"THE ORIGIN OF LOVE..."

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CONVERT 101

This is my story in my own words:   My name is Deon Cortes Plummer; I have a story to tell. This story is about a 360 turn, the POWER of the Holy Spirit. If you asked me two years if I was to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I would have said, “No way, at all they don’t like Black folks and I like drinking Green tea.”  That all changed in 2011.  I would not ever imagine a visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah; would change my life. I will admit it aint easy being LDS at times, ya know it is worth it. I get asked a lot of questions of being African American and Mormon, mostly by White people who have left the Church for a lot of reasons, which I cannot judge or condone.  I give them ONE answer and that is that the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS TRUE. That it is NOT the Church of “Mormon”, it’s a truth that if you chose to believe, it will show who you, WHO are in this thing we call LIFE.  I learn EVERYDAY who I am and why I am here.  I am here, to give my TESTIMONY.       I’ve had played many roles in my life, A drug –dealer, a Reject out the military, an Abuser of women, a Deadbeat dad, a child of DIVORCE, and a VICTIM of SEXUAL abuse. My story maybe hard for folks to read or believe some parts I remember even today, because I have been there. I have been to jail TO MANY times and place so dark that now at this point of my life I do not wish on my GREATEST enemy. I’ve been with many women and a few men, this REAL and continuing story of a life that ONLY God continues to turn around. I had to become someone I didn’t want to be, I have done things I wish and regret with all my heart. I have done things that I would NEVER ever tell my Momma, knowing it would break her heart. In short I have done things that I am still leaning on the Lord to help me forgive myself. I have learned many things to survive on my own. I have trusted many types of people, including Ministers who betrayed my trust, and I saw them for being JUST men.  My FAITH in God was lost.  Even though I stopped doing a lot of the things that I was doing, it was NOT enough and I had lost HOPE.  I did not know at the time what I was asking Heavenly Father to intervene, I would sometimes pray out of quilt and no POWER, I could not envision the path that I would be taking.  I had no idea that at 46 years old, I would just start to be living my life, the way it should be. Now, soon to be 48, I AM IN IT, TO WIN IT!!!!          My story is long, but let me give the meat of it. I had a lot going on at the time, while feeling no purpose in life. I had pretty much quit in my mind and in my actions, a lot of women, not willing to work, a lot of sex without feeling love, lying to family  , cheating on EVERY woman I lied to about loving them; wanting them to take of me , drugs; I smoked so much weed, and just waking up to doing absolutely nothing. I was attending Church, but my heart was not in it, I was just going to temporarily alleviate my sorrows only to go back to doing what I was doing. I would leave church wanting to do right for a little bit, then right back to the same ole' sh**. I came to church empty and left even more empty. Deep inside I was angry and hurt asking Heavenly Father, “Why are you punishing me to live in this world and living the way that I was to mad to DEEP inside to want to believe. I will say this … Heavenly Father knows the true hearts of men, he must have seen that I truly wanted to know him and He knew the desires of my heart. He knew that I wanted to LIVE, even in private moments I wanted to die. I had been ashamed of so many things, feeling no worth at all.  I was ready to quit and He would not let me. I am so glad He reached down and grabbed me.           I came to Utah for a visit, it turned into so much more. I came with all intentions of getting in and getting out as soon as possible.  I had met Sarah while she was visiting Texas, we somehow ended up connecting, in our many phone conversations, she told me she was LDS and I stated to her that was cool and that if we were to go further in our relationship, I would find me a nice Baptist Church and I would attend services at her church to be fair.     After a few months of phone conversations I came for a visit to Utah, when I got off the plane, I saw the mountains, I was interested.  I like mountains; I believe that is where a man should go to really communicate with Heavenly Father, like Moses in the movie, "The Ten Commandants" as she drove me from the airport to where she lived, I felt like I was some place that could be my home. I constantly stared at the mountains, wondering if this could be my home, I had no idea; I decided to let it play out.  Ya, know that saying, “let GO, let God".       We agreed to go Temple Square that Friday, I was excited not because of the Temple. I did not think that Sarah and would last, I wanted to see the opportunities that Salt Lake may have for me. We left early that Friday morning; we arrived in Salt Lake found parking under the Convention Center, walked to Temple Square. I saw all the nicely dressed people walking around, and said to myself, “this is gonna be like the movie ' The Stafford Wives', a bunch of drones, trying to convince me to roll with God." To me that was a MAJOR turn off so I galvanized my heart even stronger, I was not gonna be a member of the “Dick and Jane" posse.    As we walked through the gates, I saw the Temple and the Old Convention Center; I felt a STRONG energy to want to run, because this was so unreal to me.  I remember the lady begging outside the gate and folks ignoring her, it reminded of the story of Peter and John in the Bible, when they were on their way to the Gate Beautiful.  I was brought back to my reality when Sarah was taking to me, tellin me things that I can't recalled, to be honest I didn't care.  All I saw was these suits and nametags, I felt like a Running Back on the Football Field, avoiding tackles. Finally we reached the North Visitors Center; she started to tell me about the scale model of Jerusalem.    Pretending to be interested I shook my head, saying “ok, ok, ok, that's interesting."   I was ready to go and grab me something to eat.  I was not falling for this crap; I just came to see where I could party and how I could manipulate my way around Salt Lake City.  After about 10 minutes, we walked to the Upper level, I was getting a little perturbed to say the least, I was hungry and wanted to eat.  Sarah convinced me to sit and wait, while she went downstairs to see about some movie she wanted me to see.  I was containing my need to make a scene, so I smiled outwardly, saying "OK".   As I sat there and was digging the scene, I felt a small sense of calm, I started to look at the Mural of the Universe and saw the Earth and other planets, seeing which one was Kolob, and then I listened to the music and the prompts of the different languages speaking about who the Lord Jesus is.  Finally I kept looking at the statue, I could not take my eyes off it, I stared so hard I thought it moved and was looking through me, not just at me.  I thought it moved and I said, “I know I quit smoking weed three months ago, and I know I am not the only one who is looking at this"   Soon after Sarah appeared, she said the movie was not going to run  for another hour, snapping out of my daydream, I said, "ok, but lets stay here and talk a little I think something is gonna happen." So we sat for another 30 minutes, we got up to leave to go eat.  Then this feeling came over me to see what was downstairs, "Let's go downstairs, I want the full tour of this joint."  Sarah smiled, saying "Are you sure", “Yes I am sure, this was you intentions to sucker me in, right?" I was smiling at her.  We went downstairs, I was looking at the exhibits and interactive stations , I walked pass the stations with Moroni burying the Plates, the statue of Elijah, and other events in the Book of Mormon.    As I was looking, all I could think was, “Look at ALL this white men trying to play holy, maybe I should go back to Islam, I do not see my people anywhere."  I felt that anger begin to rise, Sarah sensing my anger, starting speaking to me.  I said, " To be honest I believe that Jesus Christ is black and nothing can change that, I understand what he did and I believe that God is beyond my comprehension, but heaven aint full of white folks and Black people love God just as much, because all of the  sh** we have been through."  She said "Deon there are Black people in the Church, and I know a quite a few." “I bet you they are 'Uncle Toms'", I snapped back.   As we were talking we walked over to the stand that contain The Book of Mormon in different languages, still mad and sarcastic,  I asked Sarah, "Which ones are written in an African language, the moment I said that I looked down and saw the one written in Zulu, shut me real quick. I had to laugh, Sarah went to see if the movie was ready and it was. We went in the small theater; it was only the two of us.  The movie was THE TESTAMENTS.  I thought ok here we go a corny movie with bad acting and actors I have no idea about. In the beginning I was falling asleep, and then as the movie's story progressed, something started to happen to me.  The Holy Spirit because to touch me, I was fighting it though; thinking it was just my emotions.  At the end of the movie, when the Lord Jesus healed the man's eyes it was like he OPENED my eyes at the same time, I begin to cry .   I was crying to empty all that was keeping me from Heavenly Father, the anger, the bitterness, the jealousy of everybody, the insecurities, the shame I felt all my life.  I started to feel free; I wanted this feeling to stay with me.  The Missionaries were rushing to my side, Sarah fought them off.  I cried out, " Please leave me be, I want this feel God and this is it!'   Twenty or thirty minutes later, I emerged from the theater, the Sister Missionaries took my information, Sarah and I left went and got something to eat.  All I could think about was that moment; the food didn't have a taste in my mouth.   I stayed that Saturday thinking about what I was going to do, I looked at the mountains and made my decision, " How am I gonna tell my mother?' that is what was going over in my head. I went to church that Sunday, I knew I wanted to join the Church,  I wanted to do what it took for me to become a member , I had found GOD !!!!! It was a  Fast Sunday, and the Missionaries were speaking, in my zealous state of mind I was angry, that I did not get a chance to approach them, well I did but it was short and it seemed they were blowing me off.  I said a few words to Sarah and she calmed me down, I said ok since I don't understand I will give them a break.  I called my momma and told her that I had decided to stay, Sarah and I were going to be married and I was joining the Church.   She was cool with the other two, but me join the church she was a little thrown, she asked, " Are they the people with all those wives?', “No mama, that's another sect, they are not recognized by the Church leaders." “Do they believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior, because you know that Jesus is a big part of our faith in the family?" "Momma, it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yes they believe mama, I have found where I belong."  She was ok and wanted me to call her, every day to let her know I was ok.  That following Monday the Missionaries knocked on my door and I was already talking to them about being baptized, they explained to me that I had to go through some lessons, I asked if  I could take them all at once, they said, " No", the lessons are the basis of the faith and Church Doctrine, after two months of lessons... June 2, 2011 I was baptized at the Riverside Ward, in Plain City ,Utah.    I have been through a lot of trials that have brought about change and will continue to go through trials and changes (D&C 6:36 and Helaman 5:12 one of many of my favorite scriptures), I gladly will go through them with faith and with courage,  I am a son of Heavenly Father, a child of God, I shall not be moved. The Flame of the Holy Ghost will never leave me I have been a NOTHING for most of my adult life and now I have the Gospel (1Nephi 42:50-51).  I live for what Heavenly Father have for me to do, I have met many people in the Church who are not a Convert, and they may look at me as a "novelty", but I will say this, their Ancestors at one point in their life was a CONVERT and fell in love with the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.... look back on that and you will see the ORIGIN OF YOUR LOVE.  I am now back in Houston and still going strong as a member of the Church...there is a saying:   "When you find God, you find you."

 

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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