Author of fiction/nonfiction, mother/daughter blogging duo, Bible teacher.

When I was seven or eight years old, I entered a writing contest for elementary students sponsored by the local newspaper. I won! Actually, I won two years in a row. I still remember some things about those stories. I remember that one was about a little girl who was so poor, she had to use fall leaves to make Christmas cards. Uh, kind of got my seasons mixed up there—but the storyline must have been good! That was the beginning of my writing career!

So why do I write biblical fiction?

Can’t people just read their Bibles? Yes. Of course. But years ago, when I was reading through the book of Genesis, studying the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, one of Jacob’s wives caught my attention.

Genesis 29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved

God was watching Leah. Can you imagine it? The God of the Universe leaning over the portal of heaven to get a better view of an unloved woman! I was hooked on the story right then. The scriptures were scant, but the story was hiding there in subtle hints.

As I fleshed out Leah’s life from the Word, I fell more in love with the God who originally wrote her story.

The Great Storyteller who knew both Leah and me before He laid the foundation of the earth, and who wrote our stories with love, promising us the best of all happy endings with Him.

Biblical fiction isn’t meant to replace the Bible.

Not by any means! But it’s a window that allows us to peek into the culture of the ancients, and to watch God’s faithful dealings with them. And to learn from their mistakes!

My greatest desire is that my work reflects
the glory and goodness of God.

Now a little more about me personally!

I’ve worn many hats: pastor’s wife, mother of four God-loving children, school teacher, singer/songwriter, author, and blogger–to name a few. Four years after becoming a widow, I married Peter Parker. Yes! I’m Mrs. Spiderman. How cool is that! When my husband and I are not out RVing we reside in Arizona with our monster dog, Mimi (don’t let the cute name fool you!).

I’m presently the older, more wrinkled half of a mother/daughter blogging duo with my daughter, Rebecca. Our website is full of stories that inspire women to realize how much they are loved and cared for by their Creator.

My Conversion Story

I became a believer at the age of fourteen. I’m so grateful that God knew who I was before He even created the earth. He had a plan for my life, and He’s been working it out in me every day.

Before I tell you my conversion story, I want to speak to any of my Mormon friends or relatives who might visit my blog. I want to thank you for your influence for good in my life. I appreciate the dedication with which you practice your religion. I appreciate the work that you do in your communities and the kindness you showed my family and me in my younger years. You are wonderful people, and I know you love God, and He loves you. I have nothing but love in my heart for you.

I come from a long line of Mormons.

Some of my ancestors came across the plains pushing handcarts with the early Mormon settlers.

I was born and raised in a small rural village outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Iona was almost exclusively Mormon. The church was the center of activity in our small community, especially for the youth. Sports, drama, dances—the church provided it all, and although the church was inclusive, being non-Mormon automatically put you at the fringes of society.

One day, a friend from Idaho Falls told me the little church he and his family attended was having a revival. He wanted me to come. Mormons didn’t often attend other churches, so my parents were apprehensive, but they let me go.

My friend and his family picked me up, and we drove the seven miles into town, to a little white church on Gladstone Street. I will never forget it.

When we walked in, the service had already begun. This was nothing like any church service I had been in. The piano player was all over that piano. People were raising their hands, tears streaming down their cheeks. There were shouts of “hallelujah” and “thank you Jesus” everywhere.

To a little Mormon girl, this was like a foreign country, but I felt something I had never felt before.

At the end of the service, the preacher called me to the front and asked if I wanted to accept Christ as my Savior. I had no idea what that meant, but I knew God was in that place.

I said yes, and the Holy Spirit poured into my soul. I felt His presence in a way that’s impossible to explain.

I knew Jesus had come into my heart—and I knew I was going to be in a lot of trouble when I got home.

When I walked in the door, I didn’t have to say a word.

My parents could tell by the look on my face that this wasn’t the same girl who had crawled into that car hours before. They told me, in no uncertain terms, I could never go to that church again. My dad sat me on his knee and said, “Honey, I wouldn’t lead you wrong.”

I loved my daddy. I didn’t want to hurt him. I truly didn’t, but I knew what I had experienced was real. I couldn’t deny it, no matter how much it hurt my mother and father, or how much it separated me from my friends.

I know some people might say I should have just obeyed my parents, and not gone back to church until I was of age. Perhaps they’re right, but I couldn’t have stayed away if I’d tried. I believe God saw my heart and my love for Him, even though I didn’t yet understand everything about the Bible.

After a few days under house arrest, I was allowed to resume my life. 

All I wanted to do was get to church. I had someone meet me on the corner and off we went.

Evangelist McPherson was still preaching. Revivals in those days were not the weekend affairs that they are now. Sometimes they lasted for weeks.

Sometimes I’d tell my parents I was going to the ballgame, and instead, I’d get on the school bus that took the country kids into the city for tournaments. 

I’d run the four or five blocks to the church, then run back after the service to catch the bus home. My late husband always said that it’s usually just the opposite: kids get on the bus saying they’re going to church and go to the ballgame instead.

Finally, the pastor’s son told me I shouldn’t lie to my parents, and I started just leaving them a note telling them I was at church. You can imagine what greeted me when I got home.

One Sunday, sitting in a pew all to myself, I heard the outside doors of the church open and held my breath until the double doors of the vestibule swung wide. My mother came down one aisle and my father down the other.

But that didn’t dissuade me. I kept going whenever I had the chance.

Another time, my parents arrived at the church with a policeman. The officer asked my father if we could all meet him at the police station. With my Bible tucked under my arm, I was probably the strangest looking juvenile delinquent that policeman had ever seen.

The officer told my parents they should try going to church with me once. My dad nodded, but the station door hadn’t closed behind him when he said, “If he thinks I’m going to that church, he’s crazy!”

Over two decades later, he did go to that church—to hear my husband preach the Word of God, and a year and a half before he died, he asked Jesus to come into his heart.

When I was eighteen, I left home and moved in with a Christian family.

It was such a relief to sit in church without worrying about someone dragging me out. But when I look back, I see those trying times as the best in my life. I’ve never felt His presence more than I did during those years.

My parents thought my conversion was just a phase. If so, it’s a phase that has lasted over a half-century at this writing. I’m so thankful that God knew me before the foundation of the world. It was no surprise to Him that I ended up in that little church that night. And it was no surprise when I asked Him into my heart.

It’s been a long time since I walked that aisle. I married a preacher, raised a family, suffered the death of my husband. I remarried.

I’ve made many mistakes on this long journey. I’ve not only made mistakes—I’ve sinned. And I’ve been forgiven. God has never failed me. When I’ve tripped, He’s always picked me up.

And I can also say that I’ve never wanted to turn my back on Him. Sometimes, I haven’t wanted to obey, but I’ve never wanted to walk away from God.

God is faithful, and I am so thankful that He loved me enough to send His only son to die for me. He loves you, too. I hope you realize just how much. If you’d like to talk about it, write to me on my Contact page. 

Many Blessings,

Marilyn T. Parker