The Conversion of Brother Richard Lowman of Tarsus
For today's Miracle Monday, we're sharing a conversion testimony from Brother Richard Lowman from Ft. Worth, Texas. Enjoy!
I met my beautiful bride, Gina (Jones) almost eight years ago after the passing of her husband. Gina and I dated for a short time, and we got married.
I am almost 53 years old and was raised in a Southern Baptist Church for my whole life — and my brother is a Baptist minister, and he and I definitely talk about spiritual things. I always got along with Gina's dad, Brother Ken Jones, but his wife, Sister Bennie, and I would get into deep religious "arguments" — the silliest of things looking back. Gina and I also became close friends with Brother Jerry and Sister Linda Morle, and I'd talk with Brother Jerry about the differences in our faiths.
At one point, I threw away every Book of Mormon I could find in our home, and when Gina would tell people that her dad was a pastor I would say something like, “The pastor of a cult.” I told my kids that The Church of Jesus Christ was way off base. I persecuted The Church of Jesus Christ regularly and tried to convince Gina that the beliefs were doctrinally false. I wanted my kids to have no part of these teachings and even had a hard time letting Brother Ken bless our children in The Church of Jesus Christ.
Gina and I went to many different churches during our marriage, and we got involved in each of them. We held home groups and were very active. I always felt that I was doing the right thing and following the will of God.
I had been a single dad with three children (two still at home) when I met Gina, and I didn’t want more children. Gina had always wanted children again, as she had lost her one son, David, in an automobile accident. After prayer (and for Gina's sake) we decided to try. We shared our desire with the Morles, and they prayed for us. Gina got anointed in The Church of Jesus Christ. During the prayer, a sister had a vision that there was a beautiful river and then there were two streams that broke off from the river. (I believed that God heard the prayer, but I didn’t believe anything was special about their prayer over mine.)
In December 2012, Gina and I gave birth to a set of twins, Joshua and Rebekah. They are now 5 years old and healthy. This was a miracle that only the Lord God himself could have orchestrated. The Lord blessed that prayer and gave us the desires of our heart.
Gina and I stayed close with the Morles. Brother Jerry and I would talk about The Church of Jesus Christ and specifically the Book of Mormon. We would always agree to lovingly disagree. Sister Linda gave me a Book of Mormon and asked me to read it. I did a ton of searching on the internet about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon and could find no scientific proof, and, more often than not, I found articles casting doubt on Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. I never read that Book of Mormon but waited a couple of months for politeness and gave it back to Sister Linda, saying it wasn’t for me.
Gina always wanted to go to The Church of Jesus Christ, and I agreed to go occasionally in honor of her father and also because we truly loved the people. I just couldn’t get past The Book of Mormon or the beliefs that were so different than what I was taught.
It's important to note that when we needed serious prayer, we went to The Church of Jesus Christ — only for Gina’s issues, not mine. The Lord provided yet another miracle for us. Gina had been having health problems with her intestinal tract and went to the doctor to get it checked out. The doctor sent her to the hospital immediately, as her lymph nodes had swollen so much that her intestines were blocked. They told us we needed to “prepare for the worst” and that Gina should come back on Monday for more tests and to determine a course of action to fight what we were led to believe was cancer. Gina and I went to The Church of Jesus Christ the Sunday prior for prayer, and this time my heart was begging the Lord for healing.
Gina and I went to the doctor on Monday, and all MRIs and X-rays were repeated, and now the doctors were confused … the lymph nodes and cell counts were now all normal. God answered another prayer, and there was NO way man could take credit for what the Lord did.
Fast-forward two more years to September 23, 2017. I had flown home from a business conference early Saturday morning, and I was exhausted. I had promised Gina that we would go to a social at Brother Joe Ignagni’s home celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Fort Worth Branch. I went because I was tired, and who doesn’t want a free lunch? I knew that Brother Joe is an educated man, and I told him how I wanted to meet with him to ask about The Book of Mormon, and he said to me, “If you are looking for scientific evidence, then I cannot give that to you. I can tell you about the heart.” Man, was I disappointed.
In the weeks leading up to this anniversary Gina had told me that if something happened to me she would go back to The Church of Jesus Christ. That made me so ANGRY. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had taken Gina to solid Biblical churches. This burned in my soul with anger and remorse.
The next morning, I told Gina we would go to "her dad’s church." It was laziness on my part and for no other reason. The Church of Jesus Christ starts at 11 a.m. instead of the church we were attending that started at 9 a.m. We went to The Church of Jesus Christ and I sang a song with Brother Ken. During that song, the Lord broke my heart, and I asked Brother Ken if he would baptize me. I never planned that and never intended to speak those words from my mouth.
On October 1, 2017 I was baptized and made a member of The Church of Jesus Christ. Never have I looked back on my decision. We see miracles regularly in our branch, and the love we have for others is like no other church. I explain it this way: The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years because they were disobedient. They were saved and had a relationship with The Lord, but they never got to the Promised Land. I am now obedient and am in the Promised Land.
Many saints had a part in my conversion. Brother Greg and Sister Shelli Baer had dinner at our home when Gina and I first got married. Brother Rudy and Sister Eleanor Carillo and Brother Randy Lee broke bread with us when they came for a visit. Sister Linda Reynolds always sent me articles. Brother Steve Kerby sent me books written by Brother V. James Lovalvo on the Book of Mormon. Brother Ken always showed his patient love with me. Brother Jerry Morle always shared life with me but never forced his views on me.
As I look back, I can see The Lord’s hand carefully moving me like a pawn on a chessboard into positions and situations so he could show His power and glory and put me where he wanted me. I give all the honor, praise, and glory to The One who took my sins on the cross. I am where I am because He is where He is. The Lord is sovereign and omnipotent, and His plan will always prevail if we are attentive.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.