“I was raised in New Delhi, the capital city of India,” said Kartik. “Eighty percent of the 1.3 billion people there are Hindu. My family was no exception. I was very religious and happily participated in the family traditions and rituals.”
Kartik’s neighbors were Protestant Christians, and their children were Kartik’s childhood friends. A curious Kartik started attending their prayer meetings. “I wanted to learn of Jesus Christ,” he said. “My parents were not happy and told me to stop going to the meetings. They thought our Christian neighbors would eventually convert me.”
The fears of his parents were prophetic, but not in the way they had envisioned. As Kartik grew older, he attended different churches when he could. “The spark of praying to the Lord always stayed in my heart,” he said.
Following high school, Kartik took a job in a call center. “That was a turning point in my life,” he said. “A co-worker was preparing to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—the same church whose missionaries I had rejected years ago. She invited me to attend some activities. The missionaries then started teaching me lessons and invited me to be baptized. I said, ‘No! I am Hindu. My family would never, ever agree to such an action.’”
The seed planted long ago quickly sprouted, however, and in 2007, Kartik was baptized at the age of 19. “It was the biggest decision I had ever made that opposed my family’s beliefs,” he said. “And I did it without even informing them.”
Kartik’s parents soon noticed their son had stopped worshipping Hindu gods. They asked him if he had joined a Christian church. “Yes,” he told them. “My father became quite angry with me,” he said. “Every day there was a quarrel in the home because of what I had done.”
Kartik’s father asked him to choose between his family and the Church. “I was speechless,” said Kartik. “Both were incredibly important to me. But I knew what I must do, so I started packing my bags. I told my family that no matter what happened, I could not leave the Church, even if I had to live on the roadside. They were stunned.”
To his surprise, Kartik’s family understood how serious he was about his new religion. He was allowed to stay home. Then another miracle happened. After Kartik had been a member for 18 months, his father allowed him to serve a mission.
“During it, my brother Arjun joined the Church,” said Kartik. “Then one day, my mission president called me in and asked, ‘Elder Radhakrishnan, guess what’s happening this Sunday?’ Of course I had no idea. He said, ‘Your father is getting baptized!’ I was amazed. How could this happen? The God that I worship is a God of miracles. All that He asks is for us to believe and to walk with faith. I wept as I heard this great news.”
The miracles continue
Miracles continued to flow in Kartik’s family. His father became a member missionary. He saved a family from a nadir—the lowest point in their life—as they struggled with one of their children. Through that action, several other families joined the Church.
“Had I left the Church that night when my father confronted me,” said Kartik, “I would have lost all the great blessings that followed. The foundation of my testimony is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has given me courage to stand in the face of my trials growing up in the slums of an urban city.”
One of those trials was Kartik’s lack of desire for an education. “I never thought it was even possible,” he said. “I had always struggled to get even the basic necessities of life. But on my mission I met many people who had big plans. They helped me understand the value of education.”
After his mission, Kartik met with his branch president, who told him that he needed to aspire to greatness if Kartik wanted to bring his family out of poverty. The branch president encouraged him to apply to a Church school in the United States.
“It seemed impossible,” said Kartik. “I had not studied for almost a decade. Then I saw a YouTube video telling me I could get a career in two years. I thought, ‘Really? That’s awesome!’ I came up with a plan and found a sponsor.”
Kartik’s family could not afford to send him to school in the United States, and his sponsor could not pay for everything. Surprisingly, people just started popping into his home and giving him money. “It was very humbling,” Kartik said. “This was not because of my effort—it was totally because of the Lord.”
Kartik considered studying information technology, but by his own admission, “Computers and I don’t get along.” After many prayers, he was impressed to pursue study in the medical field. He was delighted to find that LDS Business College had a medical assisting program.
Kartik started attending LDSBC in 2015 and will graduate in December 2017 at the age of 28. After the many miracles he has experienced, he does not take his good fortune for granted. He has no sense of entitlement. His first semester, he went to school by day and worked as a custodian by night, often with only four hours of sleep. He now works in the College’s career center.
And the miracles continue.
“My sister Rita joined the Church eight months ago with her son,” said Kartik. “And the College is paving the way for me to reach my highest ambition—that of becoming a cardiologist. It will take a lot of work, but I’ll get my medical assisting degree, work for a year to earn money, then apply for a pre-med program.
“Had I not joined the Church,” said Kartik, “I fear where my life would be right now. Without the Church I would be nothing, but with it, I can possess every good thing. The Church has made me a civilized person. It has given me hope and purpose. I am happy, and I am excited to accomplish my dreams.”