If you would have told me 15 years ago that there would come a day when I would not only be a vegetarian but that I would also not even have any cravings for meat whatsoever, I would have told you that you were absolutely crazy! I had consumed the standard American diet my whole life. I had always been heavily involved in athletics, studied biology in college, and was on my way to an Ivy League dental school. I thought I was pretty smart and knew what it meant to be healthy. I would come to realize that I had a LOT to learn.
There were a few major events that took place on my journey to this realization. The first was marrying the most amazing woman on earth. My wife, Janeen, is one of the most dedicated people I know, particularly in her desires to increase her knowledge and have the happiest and healthiest life possible. Whenever she comes across any information that she thinks may improve her life, she doesn’t hesitate to try it out. If she sees qualities in other’s lives that she would like to have, she always thinks, “Well, let’s see if what they are doing will work for me,” and she goes to work. She never thinks to herself, “That is great that it works for them, but I am sure I could never do that. I could never give up such and such.” She is willing to put in the time to study it out, make sacrifices, and find out for herself, no matter how crazy people may think she is, no matter how much opposition she may face. Even if it means going against what others have taught her, including those she knows have love and concern for her.
I first witnessed this quality in her as a teenager when she began to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had many LDS friends growing up. She began to admire many qualities in their families, things she hoped to see in her future family life. She decided to find out the reasons why they lived the way they did. She asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon and asked if she could take the missionary lessons. As she read, listened, studied, and prayed, she came to know without a doubt that what was working for them would work for her and for anyone else who truly sought out the same answers. Throughout her entire investigation of the Church, she faced significant opposition from family and friends. Several thought she was totally crazy, most had great concern for her, some felt she was turning away from what good and knowledgeable people had taught her. However, other’s lack of understanding has never held back Janeen from applying what she comes to know, and shortly after she reached the age of 18 and could legally decide for herself, she was baptized.