BYU grad compiles testimonies from 60 different countries

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Author Katarina Jambrešić edits "A Global Testimony" in her New York apartment. Jambrešić wrote the book to share global religious experiences with the LDS faith. (Katarina Jambrešić)
Author Katarina Jambrešić edits “A Global Testimony” in her New York apartment. Jambrešić wrote the book to share global religious experiences with the LDS faith. (Katarina Jambrešić)

A BYU alumna recently compiled “A Global Testimony,” a book written by members of the LDS Church about their conversion experiences from around the world.

The authors of the book, compiled by Katarina Jambrešić, are from 60 different countries, including Denmark, Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, Botswana and Haiti. The authors’ individual stories are intended to inspire and strengthen Church members and readers from all backgrounds.

“From the first story to the last, you will see that God is in the details. His miracles have not ceased,” Jambrešić said. “These accounts have the ability to renew our conviction and understanding that the Lord is aware and ready to answer our prayers.”

Jambrešić, a convert of nearly 20 years from Croatia, currently lives in New York City. She works as a market research analyst, and translates General Conference for the LDS Church. Jambrešić connected with converts from all over the world through her experience as a translator for the Church. Her book took a year and-a-half to compile and was published in December 2014.

One of the featured authors in the book is 22-year-old Haris Rožajac, the first soon-to-be missionary from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rožajac’s story includes growing up in Bosnia, a predominantly Muslim country, where he first attended a free English class taught by the sister missionaries in Sarajevo. His investigation of the Church led to his baptism, his mother’s subsequent baptism and his father’s present meetings with the missionaries.

“It was incredible to see just how prepared Haris was for the gospel right from the beginning,” said Alynne Hendricks, a student at BYU and one of the sister missionaries who taught Rožajac. “It was amazing to be a part of his conversion experience. Now, because of his testimony, he is working miracles among the Bosnian people.”

Rožajac currently serves in the Sarajevo branch presidency as the first counselor. While he has been a source of strength to the local members, his journey has not always been easy. Rozajac said telling his parents about his baptism was the scariest thing he’s done in his life. “It’s incredible today to see how my decision to be baptized changed my family,” Rožajac said. “All of these blessings would not have happened, if I hadn’t trusted in God. When we trust Him, we see miracles.”

Other contributors to “A Global Testimony” include married couples, recovering alcoholics, the wealthy, the poor, and everything in between.

The book references members’ experiences as they sought to know if God exists, what happens after this life, the truthfulness of the LDS Church and various other religious-based questions. Many of the accounts reference using the Atonement of Jesus Christ as a source of guidance through difficult circumstances.

One such story is by an American author, Kenley McAvoy, who discusses his history of substance abuse and his ultimate recovery through his conversion to the Church. McAvoy attributes his ability to overcome his alcohol addiction to the spiritual rehabilitation he underwent through tools including prayer and church attendance.

“Every story in the book is unique, but it also shows that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same everywhere,” Rožajac said. “This fact makes the church unique, and I believe that ‘A Global Testimony’ will remind members that in spite of all cultural, social or racial differences, we are united in one purpose — to build and strengthen the kingdom of God on earth.”

Jambrešić hopes to be able to get “A Global Testimony” translated into a variety of languages, and is discussing the future possibility of compiling a global missionary book or a global ancestry book.