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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Conversion

"President Joseph Fielding Smith said, 'People are converted by their hearts being penetrated by the Spirit of the Lord when they humbly hearken to the testimonies of the Lord's servants' (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:40)." — W. Mack Lawrence, April 1996 Conference (May Ensign) pg. 75

"We need not look beyond our own hearts to experience the sweet spiritual feelings promised to those who obey God. That is why a new member in the most humble conditions can experience the gospel as deeply as a lifetime member who was raised in the shadow of Church headquarters." — M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, May 1990 (April Conference) page 6

"... consider the counsel of President Hinckley, given in a leadership training meeting: 'There is much more to be achieved than statistical improvement,' President Hinckley said. 'More importantly, we should be concerned with the spiritual dimension of our people and the enlargement of this dimension. There is a tendency in all of us to ask for better statistical performance. There is a tendency to impose quotas behind which usually lies imposition of pressure to achieve improved statistics. In the work of the Lord there is a more appropriate motivation than pressure. There is the motivation that comes of true conversion. When there throbs in the heart of an individual Latter-day Saint a great and vital testimony of the truth of this work, he [meaning, of course, men and women] will be found doing his duty in the Church. He will be found in his sacrament meetings. He will be found in his priesthood meetings. He will be found paying his honest tithes and offerings. He will be doing his home teaching. He will be found in attendance at the temple as frequently as his circumstances will permit. He will have within him a great desire to share the Gospel with others. He will be found strengthening and lifting his brethren and sisters. [In other words, he will be committed.] It is conversion that makes the difference' (Regional Representatives' seminar, 6 Apr. 1984; emphasis added). " — W. Mack Lawrence, April 1996 Conference (May Ensign) pg. 74

"The Savior understood that many of His followers would struggle under the rigors of true discipleship; consequently, He taught them how to build burning testimonies. The night before His crucifixion, Jesus shared the feast of the Passover with His twelve beloved Apostles, most of whom had been with Him throughout His ministry. At one point during this sacred evening, the Lord looked upon Peter, His senior Apostle and loyal friend. Knowing what would be required of Peter after the Ascension, the Lord said: 'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou all converted, strengthen thy brethren' (Luke 22:31-32; italics added)." — "Spiritual Bonfires Of Testimony", Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, October 1992

"The first seeds of conversion begin with an awareness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a desire to know the truth concerning His restored Church. 'Let this desire work in you' (Alma 32:27). A desire to know the truth is like a seed which grows in the fertile ground of faith, patience, diligence, and long-suffering (see Alma 32:27­41). There have been some miraculous conversions recorded in the scriptures. The miraculous conversion of Saul is one such example illustrated when he asked two vital questions: 'Who art thou, Lord? . . . [and] What wilt thou have me to do?' (Acts 9:5­6). On occasion individuals can have such experiences, but for the most part, conversion happens over a period of time as study, prayer, experience, and faith help us to grow in our testimony and conversion." — "When Thou Are Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren", Elder Robert D. Hales, General Conference, April 1997

"The decision to change one's life and come unto Christ is, perhaps, the most important decision of mortality. Such a dramatic change is taking place daily throughout the world." - Thomas S. Monson, "They Will Come," General Conference, April 1997

"Conversion means consecrating your life to caring for and serving others who need your help and sharing your gifts and blessings. The Lord didn't say, 'Tend my sheep when it is convenient; watch my sheep when you aren't busy.' He said, 'Feed my sheep and my lambs; help them survive this world; keep them close to you. Lead them to safety-the safety of righteous choices that will prepare them for eternal life.' (John 21:15-16.)

"Every unselfish act of kindness and service increases your spirituality. God would use you to bless others. Your continued spiritual growth and eternal progress are very much wrapped up in your relationships-in how you treat others. Do you indeed love others and become a blessing in their lives? Isn't the measure of the level of your conversion how you treat others? The person who does only those things in the Church that concern himself alone will never reach the goal of perfection. Service to others is what the gospel and exalted life are all about." - Robert J. Whetten, "Strengthen Thy Brethren," General Conference, April 2005

"All learning leads to nothing unless it is centered on finding the roots of truth, which cannot be received without first becoming honest. In such striving, we suddenly know how to pray. Paul says, 'For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us' (Rom. 8:26).

"Enlightened by the Spirit of truth, we will then be able to pray for the increased ability to endure truth and not to be made angry by it (see 2 Ne. 28:28). In the depth of such a prayer, we may finally be led to that lonesome place where we suddenly see ourselves naked in all soberness. Gone are all the little lies of self-defense. We see ourselves in our vanities and false hopes for carnal security. We are shocked to see our many deficiencies, our lack of gratitude for the smallest things. We are now at that sacred place that seemingly only a few have courage to enter, because this is that horrible place of unquenchable pain in fire and burning. This is that place where true repentance is born. This is that place where the conversion and the rebirth of the soul are happening. This is the place where the prophets were before they were called to serve. This is the place where converts find themselves before they can have the desire to be baptized for the remission of their sins. This is the place where sanctifications and rededications and renewal of covenants are happening. This is the place where suddenly the atonement of Christ is understood and embraced. This is the place where suddenly, when commitments have solemnly been established, the soul begins to 'sing the song of redeeming love' and indestructible faith in Christ is born (Alma 5:26). This is the place where we suddenly see the heavens open as we feel the full impact of the love of our Heavenly Father, which fills us with indescribable joy. With this fulfillment of love in our hearts, we will never be happy anymore just by being ourselves or living our own lives. We will not be satisfied until we have surrendered our lives into the arms of the loving Christ, and until He has become the doer of all our deeds and He has become the speaker of all our words." - F. Enzio Busche, "Truth is the Issue," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 25-26

"Our own conversion must come first. The most important conversion for any of us is our own. If we are to bring the light of the gospel into others' lives, it must shine brightly in our own. Once converted, the sons of Mosiah labored without ceasing to share the gospel with others, 'for they could not bear that any human soul should perish' (Mosiah 28:3). Only when we are converted to the Lord Jesus Christ are we in a position to strengthen others. And only then do we begin to understand that our lives truly do have meaning, purpose, and direction, and that as sisters united in our devotion to Jesus Christ our calling is to be a light to the world." - Mary Ellen Smoot, "We Are Instruments in the Hands of God," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.89

"How can you become converted? How can you make the gospel of Jesus Christ not just an influence in your life but the controlling influence and, indeed, the very core of what you are? The ancient prophet Jeremiah spoke of the law of God, the gospel, being written in our hearts. He quotes the Lord speaking about us, His people in the latter days: 'I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.' (Jer. 31:33, Ezek. 11:19-20, Mosiah 5:2.)

"Do you want this for yourself? I can tell you how that can happen, but it must be something you want. The gospel cannot be written in your heart unless your heart is open. Without a heartfelt desire, you can participate in sacrament meetings, classes, and Church activities and do the things I will tell you, but it won't make much difference. But if your heart is open and willing, like the heart of a child, (See Matt. 18:3-4.) let me tell you what you can do to be converted." - D. Todd Christofferson, "When Thou Art Converted," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.11

"Jesus' challenge shows that the conversion He required for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven (see Matt. 18:3) was far more than just being converted to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel. To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be 'converted,' which requires us to do and to become. If any of us relies solely upon our knowledge and testimony of the gospel, we are in the same position as the blessed but still unfinished Apostles whom Jesus challenged to be 'converted.'" - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign (CR), November 2000

"The blessings and promises of conversion are received by covenant through baptism and confirmation and all the ordinances of the temple and the priesthood. Then by continued repentance and obedience and faithful keeping of the covenants made, the fruits of conversion grow and develop in one's life. As conversion matures and is sustained through the workings of the Holy Ghost, peace and healing come to the soul." - Dale E. Miller, “Bringing Peace and Healing to Your Soul,” Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.12

The Apostle Paul, himself a convert to Christ and His truths, personally learned not only of the great eternal truths which edified his whole being and changed his life, but also that he belonged to the body of Christ—the people of the kingdom of God on earth who loved and served each other with an open heart and spirit because of the love they felt. Listen to his words as he described how it was: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Eph. 2:19.) - James M. Paramore, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Basic Needs of People," Ensign (CR) April 1983

When we learn and teach His word in His way, we accept His invitation to “come, follow me.” We follow Him one step at a time. With each step, we draw closer to the Savior. We change. The Lord knew that spiritual growth did not happen all at once. It comes gradually. Each time we accept His invitation and choose to follow Him, we progress along the pathway to full conversion. - Russell T. Osguthorpe, "One Step Closer to the Savior," Ensign (CR) November 2012

Knowing by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ is important and necessary. But earnestly coming unto Him and giving our whole souls as an offering requires much more than merely knowing. Conversion requires all of our heart, all of our might, and all of our mind and strength (see D&C 4:2). - David A. Bednar, "Converted unto the Lord," Ensign (CR) November 2012

Let me mention one other thing. In ancient times when people wanted to worship the Lord and seek His blessings, they often brought a gift. For example, when they went to the temple, they brought a sacrifice to place on the altar. After His Atonement and Resurrection, the Savior said He would no longer accept burnt offerings of animals. The gift or sacrifice He will accept now is "a broken heart and a contrite spirit." As you seek the blessing of conversion, you can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. In reality, it is the gift of yourself-what you are and what you are becoming. - D. Todd Christofferson, "When Thou Art Converted," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.11

It matters not whether our spiritual rebirth is sudden or, as is more common, gradual. While the process may be different, the results will be similar. There is no difference in the quality of the conversion. For each individual, experiencing a mighty change of heart is manifested by feelings of joy and love, both of which eliminate the prior pain of disobedience (see Alma 36:20–21). How kind is our Heavenly Father! How encompassing is His Son’s Atonement! - Keith K. Hilbig, "Experiencing a Change of Heart," Ensign June 2008

There have been some miraculous conversions recorded in the scriptures. The miraculous conversion of Saul is one such example illustrated when he asked two vital questions: “Who art thou, Lord? … [and] What wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:5–6). On occasion individuals can have such experiences, but for the most part, conversion happens over a period of time as study, prayer, experience, and faith will help us to grow in our testimony and conversion. - Robert D. Hales, “When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren,” Ensign (CR) May 1997

True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed. When individuals, both members and investigators, feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true. - M. Russell Ballard, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign (CR) November 2000

True conversion yields the fruit of enduring happiness that can be enjoyed even when the world is in turmoil and most are anything but happy. Of a group of individuals in difficulty, the Book of Mormon teaches: “They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” - Richard G. Scott, “Full Conversion Brings Happiness,” Ensign (CR) May 2002

When we were baptized, our hearts were changed and awakened to God. While on our mortal journey, we need to regularly ask ourselves, “If [I] have experienced a change of heart, … can [I] feel so now?” And if not, then why not? - Carole M. Stephens, “Wide Awake to Our Duties,” Ensign (CR) November 2012

We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly. Alma asked, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren [and sisters], if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” - M. Russell Ballard, “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!” Ensign (CR) November 2014

A friend of mine told me this experience: A financially successful man came home from work one day and said, “Dear, there has got to be more to life than just getting up, going to work, making money, watching TV, eating and sleeping, and then doing it all over again! We have all the money we need. Why doesn’t this satisfy us? Somehow we are missing the purpose of life. What is our dilemma? Could it be possible that it is religion we are missing?” In the conversation that followed, his wife mentioned the Mormons. After serious investigation they soon found satisfying answers to their questions and joined the Church. - A. Theodore Tuttle, “Come Drink the Living Water,” Ensign (CR) April 1975

Conversion is a personal and spiritual process. Every individual must examine these principles for himself. It is not enough to make a halfhearted attempt, accompanied by doubts, fear, or lack of trust. God promises us, because of His mercy, that He will answer our petitions in accordance with our sincerity. Only those who seek with real intent will receive their answer, as a gift from God, through the Holy Ghost. - Carlos H. Amado, "Some Basic Teachings from the History of Joseph Smith," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p. 80

Conversion must mean more than just being a "card carrying" member of the Church with a tithing receipt, a membership card, a temple recommend, etc. It means to overcome the tendencies to criticize and to strive continually to improve inward weaknesses and not merely the outward appearances. - Harold B. Lee, "The Iron Rod," Ensign (CR), June 1971, p. 5

With all the prophecies we have seen fulfilled, what great event are we awaiting prior to saying, "Count me in"? What more do we need to see or experience before we get on the train and stay on it until we reach our destination? It is time for a spiritual revival. It is time to dig down deep within ourselves and rekindle our own light. - Glenn L. Pace, "Spiritual Revival," Ensign (CR), November 1992, p. 11

It is the spirit of God that converts the people. There never was a man that converted another man to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is impossible; it is the spirit of God that converts men. Every conversion that has ever been made in the Church of Christ has been made by God, otherwise they will not endure. That which has not been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise will not be enduring, but will pass away. - John W. Taylor, "Conference Report," April 1899, Second Day—Morning Session

When the Lord restored the gospel to the earth in its fulness and purity, he also organized the Church as a means to turn precepts into living principles, to help believers become Saints. And become Saints they did when, as converts, they were drawn by their compelling faith to put precept to the test; and in the strength of the Lord they saw goals achieved, hopes realized, and their own strength grow. - Barbara B. Smith, “A Season for Strength,” Ensign (CR), November 1983, p.84

Lehi’s dream in the Book of Mormon identifies the path we should follow, the challenges we will encounter, and the spiritual resources available to assist us in following and coming unto the Savior. Pressing forward on the strait and narrow path is what He would have us do. Tasting the fruit of the tree and becoming deeply “converted unto the Lord” are the blessings He yearns for us to receive. Hence, He beckons us, “Come, follow me.” – David A. Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me,” Ensign (CR) November 2016

Peter believed and denied. Peter was converted and became a rock against which the power of Satan was impotent. He became determined, fearless, pushed by an inward power strong and true. Paul persecuted because of disbelief, thinking that he did God’s service. Paul was converted and became like Peter.

Conversion brings strength, determination to defend the work of the Lord on earth and to expand it. This conversion comes when one receives the baptism of fire, the witness of the Holy Ghost. – S. Dilworth Young, “When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign (CR) May 1971

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