Conversion is something a lot of Latter-Day Saints talk about. I grew up thinking it is the exact moment when someone comes to the realization that the church is true. I remember when I was little sitting and listening to stories in The Bible or The Book of Mormon. These people would see angels and the earth would shake. The had these incredible miracles and after they knew of the truthfulness of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Little Sister Smedley believed with all her heart that this would happen to her.
I truly thought that this was conversion. I thought it was a single moment in time where it just hit you that all of this gospel is true.
and so I waited and waited...
no angel and no earthquakes. The spirit never slapped me in the face. I never had an experience where I prayed for spiritual confirmation and I was "overcome" with the answer.
Brothers and Sisters. This is not conversion!
Then...what is conversion?
According to the Bible Dictionary;
"(Conversion) Denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the will of God"
"If followed by continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism in water for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, conversion will become complete and will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature in Christ Jesus"
"Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing...to labor for the conversion of one’s self and others is a noble task"
On Lds.org it also defines conversion:
"Conversion is a process, not an event. Conversion comes as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith."
According to this definitions-Conversion is not a one time event. In fact it is the opposite! Conversion is a process and it doesn't come for free and its not easy.
Everything I marked in red shows the importance of effort, work, and how conversion takes time.
But conversion is so worth the task!
you get out of life what you put in! Easy isn't and will never be worth it!
So that being said my conversion story is not a specific time because it still goes on today. I am converted daily as I continue to improve and follow God's commandments.
However...I would like to share you a little piece of my conversion.
The time I came to realize that my Heavenly Father is mindful of me and loves me.
Once upon a time I had too much on my plate. I was going to school full time, working a part time job, and doing an internship full time. I was so stressed and I never had time for myself. I was so busy that I never saw my family or my friends. I have never felt more alone...
I remember at one point feeling so low, unloved, unappreciated, tired, and I didn't know where to turn.
I had no one to turn to..but then I remembered all of the times people had told me that our Heavenly Father is always there. So I got down on my knees for the first time in a very long time and cried and plead with my Father in Heaven. I begged to feel love...anyone's love.
After that prayer I thought came to my mind. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. I had heard that over and over again but it wasn't until this moment that I truly felt that they did care and that they were aware of me.
It was almost overwhelming. That night I felt as if I was being wrapped up in spiritual blanket because I knew for a fact that Heavenly and our brother Jesus Christ loved me with a perfect love.
This is what conversion is. Not an angel coming down and striking us to the ground and we instantly know that everything is true. No, conversion is a journey we take. We learn and gain a testimony each day.
Every day I am converted as I read and pray.
I just want everyone to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's true church and the only church that contains the fullness of the gospel. I know for a fact. I know that you can know this to.
"Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear"