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Hi I'm Bart

A proud Mormon. I was born & raised in the Philipines. I found the church in 1975 and was baptized with my wife.

About Me

My country was a Spanish colony for about four (4) centuries. It was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan on March 16, 1521 and henceforth was annexed by the Spaniards, the then superpower. By virtue of this colonization, our people embraced Catholicism for centuries. Even after the American-Spanish war which helped us gain our brief independence followed by the annexation by the United States catholism continue to be the dominant religion. After WWII we were granted independence by the US on July 4, 1946. I was born of goodly parents the following month on August 24th and was baptized or "Christened" the same month. I and my five (5) siblings were raised in the Catholic traditions and doctrines.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents planted the seeds of faith in my young mind by their examples. They were not the "religious type" but their faith was demonstrated by the way they loved and treated us, their children, and how they dealt with their neighbors. I saw them pray in earnest to the Father, I saw how they served each other and those around them. We were poor but self-reliant. We have endured many trials as a growing family. This foundation of faith paved the way for me to know the difference between truth and falsehood, right and wrong and to rely on some sparks of inspirations I didn't understand then but would discover later as the promtings of the spirit. A few months after I married my wife, my parents-in-law converted to the LDS faith. During our visits to the province (about 3 hours travel), they would litter their house with every literature of the church knowing that I read everything I lay my hands and eyes on. And surely I did. After a couple of visits I have read each one of them, the last being the story of Joseph Smith and the First Vision.......and I received a witness of its truthfulness. Going back to Metro Manila in Quezon City, my wise parents-in-law sent the missionaries. I must tell you that we have sent many missionary companionships in the past saying, " We were born Catholics and will die Catholics." That witness of the Holy Ghost earlier left an indelible desire in me to know more. When the next pair of missionaries came, they found not only an open door, but an open mind and an open heart. I already received of the truthfulness of their message even before they could open their mouth. My heart leaped for joy as each principle of the gospel was being rehearsed to us. By the next visit, they handed us The Book of Mormon, which they testified was another testament of Jesus Christ. Elder Barker and Elder Hutchinson challenged us thru Moroni 10:3-5 to know for ourselves if The Book of Mormon is true. When they left at about 8:00 that night, I said a little prayer and read Moroni's challenge. Then I started from the very beginnning. The book consumed my whole being that I could not let it go. I read the book through the night until the first ray of the morning sun the following day. I cried because I recognized my mistakes and my sins and would that I might be cleansed that very same hour by the atonement of the Savior. I cried because I was so overcome by the goodness of God, the Eternal Father, sufficient to offer his Only Begotten as a ransom for me and for all his children if we would but repent and follow Him. The joy that I felt was so overwhelming that I felt so weak to work that day. I knew that The Book of Mormon was the true words of God and I knew that indeed, Joseph Smith was called of God the be the prophet of restoration in the fulness of times. We were baptized on March 15, 1975.

How I live my faith

When I found the light of the true gospel I was groping in darkness. I never knew we belonged to an eternal family as spirit children of an Almighty Father in heaven. There were questions about the Deity and my relationship with them that my teachers of religion could not unravel or explain in plain and simple terms. The restored gospel is comparable to gentle breeze, the simplicity of its truth soothes my soul and calms my heart. From the mouth of these two young missionaries came that sweet message of salvation and exaltation I never had even imagined. What then shall I do? I searched deeply into my soul. If I desire to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, there must be a sincere repentance, a Godly sorrow, and a desire to be cleansed by the atoning sacrifice of the Savior. Our baptism swept away our sins and when we came forth out of the water we were blessed with a newness of life, a promise of discipleship as we follow the Savior. When we were confirmed and as we received the Gift of the Holy Ghost we were promised the companionship of the Holy Ghost if we but keep ourselves unspotted from the darts of the adversary. This change in our lives almost overwhelmed us at the beginning. Our friends slowly diminished in number and our association with those that remained were limited by the kind of activities they do. We started to develop new friendship inside the church. We had to give up a lot of things we have enjoyed since birth. We have shunned traditions where we normally hook –up with friends and families. Sunday culture had to be altered substantially. Discipleship, I thought, was never meant to be easy. I ended up filled with one-fourth (1/4) glass of whatever remained with me. Our church activities, callings, home evenings, home teaching, regimented as they seemed slowly but surely filled my glass to half, my renewed faith and testimonies gained filled up the entire remaining half. The ifs and buts were all gone. Our hesitation before turned into excitement, our interest turn into passion. As we freely receive, we must freely give. My Patriarchal Blessing told me that "as I serve faithfully the leaders of the church, in time I will be one of them.”