Latter-day Saint Life

What I’ll never forget about my grandparents’ loving reaction when I chose to join the Church

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Eliza Lin Peters with her grandparents, Guo Xian Yuan (left) and Xin Yan Tan (right).
Photo courtesy of Eliza Lin Peters.

Editor's note: The following is part of our series Love that Leads, which first appeared in the July/August issue of LDS Living magazine. The series explores the beauty of strong relationships in our lives.

Like a delicate spring blossom floating on the breeze, some people enter our lives only for a season. Together we learn and we grow until the winds of change blow the blossom on its way. Other people are planted like trees—deep roots spiraling down and out into the ground, becoming forever part of our landscape. Both blossom and tree add beauty to our lives—we are not meant to grow in isolation. A Master Gardener introduces those who can help us weed out our thorns and those who help us bloom far beyond what we could do alone. The love we meet, and the love we share, is what leads us to a beautiful life we love.

First, Eliza Lin Peters tells us about her incredible grandparents.

Shortly before I was born, my parents moved from China to the US in pursuit of the American dream. They began the enormous task of establishing a Chinese restaurant while raising my older brother. Recognizing the challenges my parents were facing, my grandparents courageously left behind their familiar life in China to come provide invaluable support. Their arrival in the US coincided with my birth, and soon after, my younger sister joined our family. With my parents fully immersed in the demands of entrepreneurship and parenthood, my grandparents played an indispensable role in nurturing us children. Their sacrifices and love shaped me into the person I am today.

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Eliza and her brother with their grandparents as a child.
Photo courtesy of Eliza Lin Peters

Growing up in a predominantly white community, I sometimes felt torn between embracing my cultural background and wanting to fit in. I’m so grateful to have had my grandma and grandpa during those years to surround me with affection and help me develop a love for Chinese traditions and values. My daily life was different from what they’d experienced in their youth, but they never let that come between us. Even when I chose at age 21 to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a decision my grandparents were initially nervous about, they respected my choices and kept me close.

My grandparents’ example has taught me that nothing, not even cultural or religious differences, should stop us from building strong relationships with the people we love. Because of their listening ear and sincere love, our bond has only grown. And that bond has helped me to no longer feel torn between identities like I did before; I am secure and grounded in a love I know is not fragile.

Eliza with her grandparents at Utah State University where Eliza graduated with her bachelor's degree in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Eliza Lin Peters.

My grandpa passed away in 2022, and my grandma will turn 92 later this year! We miss my grandpa very much, and his passing has made me cherish even more my grandma’s love for creating photo albums. Through those albums, she’s given me something tangible to hold on to, a reminder of where I come from and how much I am loved.

I am excited to one day show my own children the beauty of the traditions, celebrations, and values of our Chinese heritage. Most of all, I hope to surround them with the love my grandparents and parents showed me is possible—the type of love that you know you can always hold on to.

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Eliza with her husband, Michael Peters, and family during their Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony.
Photo courtesy of Eliza Lin Peters.

▶ You may also like: Use these questions to help your family really understand what it means to love well

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