“Why I Believe”: Christian DJ Becomes a Latter-day Saint 

James Rietdijk, of Dutch ancestry, combined his musical interest and his belief in God to serve for five and a half years as a full-time missionary with a Christian performing group. 

After appearances in many countries, he came into contact with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eventually converted to the Church.   In a new “Why I Believe” video, James tells of his journey and why he became a Latter-day Saint Christian.  


As he reflected on his childhood, James said, “I grew up in a Christian family.  There was never a time that I did not believe in God.”  Praying had always been a part of his life, and he felt that his prayers had been heard and God had been involved in the direction his life should take.

A member of the performing group which “existed to communicate the Lord Jesus Christ through the medium of Christ-centered drama”,   James encountered many different churches and numerous expressions of Christianity throughout the world -- a spiritually enlightening experience for him.

“Yet, as I travelled and worked alongside other churches, meeting their pastors, listening to their life stories and beliefs, I realised that these Christians – all of whom had points of doctrine which varied from mine—had very real,  wonderful relationships with Christ also,” said James.  “These good Christians had a love for the scriptures and a devotion to their religion.”

As James prayerfully studied the Bible and compared the beliefs of the various churches, it wasn’t long before he had developed a set of beliefs that no longer fit under any denomination.  

“But one day,” he said, “when I was in Alabama, USA, working with the same ministry, I had just stopped for lunch when two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to the door.”

His curiosity about what he’d read of the Mormons on the internet led him to talk with the missionaries about the Book of Mormon.  

“One of the missionaries told me that the Holy Ghost had told him that the Book of Mormon was true and contains the word of God.  I said, ‘When you say the Holy Ghost, are you talking about the same Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of in the Bible?’ and he answered ‘Yes,’” said James.  “We talked for two hours.”

James took a free copy of the Book of Mormon from them and told them he would read it.  

“As I began reading the Book of Mormon I was amazed that the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught so clearly and the spiritual truths which are in it are so profound,” he said.  “I found it difficult to believe that Joseph Smith simply made it up.  I did know from personal experience that God does speak to people.  After all, He had told me to ‘live and work in America’ and there I was, doing just that.”

When James was one-third of the way through, he realised that he found every doctrinal point complemented what he understood from the Bible.  

“I stopped reading suddenly and prayed to God and said ‘This book is really true isn’t it?’  Right at that moment, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace.  I recognised this was the Holy Spirit, and I knew that the Book of Mormon is indeed a true book – the word of God.”

James completed his commitment to the ministry and returned to California and arranged to be baptised as a Latter-day Saint.  

“I was baptised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday 2 July, 2011 and flew home to Australia after celebrating the 4th of July in the U.S.  It was a perfect ending to my two years in the U.S. and a perfect ending to my five and a half years in full-time ministry.”

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