When Deseret Book approached Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about writing a book detailing her conversion story, she said, "a whole book?"
"I didn't really want to do it," Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "I tried to talk them out of it and their final parting comment was, 'Well Sister Marriott, pray about it,' so I didn't."
Marriott laughs while recalling her reluctance to write her story of conversion from an active Methodist background to the LDS Church in her early twenties. But, Marriott said, after she finally prayed about, she had a distinct feeling that someone in the world needed to read her written testimony and story.
"As I was praying, I did have a feeling that there was a woman, I pictured her somewhere on the Wasatch front or in the mountain west, somewhere, that would benefit from my testimony and that I really shouldn't withhold that when I had an opportunity to share," Marriott said. "With just that sense that there's someone I need to speak...I would go ahead and proceed."
As Marriott finished the first chapter of her now published book, she says she realized who that woman was: her mother.
"It was my mother, who hadn't heard my whole testimony before," Marriott said. "She said, 'Neill, it is wonderful,' and for her, that was stepping into some new information she didn't know about the Church since she hasn't studied it before and was not a member of our church and probably the sweetest part about it is the Lord's timing is exquisite in that mother passed away last week, so she was able to read that book just weeks before she left this earth and take with her some information and knowledge that perhaps she didn't have, so it was a gift to me."
Marriott also recognizes her unique story of joining the Church is one of several conversion stories now shared worldwide and it's important to share stories of faith and progression with one another.
"Everybody who walks this earth has already heard the true gospel before they got here," Marriot said. "We can be reminders to them about our worth...we do need to share, otherwise it's almost like holding back something precious that somebody needs."
While she doesn't regard the book as some great masterpiece, Marriott hopes her story can help people fortify their faith in Christ or even find a new faith they may not have had.
"I think the message should be that Jesus stands with His arms outstretched, waiting for us to seek Him, that He is immovable, He is all loving and He is calling to us to come to Him, to seek Him out in our daily life, in our daily walk, no matter the other voices and other distractions that we all have," Marriott said. "To continue to move toward Him, because He is there."
You can ready Sister Marriott's book in print or listen to the audio version here.
The full interview is available below.