Saturday, March 26, 2011

Conversion: By Small Means

Lately my mind has been focused on what a miracle conversion is. I have often wondered what brings about true conversion. As I've thought about this topic I've reflected back on my own life and my own conversion to the Gospel. The first thing that I have come to understand is that conversion is a process. It requires repeatedly applying the Gospel throughout life. It is the only pattern of behavior, however, that will lead to absolute peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. The Savior has said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Conversion is so important. The consequences of conversion are eternal. I'd like to relate some experiences from my own conversion and give some tips on simple things we can do to help our friends become converted to the restored Gospel.

I remember walking out of the Bishops office a few years ago with my mind set on never coming back to Church again. It felt completely hopeless and a bit frustrated. I was asked to change, but I wasn't ready to do it. I never thought once, that I would even be able to. My bishop, however, had left me with a list of scriptures that he asked me to read. A few nights later, my circumstances left me by myself in my dorm room dusting off the Book of Mormon. As I made that decision my life began to change.

I began to read the Book of Mormon every night, I started to pray often, and eventually I mustered the courage to come to Church. Through these simple means I came to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ and that he lived and died for my sins. I'm grateful for that, and I have never lost those habits. My conversion is a direct result of these simple steps. In order for one to be truly converted they must repeat this behavior. Everyone can come to know that Christ lives today and that he has restored his church onto the Earth as they pray with sincerity, read with real intent, and worship in Church at every opportunity.

I know that as we strive to help our friends and family to develop these small habits they will experience true conversion. They will be baptized and the effects of the Atonement will be felt fully in their lives. There is no other way. We have the keys and authority to do such. No one else can give them this but us.

I'm so grateful that the way is simple. We need to have faith in the converting power of the gospel. In order to gain that faith true conversion must be felt in our own lives. This kind of conversion is expressed in our desire to share what we have with others.

This was illustrated in Lehi's dream of the tree of life. "And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the afruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the bwhiteness that I had ever seen. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great ajoy; wherefore, I began to be bdesirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was cdesirable above all other fruit." (1 Nephi 8:11-12)

I know that the fruit of the Gospel is delicious above all other fruit. It is up to us to share that fruit with others and help them along the conversion process, which in reality requires a lifetime of following Jesus Christ. It has to start somewhere though. Be the instigator to change the lives of those you care about.

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