The Hill Cumorah Pageant takes passages from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, with one of the culminating scenes being when Christ visits the people on the American continent, an event recorded in the Book of Mormon.
“The biggest impression I had gotten that day was that this was the first time in a really long time I remember truly feeling happy,” Reichhart said.
As they were leaving, Heidrich picked up a copy of the Book of Mormon for her daughter at a booth.
A few days later, on July 23, 2011, came the knock at the door.
As Reichhart talked with the missionaries, she couldn’t deny that there was something special about them.
They asked if they could come back.
That’s where it got tricky, though.
“My mom is not a big socializer. If I wanted to have someone over, she would freak out,” Reichhart said. “My brain said you should say ‘no’ but my heart was telling me, ‘say yes.’ ”
Reichhart invited them back, and to her surprise, her mother wasn’t upset.
As would come to be the tradition, Reichhart was ready with a list of questions when the missionaries returned. During the next few months, they met weekly.
During one of their first lessons, they invited her to pray.
Reichhart told them she would. Terrified that her mother would find her praying, Reichhart locked herself in her bathroom and kneeled down by the tub.
“I was there a long time and remember crying through most of it,” she said.
Reichhart asked for two things: financial stability for her and her mother, a single parent, and a sign to know that God was really listening to her.
A couple days later, her grandfather unexpectedly took Reichhart and her mother to a car dealership and bought Reichhart a car.
“When we drove into the dealership, I looked up into the air and said, ‘I get it. I know you’re there.’ It was one of the best feelings in the world.”
As Reichhart continued to meet with the missionaries, her faith grew, as did her desire to be baptized.
Because Reichhart is a minor, the only thing that stood in her way was the consent of her mother.
The pair had fought for weeks about it, and Heidrich showed no sign of consenting.
During a lesson at the beginning of October, the missionaries looked at each other, then looked at Reichhart.
“We have a question for you,” one of them asked.
Suddenly, what Reichhart described as an intensity filled the room and she knew something was coming.
“Will you prepare to be baptized by a worthy priesthood holder on Oct. 29?” the missionary asked.
For Reichhart, time seemed to stop.
“It was like someone threw a baseball into my chest,” she said. “I was sitting there with my mouth agape. They stopped and asked me if I was OK. All I could do was nod my head. That’s the most powerful feeling I have ever gotten.”
As Reichhart remained speechless, the missionaries asked to speak with Reichhart’s mother.
After her initial protest at giving her consent, Heidrich agreed to think about it.
The missionaries returned the next week. This time, it was Heidrich who was waiting with a list of questions — a list of concerns she had about her daughter joining the LDS Church.
The missionaries answered her questions, her main concern being about not witnessing her daughter’s temple marriage, as only worthy members of the LDS Church are allowed inside.
When they assured her that her daughter could have an additional ceremony outside of the temple, Heidrich looked to Reichhart.
“Well OK. You’re good to go,” Heidrich said.
Reichhart was baptized a week and a half later on Oct. 29, 2011.
Since her baptism, Reichhart’s friends tell her that she has a special glow about her. “If I hadn’t joined this church, I can’t even think about where I would be right now. I was going down a slippery slope to nowhere. It saved my life.”
Reichhart was accepted to Brigham Young University and is headed west this fall to continue her studies.
Since her baptism, many of her friends have seen “The Book of Mormon.”
But not Reichhart.
Though it was the springboard to her testimony, now it hurts her to know that people find humor in the mockery of her faith.
But Reichhart said that thanks to a reminder from the missionaries who knocked on her door, the same thing that happened to her could happen to anyone else. All they have to do is believe, she added.
Emmilie Buchanan is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Email: email@example.com Twitter: emmiliebuchanan
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