11 March 2013
We have become friends with a very interesting man who recently began training to work in the temple. His name is Hermano Loreto, and he has an unusual background. For over 30 years, he was employed as the secretary to the local Catholic bishop’s council. We haven’t determined how many bishops were in the council during those years, but his job was to coordinate bishop-level activities among the various episcopates in the area. He is innately a religious man - gentle, kind, courteous, civil in all respects.
When his son married and began his family, he came to notice his daughter-in-law to be a very special person. She was LDS. As he watched her raise the children and involve them in church activities (the son did not participate in the church during this time), he noticed her efforts to teach the children correct principles, participate with them in church activities and show, by example, how to live correctly. This very much impressed Hermano Loreto and he began to enquire about why she was like she was. Soon, he was invited to a church activity and began to investigate the church. He took several sets of missionaries through the ringer, but wasn’t convinced. Finally, a stake president and friend challenged him. He responded by saying he would join under two conditions: First, he wanted the stake president to baptize him; second, he told the stake president that he (the stake president) represented the foundation of his faith and that if he did not live a representative life, this man, Hno. Benitez, would leave the church. He also readily admits he did not gain a testimony of the truth of the church during this time, only that he liked being around members and respected their example
As time went on after his baptism, he began to really study the gospel, learn the doctrine, pray earnestly and seek a greater understanding. As he has done so, he has confirmed for himself the truth of the gospel, the priesthood, the ordinances and the Lord’s plan.
He, of course, had to leave his work in the Catholic church, for which, after 30 years of service, he was told “thank you” and to leave immediately, no pension, retirement consideration, nada. Since then, he has struggled financially, but he has been faithful in his church affiliation and duties. His son, by the way, is now serving as a bishop.