Saturday, June 26, 2010

just my thoughts . . .


CONVERSION
  
2 Nephi 16:10    Make the heart of His people fat lest they be converted and healed.
Alma 23:14          Only one Amalekite is converted.
3 Nephi 1:22       Notwithstanding Satan’s lying, most Nephites are converted unto the Lord.
Title Page            Book of Mormon written to the Convince of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ/
3 Nephi 1:25       Those who preached to no longer observe law of Moses are convince of error.
3 Nephi 19:13    Be converted that the Lord may heal you (versus our hearts being fat so we won’t be   converted. Thus, our hearts have to be lean to be converted. WHY?)

BD CONVERSION
Denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the will of God (Acts 3: 19). 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 (see 2 Cor. 5: 17). Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing (see Luke 22: 32; D&C 112: 12-13). To labor for the conversion of one’s self and others is a noble task, as in Ps. 51: 13; Dan. 12: 3; James 5: 19-20; D&C 18: 15-16. Cf. Alma 26.

Richard G. Scott, “Full Conversion Brings Happiness,” Liahona, Jul 2002, 26–28
“ Your happiness now and forever is conditioned on your degree of conversion and the transformation that it brings to your life. How then can you become truly converted?

Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and responding to it. You will receive from the Holy Ghost a confirming witness of things you accept on faith by willingly doing them. You will be led to repent of errors resulting from wrong things done or right things not done. As a consequence, your capacity to consistently obey will be strengthened. This cycle of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience will lead you to greater conversion with its attendant blessings. True conversion will strengthen your capacity to do what you know you should do, when you should do it, regardless of the circumstances.

How completely you willingly embrace the teachings of the Savior determines how much fruit, as blessings, you will harvest in your life. This parable illustrates that the degree to which you willingly obey those things you know you should do, resisting the rationalization to do otherwise, will determine how truly converted you are, therefore, how fully the Lord can bless you.

D. Todd Christofferson, “When Thou Art Converted,” Liahona, May 2004, 11–13
That means you will study it. When I say “study,” I mean something more than reading. It is a good thing sometimes to read a book of scripture within a set period of time to get an overall sense of its message, but for conversion, you should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. . . .  You will know that the gospel is being written in your heart, that your conversion is happening, as the word of the Lord from His prophets, past and present, feels more and more delicious to your soul.
1. Jer. 31:33. Ezekiel said conversion is like the Lord taking away our “stony heart” and giving us a heart that loves Him and His gospel (see Ezek. 11:19–20). Surely this is what happened to the people of King Benjamin when they said their hearts had been changed and they didn’t even want to do evil anymore “but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).
James E. Faust, “The Power to Change,” Liahona, Nov 2007, 122–24
Each one of us has been given the power to change his or her life. As part of the Lord’s great plan of happiness, we have individual agency to make decisions. We can decide to do better and to be better. In some ways all of us need to change; that is, some of us need to be more kind at home, less selfish, better listeners, and more considerate in the way we treat others. Some of us have habits that need to be changed, habits that harm us and others around us. Sometimes we may need a jolt to propel us into changing.

Doubtless you have not had such an experience happen to you, and neither have I! Conversion for most of us is much less dramatic but should be as compelling and meaningful. New converts to the Church usually experience a spiritual feeling at the time of their baptism. One described it this way: “I will never forget the emotion inside my soul; to be clean, to start fresh as a child of God. … It was such a special feeling!

True conversion changes lives.


Characteristics of Conversion
I have thought lots about the “issues” with singles. It seems to come to 2 points: not converted deep enough to endure the hard things, or the speed bumps in life; and not getting and staying married. But then I wondered if these aren’t the issues with ALL members, and they are just highlighted with the large numbers of singles.

With that, I started studying Conversion again. The TG and BD refer to the story of Ruth. So I went there and reread the few chapters. Who knows all the meaning in chapter 3 and 4 when Ruth lies and Boaz’s feet in order for them to get married – I’ll have to study more. BUT I came away in awe that Boaz recognized Ruth’s characteristics of personal conversion. Ruth’s first husband, Naomi’s son, died just after 10 years of marriage. Ruth was converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the time. So converted that when Naomi told her to go home to her family, Ruth chose not to. I am sure that Ruth was aware of the life that Naomi would have as a older widowed woman. She would have no income, it would be hard to make ends meet, etc. I can image Ruth knowing this and choosing to take care of Naomi because of her depth of conversion. Robert J. Whetten, in “Strengthen Thy Brethren”, Liahona, May 2005, 91-93 said, “Isn’t the measure of the level of your conversion how you treat others? . . . Your continued spiritual growth and eternal progress are very much wrapped up in your relationships – in how you treat others.”
Ruth went and worked in the fields, gathering the left over barley grains from the early morning all day long. Boaz saw her and thought she was beautiful. Working in the fields that long, I can only image what she physically looked like. I know what I look like when I am out working in the yard – haven’t showered, no makeup, not cute hair, clothes than are grubby. I am guessing Ruth looked just about the same – no expensive make up, not clothes that flattered her figure, no yummy smelling hair products, no cute shoes. Boaz must have seen something through all that that was truly beautiful. I am sure that when he was a deacon or teacher or elder thinking about the girl they would marry, Boaz wasn’t thinking that she would be the poor girl gathering the left-over grains from his field. Ruth’s purity, her sanctification (BD: Conversion) had made her beautiful. Maybe all the prophets and leaders were right when they talk about beauty being a purity. The magic was that Boaz – my new boyfriend of life! – had developed an ability to recognize characteristics of personal conversion. He saw who Ruth was (not saying that she let herself go and just was going to be who she was the guy would have to see through LOTS of things to her “sweet spirit”) and knew exactly what he needed in order to form the eternal righteous family he was to create.
And that is huge! Ruth and Boaz were the great, great, great, grandparents of the Savior. Their depth of conversion was passed through their children and their children’s children. It was deep enough to last countless generations and be able to mold and guide the man and woman who would raise the Son of God.

It blows my mind to ponder what things the Lord could do with us – His people – if we truly CHOSE to develop characteristics of conversion and then truly and decidedly saw these characteristics in the people around us. If we were honestly seeking for those who have decided and proved their conversion and married them – WOW!!! Boaz knew he needed to form an eternal righteous family, and he sought out a woman, recognized her behaviors as proof of her conversion and formed that eternal family.

2 comments:

Kim and Tony Miller said...

Great thought Em! I believe that the concept of conversion applies in all aspects of our lives and the only way we are ever truly converted is through the Lord. We have to do our part through study, prayer, pondering, etc. but without the Savior I wonder if we could ever be fully converted.

Erica said...

Thank you! I love it!!