The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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My conversion story

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I had 3 beautiful experiences in my life that helped me to gain a testimony. The first one was when I was 6 years old and I was very sick. I was in my bed and my mother was speaking to the doctor in another room, they thought that I was sleeping, but I wasn't, so I could here all of their conversation. The doctor told her that I was in danger of life and if didn't get better during the night I should go to the hospital as soon as possible to have a surgery. I was so scared, I was so young. I didn't like at all what I heard. But I realized that if there was somebody, like God, it was the right time to ask for His help. I prayed with my innocent heart to be healed and I was. I said to myself, maybe it was a cause, but it worked. When I was 11, I was working with my Dad (he was a seller of wine!) he told me to take the wine to a family, but I didn't remember the place and I feared my Dad so much that I didn't ask him the address. So I took the stuff and I left. After a half an hour, I realized that it was impossible for me to do the delivery. I was thinking of going back to my dad and tell him the truth: that I forgot the place. I was sure He would be mad with me with reason. So I decided before to go back and ask the Lord for help, and you know what happened? I saw a place in my mind clearly and I could perform the delivery. Man! It worked again, 2 clues started to be a proof. I had a friend in the sky and this thought was very reassuring for me. Unfortunately, I grew up and I forgot about my Best friend for a while and I did many mistakes. When I was 18, I fell in love with my future wife, but she was only 14 and her dad didn't want me to see her.

So it was the right time to go back to my Best Friend and ask Him again for help. I prayed with all my heart, knelt on my bed and you know what happened the next day? My father in law called me and gave me the consent to see his daughter. Yea! My Best Friend was always present. I started to go into the Catholic church, (in Italy at that time there was only this Church and everybody felt like it was the right one. Fortunately, I didn't feel comfortable to attend it. One day I was in the square in front of the church and I was thinking: Man I am not right, I am going in the church only to repay Him, I am supposed to go because I love Him and any other reason is wrong, and also I didn't know why but I couldn't feel the spirit of the Lord during the mass. So I said to the Lord: "Look, I am sorry, but I don't want to come in your church only to pay my debts, I want to come for the right reason, but I promise you when I will feel the right feeling I will be there every Sunday.'' And I stopped to go into Church. I guess the Lord agreed with my decision,
because if I had identified the true church in the Catholic church, it would have been very hard later to accept the Gospel. When I was married, I was not a good husband for my wife, well comparing myself with the average of the world I thought I was, but I wasn't. I was a strong cards player, so almost every night I was in clubs playing for money. I was a soccer referee and a lot of Saturdays or Sundays I was away from home. Fortunately, it came the time to meet the church. I remember the occasion very well. I was coming back from my job in Florence and while I was getting out of my car I saw 2 young guys knocking at my door. We met in my house and we had the first discussion, nothing particular. We met several times, but my interest was only to know what was going on in the U.S.A.. However the story of Joseph Smith was interesting to me, I thought: "If it is true, it would be interesting to go deep." For 3 months, several different missionaries came in my home with no results, even though one in particular, elder Woodward, had a great part on my conversion. When he was teaching me, I had another beautiful spiritual experience through the prayer. I cannot share on this page... it is too personal. Elder woodward told me: "Look, you have a testimony now!" "No", I answered, "I have a testimony, like before that God lives, but I don't know nothing about your church." At that point I didn't like to think to have a testimony, I didn't want to change my life, I mean the way I lived. I love it too much. So he started to ask me to pray for a testimony of the church. Well I promised to do that, but in reality, I did not. Sure I prayed 2 or 3 times asking the Lord about the church, but in this way: "Dear Father in heaven let me know if Joseph Smith was a prophet, in the name of Jesus Christ amen." It was a way I could say to Woodward: "I did, but not result, sorry." There was no desire on my request, no wish. Woodward was trying to push me to be baptized and I begun to desire for him to be sent into another city, and it happened. I felt so good, I thought I was free, these guys won't come anymore. Instead, Elder Borg and Elder Mc Arthur (the new missionaries) came again to visit me. Elder Borg gave me a very good testimony, but nothing happened. It was on 12/4/1976 that I obtained my testimony of the church. Elder Borg came in my home with the zone leader to invite me to go to the conference meeting the next day in Pisa. "I can't come", I said, "There is an important soccer game in Milan and surely I will be there." We discussed for a while, in the meantime my wife and my 2 little children came in the room and sat down near me. At that point the zone leader asked me if I had prayed about the church. "Yes, but no testimony at all." Was my answer. "Could you offer a prayer now about that?" I was surprised, I had never prayed in my life before to somebody, and specially my family, but sincerely at that point I felt I had to know the truth. I couldn't play anymore with myself and those 2 nice guys, or yes or not. I remember very well what I was thinking, "I have to take the courage to be sincere with myself and the Lord, I can't go to Him only when I need help and use Him like the Aladdin's lamp." For the first time in my life I prayed in front of my family and somebody else, I had the same wish on my heart like when I desired to be healed when I was a boy and when I wished to be welcomed from my father in law. I told to my Father in heaven: "I know you live, please let me know the truth, I don't want to be deceived by anybody, please tell me if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, I ask you with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ amen." I was speaking to Him, like He was in the room and I knew he was listening to me. I felt so good in my heart, and warm tears came down on my checks, I was opening the door to the most important event of my life.

After the prayer I promised to continue to pray and read the Book of Mormon during the day and the missionaries told me, "We will be back tonight, we know that you can have your answer." After my lunch, I went to take a nap. During the nap I started to have a dream, I was conscious to be dreaming. I was in a beautiful field, running, I was like a boy about 15 years old. While I was running I heard a voice from the heaven, "Why don't you pray?" I was surprised but I was looking around me and nobody was present, so I thought, "Why not?" I knelt on the ground and I was starting to offer my heart in prayer. I begun, "Dear Father in Heaven" A great and wonderful power came on my body. It was like nothing else in my life, a great peace and joy was over me. I remembered the promise of Moroni, "And by the power of the Holy Ghost......" I asked in the name of Jesus Christ, I couldn't be deceived!!!!!! So I continued my prayer asking about the Book of Mormon and Joseph, and for the second time the same power came on me and the same reassuring voice told me, "Don't you understand?" but I re-asked my question, and for the third time the same power came over me and the same voice told me "Don't you trust me?" Well it was enough. I didn't wanted to fight with the Lord. The dream was over, I woke up, but the wonderful power was still with me. I could feel It! It was not a dream, it was a reality, it was not a sensation, it was a real fact!!! Another voice came to me, "Everything you feel is only a sensation" This voice was different, it was an angry voice not a peaceful voice. Anyway, I couldn't deny the beautiful reality. I saw all my life before me, I saw all my mistakes, I felt so bad, so sorry, I went in my living room and I took the Book of Mormon. I read all of 3 Nephi. I wanted to know what the Lord told the people in this continent. At that point I knew that the Book of Mormon was true. I spent all day reading that sacred book. I didn't share my feelings with my wife. When the missionaries came back it was very funny. I shared my testimony with them, and they were thinking I was just kidding. They knew me very well. Well, I told them, "Listen, I want to be baptized on 12/17/1976, I AM NOT KIDDING!" When they left, I was with my wife and my kids. Usually every Saturday night I went to the club to play cards all night, but that night I didn't go, I COULDN'T! My wife was surprised that I was staying in the house but she said nothing about that, maybe she feared I could change my mind. I was trying to think better ways to share my feelings with her. When it came the time to go to bed, for the first time in my life I knelt on the ground to offer a prayer I went to bed. My wife asked, "What is going on Massimo?"

Well, I shared everything with her. She said, "I want to be baptized too". "No, no no!" Was my answer. "I don't want you to be baptized only because I am, you don't have to please me, you have to receive a testimony for yourself." She said, "Massimo I know you very well, if you stopped smoking, playing cards, being a referee, pay a tithing, if you will fast and so on you are my testimony, because you wouldn't do this without a reason. I know that those things are the most important for your lifestyle, I believe if you change your life, you're gonna be my testimony and I can trust on your words." So we were baptized on the same day.

My conversion story it is not over, like the church teaches us that conversion takes all your life, so I will add several important events on this page. A few days after I was baptized, the Elders taught me about Jesus and Jehovah, like the same person, and I was confused, because I knew the teachings of the Jehovah's witnesses. Anyway, during the night I couldn't sleep, so I got up and I went into my living room to study the scriptures. I offered a prayer before and I asked the Lord to help me to find a scripture in which I could better understand this doctrine. I took the book of Isaiah, because I did read in the Book of Mormon, "Great are the words of Isaiah." After very few minutes, I found a scripture in which is impossible to make any mistake about this
topic. What was very interesting was the fact that the Catholic Bible and the Jehovah's witnesses Bible confirm this theory in a great way. I have no room here but I will discuss it in another part. So I was more confident to ask the Lord about lacking of wisdom. After 6 months, I had a terrible car accident in which my wife was seriously injured. I was with her everyday in the hospital. Sure, I took some days off from my job so I had time to deeply study the Bible.

I did read it in 15 days. My wish was to find something to support the Book of Mormon and the story of our prophet. It was at that time that I wrote my search, when I think about this I can't help but smile. It was the first time, it was not my intelligence, it was the Spirit of the Lord, I knew that and I knew why. The day of my baptism a brother told me, "Today you will receive the Holy Ghost, and you will receive the right to have the gifts of the spirit with you if you are faithful, maybe you can ask for one in particular." I guess he was serious but also he was also kidding. Anyway, I expressed a wish that day, and I know that the Lord gave it to me, according to my faith and obedience.

By the way I forget to tell something. In 1990, I went to Buffalo to see the historical places of our church. So I went to see the sacred grove, where Joseph had his powerful vision. Next to the grove there is a beautiful field. Guess what? I saw the place, in which on my dream, I was running and the place in which I knelt and prayed.Massimo Giuseppe Franceschini was ordained an high priest from Roger Elvin Borg 9/15/1996 Roger Elvin Borg was ordained from Robert Elvin Borg on 6/11/1995

Robert Elvin Borg was ordained from William J.Critchclow Jr. in 1959

William J. Crichlow Jr. was ordained from George F. Richards 12/16/1934

George F. Richards was ordained from Joseph F. Smith 4/9/1906

Joseph F. Smith was ordained from Brigham Young 7/1/1866

Brigham Young was ordained 2/14/1835 from the three wittnesses

Joseph Smith was ordained 1829 from Peter, James and John.

Peter James and John were ordained from Jesus Christ.

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 13:44  

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