants to save me. Please let me go along that narrow path and receive the baptism of water and of the Holy Ghost. I beg [p.28] you to ask God whether this Church is true or not. He will answer your prayers."
Again, I was astonished. She was only fifteen years old. Fifteen! Where did she get the courage to tell me that? For two whole days she hid herself in her room. She did not eat anything during those two days. She was constantly praying. I was moved.
Then I picked up the Book of Mormon and I found that I liked it. I began to ask God. Time after time I asked. I came to realize that it was time for my whole family and all the members of my church to receive the blessings of the true gospel. I finally understood that what I really needed was authority from God. Since joining the Church I have received that authority, the holy priesthood. It is indeed a blessing from God. I am very grateful for it.
I want to bear my testimony that only through God's true Church and his authority can we see him again. I know that the Church is led by a living prophet who receives revelations from God for our guidance I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I testify to these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God loves us, regardless of what class of people we are. We are all his sons and daughters. Heavenly Father gave us our marvelous physical bodies and a chance to be tested upon this earth that we might progress.
I was born in a country village by the sea. My father was a pastor of the only Protestant church in the village. I have eight brothers and sisters. I'm the youngest. From birth I was raised in this Christian family and learned to obey God's commandments. I became familiar with many Bible stories.
From the time I was small I always enjoyed strolling to the seaside near my home and to the nearby potato fields to think. I remember that when I was small I would go with schoolmates, but in later years I liked to go alone. I can remember always respecting and loving nature. Like other children, I always felt [p.29] happy to attend school, to go to the seashore to play in the sand, and to chase in the fields. I saw that life was good—beautiful flowers, the reflection of the evening sun upon the ocean, pretty little cliff swallows, and the fields of waving rice. My eyes did not see that which was evil and ugly. Not once did I travel out of the K'o Liao countryside. My childhood was very happy.
When I was thirteen years old I went for the first time to the provincial capital city of Kao Hsiung, there to attend junior high school. For the first time I saw life in a big city setting. I saw the various shapes and colors, the flowers and greenery of the city. I watched the people a little timidly. I went into a bookstore, and there I came to realize what a great many books there are in the city. I formed the habit of reading, and whenever I had time I would take books into the country or to the beach and read those things to help answer my questions about religion. I was very interested in this subject, and the books seemed to help me to understand more about Christianity. It was only later that I learned that those things were the ideas of men and did not contain the true religion.
I was there in that city for only a year before I switched to a school in the country nearer my home. When I was fifteen, however, I found myself back in Kao Hsiung working.
One hot summer evening I went out on the city street for a walk to enjoy the breezes, since there was no cool seashore or potato fields to walk to. When I got to the pedestrian crossover I found that two young American men were passing out papers. Walking by, I took one just for fun. I didn't even notice what the paper said, but putting it in my pocket I went on my way and finished my walk. Upon returning home I pulled the slip of paper out of my pocket and was startled by what I read on a line of the paper: "Why does man live upon this earth?" My interest was suddenly aroused. Yes, I wanted to know the answer to that question. I immediately mailed the paper back to the missionaries, giving my name and address.
A few days later the two missionaries came to visit me. Over the course of several weeks they taught me the gospel, helped me to recognize the true Church of Jesus Christ, and gave me answers to my questions about the purpose of life.
At that time my friends and schoolmates saw me carrying a Book of Mormon and knew I was attending the Mormon Church. They were very surprised. Some laughed at me, while others scolded me for being associated with the Church. They said things like: "You shouldn't be doing this." "How can you desert your own father's church and attend the Mormon Church?" "Don't you know the Mormon Church is evil?" They gave me a tract to read which criticized the Church. They even reviled the Church. They threatened to tell my family what I was doing.
Later my father and mother learned of my activity in the Mormon Church. My mother was heartbroken and tearfully forbade me to attend the Church any more. My father was angry with me. My brothers and sisters also scolded me. It was a time of great sadness and trouble for me.
I continued to be opposed from all sides, but God blessed me with a faith stronger than the opposition. When I came home late from work each night, when everyone was asleep, I would always kneel in prayer and cry to Heavenly Father, begging him to send me help and give me a testimony assuring me of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One night I felt especially sad because of continued opposition from those who were nearest to me. My soul communicated a more fervent yearning for the help of the Lord and for a testimony of his truth. At that time I experienced a warm feeling in my heart such as I had never felt before. I knew it was the Holy Ghost filling my heart. With its arrival I felt no more anguish. My sorrows were dispersed. How great is the power of the Holy Ghost! This subtle yet overpowering feeling of love upon my heart was the Lord comforting my suffering soul. And finally I knew what the Lord would have me do.
The next day I met with the elders. I informed them of my testimony experience. My knowledge of the gospel continued to grow with each lesson they taught me. Fasting and prayer were tools I used often—sometimes with the participation of the elders but more often on my own. I learned that before the Lord will grant us a great blessing he first gives us a great test.
One day (a day I was fasting) during lunch break, instead of resting as usual, I went out on the street for a walk. That day the elders were fasting with me. I was surprised to suddenly see my mother seated on a bus at a nearby bus stop. When she saw me she was also surprised, and she waved me onto the bus. I quickly boarded the bus and rode home with her. It was like a miracle to run into my mother in this way. Also I just happened to have my baptismal application papers with me.
On the bumpy bus going home I begged my mother to sign the papers giving consent for me to be baptized. I was so weary that I kept falling asleep, but I would again awaken and persist in asking for her permission to be baptized. She tried to get me to rest but I would not. It amazed her to see the determination of her child. But she told me she had been moved by my unwavering faith of the previous three-and-a-half months. She didn't oppose my wishes any longer, but instead comforted me. She told me she had been giving this matter much thought and prayer herself during the past few days and knew now that what I desired was the will of the Lord. Mother was now able to take her pen and sign her name giving consent to my baptism.
When my father knew of this he became angry. He wanted to baptize me himself. I drummed up my courage and then bore a firm testimony to my father.
In the end God won. His power slowly changed my father's heart. On August 19, 1972, I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Kao Hsiung chapel. Afterward, the Lord led my father into his true Church, along with my family and the greater part of my father's congregation. They all received God's blessing of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost under the hands of bearers of the true priesthood of God.
In conclusion I want to leave my witness. I very much appreciate this beautiful opportunity to tell everyone the testimony of my inner heart. I now know the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God restored this gospel and his true Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that God leads this Church through a living prophet today. The Bible and the Book of Mormon contain the word of God, which help us to better understand his gospel. I know that a person has to obey God's commandments to obtain true happiness. And I know from my own experience that if we but ask God he will surely help us and care for us.
Hartman and Connie Rector, No More Strangers, Vol. 2 p.26