I have always loved horses. I grew up riding them. My family owned a dairy ranch where we had a few horses. When I was seven years old we moved to the city. Because we didn’t have horses there, I rode them whenever I had the chance.
When I was young, my father would take me to church. He and I were the only ones in my family who went to church. But my father died when I was just 13 years old. I continued to go to church after his death, but I didn’t have a lot of friends to go to church with, so I usually walked alone.
I was walking to church one Sunday morning soon after my father died. I passed the house of my friend whose family owned some horses. I had been riding with them before, and we had so much fun. My friend came outside to tell me that her family was about to go ride their horses and wondered if I would like to come along.
Time seemed to stand still as I tried to decide what to do. I loved riding and wanted to go with them. But I could see the church building from where I stood. As I looked at that building, a voice seemed to say to me, “Marlene, if you choose to go horseback riding this day, you will be making a wrong choice. You can go to church even if your father is not here to take you.”
I knew in my heart that going riding would not be the right choice. At that moment I said to my friend, “Thanks for the offer, but I am going to church instead.” I have never regretted that choice. It has turned out to be one of the most significant decisions I have made in my life. It’s the good choices we make that keep us on the straight and narrow path. From that moment until this day, I can count on one hand the number of times I have missed church.
Diligent church attendance is important to me, so important that wild horses can’t keep me away. I love to associate with my ward family and find joy in serving in my calling. I am so thankful for the blessings I have received from attending my meetings and from having the gospel in my life. I am grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the guidance of the Holy Ghost.