(Dr.R.K.) Conversion Stories - Rick Carrillo

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Rick Carrillo has served as an Elders Quorum president and as the Sunday School president. Rick wrote this July 2000.
No one plans to become inactive. It is, however, a potential problem for all of us. Usually it happens as the result of some hardship or trial in which we fail to embrace the gospel as a way of life. Instead we fight against the Lord, blaming him instead of ourselves for causing our demise. At least that was my case after my failed marriage.

I began my second marriage with the positive of being heavily involved in Rebecca's conversion. Then, I suppose, feeling so good, I became self absorbed and fell inactive for twelve years.

Moving back here to 7th Ward (now known as the Cambrian Park ward) where I was once an original member; I wish I could say a wonderful home teacher left the ninety and nine came looking for me. This was not the case with me, however.

Someone did decide prayerfully that I was worth the effort to be redeemed. They made a game-plan. approximately ten years after the this ward had generously helped us move in, there came a knock on my door from a very committed Grant Dearden. He was a brand new seventy (a stake missionary) and asked if he along with the two full time missionaries would be allowed to come in our home and practice the discussions in a "friendly" environment.

I may not have the fastest mind in the world, but I knew the fix was in. I was so moved at the ruse that I immediately invited them in. And I committed to let them come back until they had given all six discussions.

The seed now planted still took time for it to grow. The wake up call came when Rickey, my son, turned eight. I had issues to resolve, but nothing too serious. I baptized him under the new Bishop now Joe Lindsey.

Bishop Lindsey interviewed me sometime after the baptism and asked me what it would take to get me active again? He showed genuine concern and expressed the opinion that I was needed in the ward. I told him that I wasn't real interested at the time. However, I did acknowledge that if I did start showing up I would really like to have a calling.

Soon thereafter my neighbor Tom Fivecoat took the discussions. He invited me to his apartment when the missionaries came. For some strange reason I was able to bear my testimony to him with a power I had not felt for a long time.

I found myself at church where Jim Evans gave me a wonderful welcome in priesthood. He introduced me to the Elders quorum as one of the finest baseball players the bay area ever produced. Mitch Mitchell later hugged me as if I was his long lost son. Phemia a few weeks later privately begged me to "just keep coming".

Shortly after that Tom asked me to speak at his baptism on the Holy Ghost. My wife assisted me and I was able to somehow deliver the best talk of my life. It was as though the Holy Ghost gave his own talk. I remember the sounds of purses opening and hankies coming out as the audience sobbed right along with me.

The "deal" was closed the following Sunday when Bob Jensen issued me a calling as cub master.

I look back fondly at those times. It was a new beginning. My Heavenly Father embraced me through the love of this ward. I really felt as though me ... the "prodigal son", had come home.

Brought to you by: R.K. Owen,Ph.D.
This page is http://rkowen.owentrek.com/LDS/converts/rick_carrillo.html