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True Firefighter Stories

"Courage is the ability to move; when all around you are frozen in fear
and no one would blame you if you did nothing at all." Capt. Click. Phx. PD

My Name is Pam Emick

                            I've been a Fire and Life Safety Officer
                                    for the Great State of California for 11 years.

I spent 8 years working for city fire departments as an inspector/fire investigator/plan reviewer. Two years for a university as the same thing, and now a year doing mainly fire plan review for hospital and skilled nursing facilities. I love my job! Since my job involves making sure such facilities are as safe as possible from fire, I know I am helping to protect people who can't help themselves. It gives me great satisfaction. I only wish there were more LDS people in my field. I don't know of any, but I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to talk about the Church to everyone I meet (at one time or another).

When I got married at 20 years old, I didn't have any religious feelings, per se, at all. My new husband and I just enjoyed our lives together and didn't think anything about it. He was raised Catholic, but when he became a teenager, he dropped out and never looked back. As for me, I'd been away from the Church I grew up in for years. Once, I distinctly remember going to my mom's house with my husband where we talked briefly about religion.

                              I said that I thought that everyone got in heaven
                                     what they wanted, ...whatever that was.

We all agreed that sounded good. I had no idea what I meant by that, but didn't care anyway. It was a few months later, my husband and I were having problems and I realized I couldn't solve them. Being the controlling person that I am, that bugged me that no matter what I seemed to say or do, my ability to control our relationship seemed to be lacking. We were increasingly unhappy and I didn't know what to do to make it better. I didn't think my husband would leave me or anything, I just felt annoyed all the time.  On the positive side, however, we had just had our baby girl. She made it doubly important that I make my marriage succeed. But how?

                                 I decided I needed to see if God really existed
                                                                  and if He did,
                                                      if He cared one whit about me.

My husband seemed to think all religions were the same and all roads led to Rome...but because I'd had my previous experiences in the Church of Christ, where I grew up believing there actually was such a thing as "one true church", I wanted to find out if that still held true. No one else seemed to care, but I did.

It bothered me that every Christian church interpreted every single scripture verse differently than the other! They couldn't all be right. One church believed you couldn't watch movies, while others had no problem with it. Another church said that dancing was evil and you would go to hell for it, while others didn't give that topic a second thought.

And oh, the method of baptism. That really differed between one religion and the other! Some did it by complete immersion, while others sprinkled water on your head. Some said you didn't have to be baptized at all, while others said it would keep you from heaven if you didn't do it.

Then there was community service. Some had food closets and fed the poor, while others didn't seem to do community service at all. And some had missionaries that went all over the world, while the church I used to belong to had no such program.

It drove me nuts. How was I, all by myself, to find the truth?

My husband said I was silly, and to just join any church I felt comfortable in. But I didn't want to. I figured I'd look around and see if I could find a religion that "spoke" to me or something. In fact, after a month or so, I realized I had no idea what to base "truth" on. How was I to decide? I could spend a lifetime going from one church to another and trying to figure out which was "right". But what if I just like the pastor? Was that enough?

And what about God anyway? Who was He?

Why did I know about Jesus Christ but half the world worshipped Buddha or Allah or someone else? Were they all going to hell? If it really mattered what truth I believe here, then what happened to those who never found it or lived up to it? And the biggie: What was heaven and hell REALLY and why did I want to be in heaven if all you did was sing praises to God all day? I'm sorry, but that sounded pretty dull to me!

In my effort to find truth I interviewed anyone who'd talk to me about why they belonged to their church. To my surprise, no one had a good answer. A Catholic woman I knew simply had been born into the religion and never dropped out of it, but she had nothing to tell me about why it was true. A Baptist man told me his religion was true, but he couldn't answer my questions or even tell me why he thought so. Most Christian denominations said they "followed the Bible to the letter", yet every one of them disagreed that the others churches did the same. The Catholics would say they were staunch Catholics, yet use birth control and get abortions even though the Pope decried it. Well either the Pope speaks for God or he doesn't, but I thought it was pretty dumb of these people to act like they trusted the Pope but ignored what he said!

The Jehovah Witness and other type of churches seemed to have their own agenda and felt they were true also, but again, my questions were never answered in a way that seemed right to me. Plus they all admitted they were formed recently by disgruntled people fed up with Catholic or Protestant religions. So why were they right then? Who had the authority to tell them they were interpreting scripture correctly?

              I had re-read the New Testament again and some of the Old Testament
                          and knew only one thing for sure.
                                        God was real and Jesus was His Son
                     and that meant I would remain a Christian. ...But now what?

I began to pray more earnestly for guidance. I admitted I needed help from Him because I had no clue what to do. Within a very short period of time, I remembered a friend of mine, a Mormon, who I'd last seen when I was about twelve years old. Then there was a couple I used to baby sit for. They had a Book of Mormon on their living room table, although I don't recall opening it. So I picked up the phone one day and called the Church, which turned out was a mere three blocks away from my house!

I asked if they could send someone over to talk to me. I imagine they were pretty surprised! They set up a time to meet with me during the day (my husband and I still worked separate shifts) and arranged to send over two women missionaries. On that day, two of the sweetest young women came over, both about 20. They were dressed modestly and talked in soft voices. They had a great sense of humor, but also a sense of reverence and peace.

When they spoke of God, they did so with respect.

They started with the Joseph Smith story. They said he read James 1:5, which sounded just about what I had done. At first, the only reason I listened to these young women was because they were my age, and so sweet and I just felt a peaceful feeling being around them. But the Joseph Smith story just sounded so fake. First of all, his name sounded almost silly--and way to simple a name for a prophet. Then I felt they were being a bit naive in thinking God and Jesus Christ would appear to a 15 year old teenage boy just because he read James 1:5

                                          But, to my surprise,
                                    they said I didn't have to take their word for it.

                         I could, and was expected to pray about it and ask God
                                                 if what I was hearing was true.

They said if I read the verses they marked in the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if the words were true, I would know for myself. They said I would feel a peaceful desire to continue to learn and an excitement of finding truth, but the excitement would not overwhelm the peace. The peaceful feeling, a feeling of joy and contentment, would be the main thing to look for. God would really tell me if I asked, they said, and I would KNOW the truth of what they said. But then I would have to act or the feeling would go away. And once I joined the church, should I make that decision, it would be my job to encourage my faith to grow through acts of service and scriptures, etc.

                                              I was intrigued.
                        A religion that expected it's followers to ask God
                                                             if what they believed in was true?

On one hand, it sounded like what I'd been looking for. A church with enough faith to believe God would actually tell them how to find truth and return to Him. On the other hand, it sounded too good to be true and too easy! Would God really care enough about me personally to tell me the truth? And if so, would I know it if I heard it? What if I only thought I heard it? What about others who had prayed to know? Did all of them know? And what if I got a "no"???

I continued the lessons, each one sounding even more logical than the last, and when I prayed to know if they were true, I felt warm and happy and willing to continue to have the lessons. When they said we always existed and were literal children of our Heavenly Father, it felt right and true and thrilled my soul with joy. When they said there were no double standard, that men and women were both expected to be chaste, I felt vindicated. In my previous church all they talked about was how women were expected to be virgins, but men weren't even discussed.

I also had my questions answered about other religions and people throughout the earth that never heard of Jesus Christ or this Church. What would happen to them? Would they all go to hell? In fact, all the questions I had were answered. Every one of them! With each lesson, once a week.

                                     I read the Book of Mormon
                             and continued to pray for guidance and answers.
                                             I felt so peaceful, so untroubled.
                                                  I knew when I prayed that I was heard.
                                                              I knew God loved me,
                                                                                I felt it.

I knew the direction I was pursuing was pleasing to Him. The Scriptures held new meaning and depth, from the Old Testament to the New Testament to the Book of Mormon and beyond. I started going to church, and I loved it also. At last the day came when they asked if I wanted to be baptized. I did! I arranged it for January 1st, 1977.

                         I know if you begin to read the Book of Mormon
                                and call out to your Heavenly Father for help,
                                       He will manifest the truthfulness of it to you.
                                              I testify of this in Jesus name,

                                                Fire and Life Safety Officer,

                                                                       Pam Emick.



If you are or were a police officer, soldier, fireman
or wife, mother, father of such or some other branch of emergency personnel
and would like to share an unusual testimony building experience with others,
please contact us for details at

or use the link on the front page of this site at

Thank you and God bless,


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