Bob and Holly Laird, a senior couple who recently joined the Church, said the biggest component in their conversion was the influence of members in their neighborhood.
The Lairds moved from Durango, Colorado, to St. George, Utah, a few days before Christmas in December 2014. Brother Laird said they weren't involved in any religion at the time.
Their neighbors gave them a “loving, warm welcome,” Sister Laird said in a sacrament meeting talk about their conversion. Within the first week there, the Lairds had been given two copies of the Book of Mormon and attended two neighborhood holiday parties.
The Lairds said their initial reaction to the fellowship they received from the missionaries and Church members was, “These folks are too good to be true.”
“I use the analogy that the Lord and the Church are a mighty warm river,” Sister Laird said. “You as God’s soldiers draw us to that body of water with your deeds and loving example. Then once we stepped in the river — the irresistible current can’t be denied.”
A member also invited them to attend church within their first few days in St. George.
“One of our neighbors suggested that we go to a Christmas service, and that had a profound effect on us,” Brother Laird said. “We just stayed for the sacrament meeting and left, and we both said that there was really something positive and spiritual going on here.”
Sister missionaries in the area then taught the Lairds, and the couple joined the Church on Easter weekend 2016.
“It’s been quite a change; we’re so much happier,” Brother Laird said. “Our life has changed 180 degrees in many respects.”
The Lairds agreed the greatest blessing they have received has been seeing their marriage strengthen.
“Our marriage has just become so much sweeter and our commitment to each other is so much stronger,” Sister Laird said. “Our life is just so much more joyful.”
Brother Laird said one of the benefits he observed by accepting the Church has been an appreciation of life before and after his conversion.
“What a profound difference,” Brother Laird said. “Our Church is a miracle. If you just get close to following God’s plan of happiness, just most of the time, life just keeps getting better and better.”
The Lairds’ next goal is to be sealed in the temple. Interviews with their Church leaders have been scheduled, and the couple plans to be sealed in the next few weeks. — Sarah Harris