Helen Brandt ~ Marion, Iowa

I was born to Christian parents and heard the gospel, both in family Bible readings, and in gospel meetings at the Lyman Gospel Hall. At nine years of age, I made a profession as I was afraid of the Lord’s coming. A visitor to the gospel meeting read Romans 10:9, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” He asked me if I believed and I said, “Yes.” He asked what the verse said, and I repeated, “Thou shalt be saved.” I was deceived into thinking that I was saved, but I didn’t really believe. Many baptisms were held on our farm. Dad asked me, “Helen, don’t you have any desire to please the Lord by being baptized?” At that point I told him I wasn’t saved. I began to enjoy the world and all it offers.

When I was 19, I was teaching country school and living at home with my mother on the farm. I became concerned about my soul. One day I told my mother that if Oliver Smith would come for some gospel meetings, I thought I could get saved. Mother wrote to Oliver indicating there was an open door for him to come and stay at any time. He came for the Lyman Conference in the fall and spoke in the gospel on Saturday night. He spoke on the fig tree; it did not yield fruit and Christ said to cut it down. I was struck with the fact that I was not saved and did not bear fruit in my life for God. I feared God would cut me down and I would be in hell.

Children’s meetings were being held at the old Methodist Church in Reno on Wednesday nights. Mother asked me to go and I said, “There’s no use, as I can’t get saved.” However, I did go and Mr. Don Charles gave an excellent message which really convicted me of my sin. At the door he asked me if I would like a visit, to which I agreed. After reading many scriptures together, I told him, “I might as well go home because I can’t get this.” As I was going out the door he asked me, “Helen, who did Christ die for?” At that moment, God revealed to my soul that Christ died for me. I told him, “It was for me,” but I didn’t know I was saved. That was September 12, 1938. I got into bed and all of the verses that I knew from Sunday School came to me. With each verse I said to myself, “That’s so simple! That’s it!”

The next morning I sat down at the piano to play. Mother asked, “Helen, did you get saved last night?” I answered that I didn’t know, but that my burden was gone!

I taught school that day. At noon recess I got out my Bible and read John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I got into serious doubts about perishing. I closed school early, telling the children I didn’t feel well. I went home to call Mr. Charles to talk to him. He was waiting for me at home. I told him, “I don’t have salvation.” He read Ephesians 1:13, “In Whom after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” I thought to myself, “I believed last night and I am sealed! A seal can never be broken.” I had joy in my soul knowing my sins were forgiven, my burden was gone, I was sealed and I had everlasting life.

Note: Helen Brandt passed into the presence of Her Lord on March 8, 2002.