Gospel has helped convert endure trials

By Ashlynn Green

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 25 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Kayla Gilbert Lemmon, a recent graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho, is a young adult who’s endured many trials. Everyone has trials, but for her and her family it’s hit hard at home recently. She’s had to cope with a long job search, losing a close sister-in-law to cancer, attending the funeral, discovering her father has cancer, and trying to help her family grow closer together while raising money for their cause. Lemmon’s attitude is one of optimism and love for her family.

Lemmon was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a young man whom she had dated her senior year of high school in Seattle. He had been preparing for a Mormon mission, and Lemmon could really tell that he “had a light about him.”

When it came time to say good-bye to her friend to go to college, he invited her to his last Sunday at church there. After knowing him for quite some time, she accepted. “The spirit right away hit me. Instantly, I knew it felt good here, I knew right away I wanted to learn more. Then it just had to do with my parents, because they didn’t comply right away.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley had been encouraging members to read the Book of Mormon in a year or less. Lemmon, then 19 years old, read the Book of Mormon in eight days. The next week she went back to church and asked the missionaries if they could teach her more. At first her parents were very hesitant, but her younger sister Ashley Gilbert, who was 12 at the time, loved the LDS Church and all the youths her age.

Her mother started reading the Book of Mormon and listened to what the missionaries had to say. Eventually Lemmon asked her dad to read the Book of Mormon and that if he didn’t like it the missionaries wouldn’t come over anymore. During his lunch breaks at work, he took up her challenge.

As Lemmon learned more about the LDS Church, she said she really enjoyed how the missionaries were able to answer her questions — until her close uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer and died. She had millions of questions enter her head: “Where did he go?” “What happened to him?” “Is he happy?” “Where will I go when I die?”

“That was a beautiful moment of learning about the plan of salvation," Lemmon said.

“Since I’ve been in the church I’ve had more trials, but they’re easier to deal with," Lemmon said of being her and her family being baptized in September 2008 and becoming members of the LDS Church. "If I wasn’t in the church it’d be impossible to overcome, but with the gospel I felt like I can always be a light at the end of a tunnel."

During a girls' night out at a restaurant, she noticed a man there. When asked how she knew he was the one she would marry, she said, “He came into my life when I was happy with myself … I felt peace around him. I wasn’t worrying if I was pretty enough, or funny enough, I never felt the need to compete.”

Kayla and Matt Lemmon quickly fell in love and were married in May 2012 in the Salt Lake Temple. After she graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, Lemmon's husband had a spiritual prompting that they should move back to Seattle where a majority of their families reside. They didn’t have a job or apartment there, but followed the prompting and moved in with his family. Very quickly after they moved in they found out Matt’s sister, Natalie Lundberg, had been diagnosed with cancer.

Kayla Lemmon said it was a blessing to be near family at that time, and before they had moved, they were unsure of why they were supposed to go back. “For a few months I couldn’t find work, and we would pray every night. You just go where God wants you to go and don’t ask questions. He wanted to humble us before building us back up.”

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