Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Gift of Love to You: My Testimony

A Brief Introductory Documentary of Me When I was 15

In the spirit of this holiday, the best gift I can give to everyone is my testimony of this glorious Gospel.  I have been given many blessed gifts in all of my life and I want to express to you my gratitude of all those blessings I have.

Leaving the orphanage brought about so many new experiences for me.  It was a whole new life as my mom mentioned in her writing.  Even with all the miracles of the adoption story alone, the blessings didn’t stop there.


There is one thing I was able to defy all odds and improve:  walking with crutches.  I was born with Spina Bifida (myelomeningocele), which basically means that I have no nerve function below my knees.  The doctors told my mom that “I would probably never get out of the wheelchair.”  However, when she gave me the choice to either be stuck in a wheelchair all my life or to be a walking boy, I emphatically replied “I want to be a walking boy!”  It took only about a year for me to transition from the wheelchair to a walker, and then another year after that to start using crutches!

Much of that was thanks to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.  They are a charity health care group that has helped children all over North America.  They have given me the care I needed to properly treat the symptoms of Spina Bifida.

Me at Shriners Hospital  (Far Right)

This holiday season, as I’ve reflected on my experiences in China and getting adopted, I continue to be so amazed at my own story.  It was a miracle that I survived for seven years without receiving proper treatment for Spina Bifida.  It was a miracle that my birth parents were able to sneak me to an orphanage.  It was a miracle that I survived my life in the orphanage living off of rice.  It was a miracle that Nancy came across me in a little orphanage in China and made it her personal goal to get me a family.  It was a miracle that my current parents were able to adopt me despite all the obstacles.  My whole life IS a miracle.

China was both a trial and a blessing for me.  For a long time, when I was younger, I didn’t want anything to do with China.  Though I don’t recall ever voicing any complaint against my upbringing in China, I must’ve subconsciously felt the pain of rejection from my home land.  I have no ill feelings for China now; in fact, one of my dreams is to be able to return to China someday and share my story and testimony.  I am living proof of God’s love and concern for each one of His children – wherever they may be and whether they know it or not.  I remember one time when my mom made the remark, “It’s a wonder you survived.  Heavenly Father had to have been watching over you,” to which I replied, “And I didn’t even know Him then.”

Me at Home in Montana

I know my Heavenly Father now!  I know that He knows each of us individually.  If He knows and cares about a little child like me, in a secluded orphanage, in all of China, in all of this world, even in all of this grand universe; then, He truly is God the Father who has a perfect plan of happiness for all of us.

As that little boy, I waved “pick me,” and Heavenly Father chose me to be with a very special family and live a very special life.  As an adult, I have again waved “pick me,” and Heavenly Father has again chosen me to now serve a mission and share my testimony with you.

I know that He lives.  I know that He loves me.  I know that He loves you.  I know that He loves all of us.    I know that Jesus Christ is God’s son, that He is our Savior and Redeemer, and that He lives today to help us through all of our trials. 

Me and My Violin

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly Christ’s church on the Earth today.  I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who restored this church.  I know that he translated the Book of Mormon.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and will truly bring a man closer to God by living by its precepts.  I know the work I’m doing is in reality God’s great work, and that He is always with me.  I bear you this testimony and close with Joseph Smith’s words given in present-day tense:  “I know it, and I know that God knows it, and I cannot deny it, neither dare I do it; at least I know that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation” (JSH 1:25).  This I declare in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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