Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Thirty-two years as a Mormon changed my life

Published:Saturday | May 13, 2017 | 5:00 AMRuddy Mathison
Mormon high councillor, Kevin Brown, with wife, Nadine, and their five children.

Kevin Brown is now a high councillor in the state presidency of the Church of God of the Latter-Day Saints, after serving as mission president for two years.

Brown told Family & Religion recently that he was first introduced to the Mormon faith at age six by his grandmother.

Now at 40, he said he could never be more pleased that he remained in the faith all these years, despite the multitude of challenges he faced while growing up.

"I got baptised in the Mormon faith at age eight, and I never looked back. My mother, who was also exposed to the faith, went on to become a member of the Pentecostal church, but I remained committed despite the difficulties," he disclosed, highlighting some of the challenges he faced in high school.

"I was the only Mormon at Manchester High School. Oftentimes, I was ridiculed for not involving in dating and sex.

"The Mormon teaching that we preserved our bodies until marriage was not very popular among my peers," the Mormon counsellor asserted, revealing that at one stage he was even labelled a homosexual.

According to him, the rumour spread to the point where others boys ostracised him.

"At that time, I was more determined to be a Latter-Day Saint, so, encouraged by a sister, I started reading the Book of Mormon," he proclaimed.

Brown said after reading half of the book, he asked the Lord if the book was true and he got his answer - on a Wednesday - after three weeks of reading.

"I was kneeling by my bed praying when I felt a warmth and a clear concept came to me, finalising my decision."

"From this experience, I gave it my all," he added.

The Mormon counsellor, who now holds a master's degree, is married with five children. He recounted how he left high school and moved to Spanish Town in St Catherine, and started working while preparing himself for service.

He said he dedicated himself to studying and working, which was very difficult.

"I did not have enough subjects (CXC), so I studied hard to acquire additional subjects so that I could enrol in college."

 

FAMILY LIFE

 

Brown continued: "I met my wife and got married at 22 and we both travelled everyday from Spanish Town to Kingston, where we were employed, receiving very small salaries."

He revealed that they were able to work and go to school under difficult living circumstances. But because of their dedication, they were able to buy a car and eventually bought a lot in Spanish Town and built a house, with assistance from the National Housing Trust.

Brown, who now has a responsibility to counsel members of all the churches, said he is able to hold his family together because of the social skills and discipline that are founded on the teachings of Christ passed on by the church.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com