Walker Crystal is a senior studying engineering at BYU-Idaho. Crystal grew up in Lodi, California. He graduated from high school in 2004 and went to college for two years before joining the Marine Corps in 2007 and served until 2011.
In 2014, Crystal felt a prompting to travel around the United States that began his search for the gospel.
“I got a prompting, but I didn’t really know what promptings were at the time,” Crystal said. “It was just like an idea that popped into my head. And it was like, ‘Leave California.’”
Crystal decided to stay in California and finish school before he left on his trip, but the steady prompting continued.
“So, I finished school, and then I got the feeling again: ‘Leave California,'” Crystal said. “And I thought, ‘Well, I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m going to do.'”
Again, Crystal decided to stay in California and save money for his trip.
“So, summer comes around, and I got the feeling, you know, ‘What’s your next excuse gonna be?’” Crystal said. “And so I was like, ‘OK, I guess I gotta go.’”
Crystal then sold his house, quit his job at a Chevrolet car dealership and traveled across the country.
“I traveled from California, across the northern states, out to Washington D.C, then down the East coast, out to Florida and then back across the Southern states, back to California,” Crystal said.
While on the road trip, Crystal said the Spirit helped him know where to go.
“Like this whole time I was driving, I was just following the Spirit, and, at the time, I thought I was just following my gut instinct,” Crystal said.
One day, while following his gut, Crystal came upon a trailhead near what seemed to be a national park.
Crystal took a hike and came upon a vast span of wilderness.
“I’d never really prayed before, but I sat down, and I was like, ‘OK, God, I got nothin’. I don’t know where I’m goin’. I don’t know what I’m doin’. I just wanna’ do good things with my life, and whatever those good things consist of, let’s do that,’” Crystal said.
A month later, Crystal was traveling in Nevada and came upon a local rancher.
“We started talking about Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, and I was like, ‘Huh, well that makes sense. You know, it just makes sense when you put it like that,’” Crystal said.
The rancher gave Crystal a Book of Mormon, and the rancher’s niece convinced Crystal to read it.
In late July, Crystal returned to California and concluded his road trip but was faced with a new dilemma.
“Well, where do I wanna live?” Crystal said. “You know, I’ve been to all these places, and I’m like ‘Where do I wanna go?’ And I just kind of, you know, thought ‘Where do I feel like going?’ And I was like, ‘Idaho.’”
Crystal moved to Idaho and began talking to the missionaries in late August 2014.
“Before I met with the missionaries, I prayed about it, and I was like, ‘OK, God. You know, if this is the real deal, if this is the real thing, if it’s legit, then send me your A-team,’” Crystal said.
Crystal met with the missionaries three to four times a week for about a month.
“I gave them every question I could think of, and by the end of it, they answered all my questions or told me my answers would be provided if I sought them through the scriptures and things like that,” Crystal said.
Crystal said he decided it was time to get baptized when he ran out of questions.
“My whole life, I always felt like there was something missing,” Crystal said. “My whole life, I was always looking. Like, ‘Man, what am I missing?’ And when I got baptized, that feeling was gone.”
He and his wife, Elise, were sealed in the Rexburg Idaho Temple this past January.
“When I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, as soon as I prayed about it, it was like an immediate answer: ‘You know it is,’” Crystal said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, I do know it is.’”