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Home Scripture Testimonies Enzio Busche's conversion story

Enzio Busche's conversion story

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F. Enzio Busche

With Hitler's vaunted Third Reich tumbling in battered ruins in 1945, Germany called on boys to fill gaps in her beleaguered army. One of these was fourteen-year-old Enzio Busche.

In a U. S. prisoner-of-war camp, young Enzio experienced the desolate feeling that home and all that had seemed certain was now gone forever. Yearnings to find himself took hold. Ten years later a personal miracle drew from him the commitment of dedication to understand and serve the God who had healed him.

His intensified search for truth and the way to serve was rewarded by LDS missionaries being led to his door. Brother Busche has honored the commitment he made in his youth by diligent activity in God's kingdom, where he now serves as regional representative to the Twelve for Germany.

I was born in pre-war Germany, the son of a businessman who built up a large printing concern through his careful diligence. Being born at that time and place meant experiencing childhood under the Hitler regime, a strict political order which directed and controlled all phases of life. I saw all sides of World War II and especially in the last year, I experienced the fate of those whose health and life were constantly in danger. I saw my home completely destroyed, and experienced the chaos of beaten and starving postwar Germany.

The last few months of the war I spent as a German soldier, although I was only fourteen years old. Later, in an American prisoner-of-war camp, I first realized that the home I had known and the future that had once seemed so certain were gone, and that I had to begin a new life. A deep, indescribable yearning took hold of me. Like most people at that time, I longed to find myself. Who am I? Is this all there is to life? What is to become of me? I searched for God and for reasons for all that I had seen and experienced. But regrettably, everyday life and the need of bare necessities absorbed nearly my full attention. A year later, when I finally went back to school, after all the death and chaos, it seemed an absurd and trivial act to study Latin vocables as though nothing had happened.

Life went on. Questions went unanswered. I tried like most people to avoid thinking deeply, for there were many uncomfortable and apparently unanswerable questions.

In 1955, I was hit hard by an incurable liver ailment. Nothing was said to me about my not recovering, but I felt that the time had come which I knew must eventually come to everyone. Yet I was only in my early twenties, and I hoped against fate. My father stood by my bedside, believing I would die in a matter of days.

The unanswered questions of my life and the resulting uncertainty were filling my soul with panic and fear. My soul was weighed down by feelings of guilt and responsibility. It seemed as if there were no way out. As I felt the end nearing, something from within me said, "If you pray now, you will regain your health." I was able to say a prayer, perhaps the greatest that a person in that situation can pray: "Thy will be done."

In the instant that I spoke that prayer, I felt a strength outside myself change me and fill me with certainty that I would be well. A shining, positive joy took hold of me, and I promised myself that I would never forget or deny that experience or the knowledge that I had gained from it. I committed myself to seek a conscious life of dedication to understanding and serving the God or power that had healed and changed me.

My sudden improvement was considered a miracle by the doctors, but my father insisted that they perform an exploratory operation. Everyone was amazed when the surgeon found a new liver like a baby's, with nothing wrong, without scars from my ailment. For months afterward, I could eat only baby food because of my new liver.

Soon I could read, and while convalescing I read the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, interrupting my study only to eat and sleep. This gave me the certainty that we are children of a Heavenly Father, who purposely sent us to earth for our own good. I understood the law of free agency—that we may decide either to become like our Father and remain his children eternally, or to be overcome by other powers to our own distress and damnation. I realized that it was Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of man, who had shown me the way in my time of need.

After regaining my health, I had but one goal—to discover whether or not the Church of Christ was on the earth, and if so, to find it. I knew that there were hundreds of churches and that it would be hopeless to attempt to investigate them all individually.

I began by attending, for the first time with full conscious intent, the Protestant church to which my family belonged. I went to the pastor and told him of my experience and of my new willingness to help. He could not hide his great surprise. His first reaction was to suggest that I visit a psychiatrist. This was a real shock, and I had the feeling that this man had little in common with the servants of God described in the scriptures. I forgave him, visited church functions, and did all that a lay member of that church can do. I tried to lead an honest life, and prayed daily with my wife. I promised myself that I would sooner die than forget the great experience I had and what I had learned.

A couple of weeks later, the pastor came and apologized and asked that I help with a project to visit all members and leave a message with them for him. Glad for the opportunity, I felt I was finally in a position to prove my conviction through action. I soon saw that my message was not making a great impression and that I could not answer many of the questions which were asked about the church that I represented. At my suggestion, all "visiting members" met with the pastor to discuss the Protestant faith. I was disappointed and discouraged to realize after this meeting how few of us really had a testimony of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, even though it was preached every Sunday.

At this time, my wife and I decided to kneel and ask God to show us whether or not there were authorized servants of his Son's Church on the earth, and to lead us to them.
A short time later, two young missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood on our doorstep and gave us their message. All that they said seemed strange, unbelievable, almost absurd. But the appearance, attitude, and personality of those young men so impressed me that I invited them to return often.

But in the meantime, since the position of my own church was unclear to me, I went to my church leaders to arrange a discussion between the two groups. A few days later, we of my former church met with four elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, two of whom could not yet understand my native tongue. For me as a critical observer, the hour was an outstanding experience. I saw that the specialist invited by our pastor was unable to speak without anger and hatred. Twice during the evening he became so irritated by the quiet, clear, loving patience of the missionaries that he fully lost his self-control and could add no more to the conversation than outrage.

I made my decision: now was the time for me to earnestly and persistently investigate the message and the power which came from these strangers. If it were the power of God, I would not deny it.

The following weeks were filled with study and prayer. I discovered, to my great joy, the development of the same certainty which came with the prayer at my time of sickness. I knew that God was in control, and that I was progressing in the right direction.

About one-and-a-half years after first meeting with the missionaries, my wife and I were baptized. Our life has changed completely. We are joyful and thankful for every day that we live. Our one wish is to help share this light and knowledge with all people on earth, that their souls may be full of peace, certainty, justice, and truth, and that the catastrophic results of ungodly actions may come to an end.

Our hearts are full of thankfulness for all those who, through their diligence, sacrifice, and testimony, helped bring us the answers to all of life's major questions. We know, with all certainty, that God is our Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ is his Son, and that his Church in all its power and glory has been restored

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 May 2010 19:21  

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