Christian Pate, a senior studying finance from Las Vegas, Nevada and a player in BYU-Hawaii Golf Team, said he has been seeing many blessings since he started learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and became a member of the LDS Church on June 7, 2016.
“I was introduced to the church when I came [to BYUH]. My roommate was a returned missionary and all of my friends were members here at BYUH, so they all encouraged me to come to church and read the Book of Mormon. They just shared their testimonies with me,” he said. “Just the love I received from them made me want to investigate the church.”
Joining the church wasn't a possibility upon arrival, said Pete. “My attitude when I first came to school here was just because the rumors I’ve heard about the LDS church. I didn’t think there was even a possibility that I would join the church and be converted.”
He continued, “I didn’t know anything about the church back then. Before I came here, all of my friends warned me saying, 'Don’t let them convert you,' and all that sort of things, and in my head I was like, 'No way. It’s not gonna happen.' But the love and kindness I felt from people made me open up to the possibility and find out for myself.”
Jordyn Wardo, a BYUH alumni from New York who helped Christian in his process, said, “One of the most prominent changes visible to me was this gradual trust he had in God. After he decided to get baptized, he gradually came to trust God more and more with his life and it was amazing to see that. He just had faith that the Lord would allow things to work out in the end.”
Pate said he is now planning to go on a mission and will start working on mission papers within the next two months.
Pate said he was raised as a Christian, but he didn’t have his own testimony of Jesus Christ. He said he was the kind of person who was a Christian but didn’t really live a Christian lifestyle like the people he hung out with. He said he honestly believes that’s the reason why he came to BYUH. “Before I came here, I was seeking the truth. I was praying to know if Jesus was the Christ and if God is real,” Pate said.
About 9 months ago, Pate met his friend Stetson Richey, a sophomore studying business from Utah. Richey said, “We just kind of saw each other here and there in the hallway walking around, and we became friends because we both saw in each other the light of Christ.” Richey said they got to know each other better little by little. When Pate was retaking the missionary discussions before he was getting baptized, Richey started attending those discussions with him.
Richey said, “I felt prompted as well before he was getting baptized to pray for him and his family. I just felt like I needed to be there for him. I felt like I needed to be in a discussion with him and invite him to activities and firesides all those good things.”
Richey recalled there were more than 100 people that showed up in his baptism. Pate asked Richey to be the one to baptize him. Richey said, “I was just completely touched, and I could barely utter the words of baptismal ordinances.” He said, after his baptism, we went to have a dinner, and as they were driving, Pate kept telling his friends how much he loves God and how grateful he was to God.
Although it seems like Pate had really nothing to worry about in the process of learning about the church and making a commitment to reach to where he is at now, there were some doubts and difficulties he dealt with. He said, “I had to make changes, and my friends gave me a hard time because of the changes that I made. I hang out less with those friends, but they are still my friends. I hang out with different friends because of my choice to follow Christ.
Wardo said, “Christian consistently had a hard time following through with baptismal dates he’d set. He felt there was more he needed to learn and understand. I think he felt inadequate to make such a decision yet.”
There are tremendous blessings he has been seeing in his life and also those around him have been recognizing in him. He said, “Our relationship has a lot got better with me and my family members.” He continued, “My mom is investigating the church now.” He added, “I’ve been able to feel God’ love, that is how I see huge blessings.”
Pate said, “As I’m trying to follow Christ’s examples. I just know that it is right and I just know that that is how we are meant to live, just forget ourselves, and love others as Jesus loves us.” He continued, “As I made that change in my life, I became happier, to me that it confirms that this is the right way, it just testifies to me that Jesus is the way and truth and life.”