Edward Doyle, a junior studying computer science, was born and raised in the Catholic religion. Doyle grew up praying and reading scriptures with his family. Overall, his family was spiritually strong and active in the Catholic Church.
As he grew older, Doyle began to be taught about the scriptures and Catholic doctrine. From the very beginning, Doyle recalls having a curious mind.
“I remember from a young age asking a lot of questions, and I always had. I never would accept things just because they were told to me,” Doyle said. “I always needed to know the why.”
No one seemed to have the concrete answers Doyle was searching for, and the older he became, the more discouraged he became at the lack of answers. When answers were given, he felt they were never to his satisfaction. Without concrete answers, Doyle only began to have more questions about his faith. As time passed, Doyle began to notice the uneasiness his questions brought others, so he began to ask fewer questions until eventually, he stopped asking them at all.
After a while, the questions ate away at him.
Around age 15, his belief in God had all but completely faded away. At that time, circumstances caused him to stop going to church, and he went through a rough time in his life where he believed in nothing.
“I felt like there wasn’t really a purpose to my existence,” Doyle said. “Often times I’d contemplate that existence and kind of the reasons behind my doing everyday things such as going to school.”
Although he did not believe in a god, Doyle still held a respect for people that did. He did understand the value people got out of it.
High school rolled around, and Doyle met who he called, “my future best friend,” Taylor Wintersteen, a BYU-I alumnus.
Wintersteen was the only member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Doyle’s school in Pennsylvania. Doyle and Taylor became good friends and spent most of their time together at Taylor’s home, and subsequently, Doyle was invited to attend church with him on Sundays.
Doyle said that no one ever approached him about meeting with missionaries.
“I think a lot of people assumed I was a member of the Church just because I knew a lot of religious stuff,” Doyle said.
Doyle continued to attend church meetings with his friend and slowly began to notice the differences the LDS church had from other churches he had attended. Doyle remembers one particular Sunday:
“I remember hearing people using the words I know, and that really hit me somewhere down deep where maybe my heart was or where my heart should have been,” Doyle said. “It was strange that people were saying they knew something, something spiritual, and I didn’t quite grasp the concept.”
All of this made an impression on Doyle, but at that point in his life, he was not a spiritual person.
It was not until he graduated from high school and began to apply to different colleges and save up for college that Taylor’s father suggested Doyle attend BYU-I. The school was relatively inexpensive, and his best friend Taylor would also be attending. Soon after, Doyle applied and was accepted into the school. In the time before school, Doyle went to work in Washington at a lake resort for a few of Taylor’s relatives. Upon his arrival, he noticed how different everything was.
“I remember getting [there] and getting out of the car, and I just felt this peace that I hadn’t felt before,” Doyle said. “It was really indescribable. It wasn’t anything spiritual. It just felt like this is where I needed to be.”
That first Sunday he was invited to church, and two weeks in, the missionaries came to help provide services for the resort. Later the missionaries started to talk to him and shortly after was receiving lessons.
What stood out to Doyle was the missionaries’ promise that he, too, could know for himself. He immediately remembered the testimony meeting where he wondered how people could testify of knowing something spiritual.
Doyle set out to find out for himself. He approached the idea just as he always had with a scientific mind. He was determined to live the gospel perfectly and not allow any variables.
“I remember wanting to do all the things that they asked me to do as exact as possible,” Doyle said. “This way I couldn’t look back and say that maybe if I had done such and such a thing I would have received an answer.”
Doyle remembers kneeling down that first night and saying a prayer, feeling insecure and uncomfortable he asked for help in knowing if the things he had been taught were true.
Following that night he began to read his scriptures daily. He set a goal for himself to finish the Book of Mormon before he accepted an offer to be baptized. He knew that it was important for him to have read and understood the basis of the entire Mormon religion before he made any decisions on the matter.
At this point Doyle was half way through reading the Book of Mormon and meeting his goal. That day while explaining the lesson the missionaries had taught to him earlier to a close friend, Doyle experienced “this overwhelming, exhilarating peace down to my core, and from what I had been reading in the Book of Mormon, I knew that was the spirit, and I knew that subsequently that being the spirit and the spirit testifying to what I was saying, I knew that the message was true,” Doyle said.
After a few more lessons, the missionaries extended the offer of baptism to Doyle,
“My heart just almost jumped out of my chest, and I said yes.”
Despite his spiritual confirmation, Doyle was still determined to finish the Book of Mormon before being baptized. He began to read more fervently than before. The weekend of June 25, 2011, at 5 a.m., Doyle finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time.
Later that afternoon, Doyle was baptized.
“I remember just the feeling…just a clean feeling that I felt when I came out of the waters of the baptismal font,” Doyle said. “Just this spirit of optimism and just this spirit of being able to take on anything with Christ.”
The following day, Doyle was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.