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Strong Christian faith lights path to baptism

When Helen K. Toolis first read the Book of Mormon, she "fell in love" with 3 Nephi.

"I was really impressed," recalled Sister Toolis, now 72 years old and a member of the Sandy Springs Ward, Roswell Georgia Stake. "Third Nephi had everything. It had revelations of Christ's birth, of His crucifixion and resurrection, of His coming to this continent. I couldn't wait to see what the next chapter would be."Sister Toolis first met the missionaries early in 1971 while living in Kankakee, Ill. Her strong Christian faith prepared her for the truths of the restored gospel, but she searched for these truths long before Mormon elders knocked on her door.

"Every time I went downtown to the Christian bookstore, I bought a different version of the Bible until I had 24 Bibles sitting on the shelf and still no answers to what I was looking for. I read every one of those Bibles," she recalled.

"Finally, in desperation, I knelt to pray one night and asked the Lord to direct me to a church where people paid an honest tithing and I would learn about the Bible and the scriptures."

While praying, she was impressed that soon someone would knock on her door and tell her about the true Church of Christ. One evening two weeks later, she heard someone knock. She opened her door to "the handsomest missionaries you ever saw, covered with snow."

She related how the elders had finished door-to-door proselyting that evening and were headed home. Upon reaching her property, they were prompted to knock on her door. Knowing the appropriate time for tracting was past, they tried three times to leave. But they couldn't. "Finally, they knocked on my door," she said.

They presented her with the Book of Mormon. "They were back within five days. I had just about finished reading it. I could hardly put it down."

During her investigation of the Church, her questions were answered. She was baptized May 29, 1971. She said the Book of Mormon has increased her understanding of the Savior. "It made me understand Him as an individual. As I read the Book of Mormon, I know it is the word of God."

Sister Toolis also feels strongly about family history research. In October 1984, she moved to Atlanta, Ga., to be near the temple here. Since then she has attended about 5,000 ordinance sessions.- Julie A. Dockstader

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