While at a retreat with client NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade a few years ago, celebrity stylist Calyann Barnett noticed her colleague, Clarke Miyasaki, wasn’t drinking.
She asked Miyasaki why and learned he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“As I started to get to know him, I looked at how he lived his life with his family, and how, although he had all this other stuff going on, his family was the most important. And you don’t see that a lot today,” Barnett said in a new Church video.
She, too, was family oriented, but “I could feel something was missing.”
Later, while on another work trip, she discovered she had “started to build this prison for myself. I realized I need to change.” She decided to clean up her life, stop drinking, and a few months later, she began asking Miyasaki more about his faith.
In the Inspirational Message “Jesus is Real: Calyann’s Experience with the Book of Mormon” released Thursday, March 11, Barnett described what led her to the gospel of Jesus Christ and how her life has changed because of it.
Initially, Barnett said her desire to read the Book of Mormon was to prove Miyasaki wrong. As she came across the “curse of black skin” in 2 Nephi 5, she raised concerns about racism.
Then she read 2 Nephi 26:33: “… he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”
Barnett said, “That moment right there was like an ‘ah ha moment.’ … it was like, God loves everybody — no matter who you are, no matter what you are, no matter what you’ve done. God loves everybody.”
As she continued to read the Book of Mormon, she felt a voice tell her she had a decision to make: “You can either believe or you can continue to be a skeptic.”
While voicing that decision to Miyasaki, she said, “it all made sense to me.” She felt “Jesus is real.”
After that point, Miyasaki said Barnett started “flying through the Book of Mormon.” When she reached Alma, she began asking what would happen next in her life.
Miyasaki invited her to attend church with his family. One Sunday, she shared her feelings about the Book of Mormon and the Savior during a testimony meeting. She was soon baptized.
“Seeing her journey and the things in her life that she had changed even up to that point and the other things she was willing to change — that right there is the power of the Book of Mormon,” Miyasaki said. “And credit to her for realizing that’s what was missing.”
Through the gospel, Barnett said she felt love, forgiveness, happiness and peace. It was a “renewal” of her life, a “fresh start.”
The video concludes with Barnett inviting anyone who may be wavering in their faith to read the Book of Mormon.
“Just pick up a few chapters,” she said. “Just start reading, and I’m pretty sure that there will be something that will speak to you, that will help reaffirm, help confirm that this is true. And God loves you. He’s here for you. Just believe and see what happens.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Dwyane in the headline.