prisonchaplain

Conversion stories that go deeper

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Growing up in an Evanglical-Pentecostal church, I loved hearing conversion stories.  Christians who had left some dead, false spirituality for new life in Christ were thrilling to hear from.  They might talk about hypocrisy, or meaningless rituals, or realizing that what they had been doing was empty and unfulfilling.  I imagine that LDS often have these same stories to share.

In the past couple of weeks the seriousness of such stories hit me hard.  A dear friend and fellow clergy has resigned his calling, and is converting to Catholicism.  While I agree with the decades-old assessment (on the Catholic side) that we are really just "separated brethren," it still hurts.

So, what I would appreciate reading are posts from those who have converted from another faith. Of course, you should bear your testimony.  However, to the extent that is comfortable on an internet forum, it would help to hear about the struggles over doctrine, over close ones who are still in the former religions who feel betrayed, etc.  What I realize is that conversion is seldom short, sweet, and without heartache.  For those brave souls willing, I really hope to learn from your stories. 

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

Growing up in an Evanglical-Pentecostal church, I loved hearing conversion stories.  Christians who had left some dead, false spirituality for new life in Christ were thrilling to hear from.  They might talk about hypocrisy, or meaningless rituals, or realizing that what they had been doing was empty and unfulfilling.  I imagine that LDS often have these same stories to share.

In the past couple of weeks the seriousness of such stories hit me hard.  A dear friend and fellow clergy has resigned his calling, and is converting to Catholicism.  While I agree with the decades-old assessment (on the Catholic side) that we are really just "separated brethren," it still hurts.

So, what I would appreciate reading are posts from those who have converted from another faith. Of course, you should bear your testimony.  However, to the extent that is comfortable on an internet forum, it would help to hear about the struggles over doctrine, over close ones who are still in the former religions who feel betrayed, etc.  What I realize is that conversion is seldom short, sweet, and without heartache.  For those brave souls willing, I really hope to learn from your stories. 

Thanks for posting, I am looking forward to seeing the responses.

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As an "almost" life-long Mormon, I don't think I'd qualify.  So, I'll tell the stories of a couple of others who told me theirs.

The first is my parents' conversion story.  They were 28 years old when they were baptized.  I'm going to put it into a quote bubble.  But it is, of course, my summary of my father's story.

Quote

My father had gotten out of the military and was trying to find his place in the world.  He eventually found himself working as a court reporter.  He was assigned to many judges.  But the judge he was serving with at the time of his conversion was of particular note.  

He recognized on a professional level that he ran his courtroom with just the right combination of justice and mercy.  His judgments always seemed quite fair to my father.  On a personal level, he was simply a good and honest man who really seemed to "get it".  And he always seemed so happy and peaceful.  Since my father felt like he was still trying to find his calling in life, he wished he could have that.  He thought in his heart that this was the kind of man that he wanted to become.

One evening the judge had invited him and his family to dinner.  At the judge's home, the little 5 y.o. daughter pronounced the blessing on the food.  The prayer impressed him because it wasn't a commonly memorized prayer.  It was simple.  It was sincere.  It did the job.  And it was spoken well by such a young child.  My father said to the judge,"I want my children to learn to pray like that.  How do you do it?"

What my father did not know was that the judge was also on the Stake high council who was assigned to the stake mission committee.  He responded,"I think I can help you with that."  Schedules were discussed and an appointment was set.

In preparation for this, my father had all kinds of questions.  All his life he had been told that the Carborendum family had been looking for the "right church" for many generations.  All the churches they went to had some good ideas.  But they also had a lot that just didn't sound right regardless of who taught it.  One major thing they couldn't reconcile was the doctrine of the Trinity.  Other question were also on his mind.

  • Marriages "till death do us part".
  • Free will
  • Grace and works

All these ideas were questions the family had for generations -- that no one could give them clear answers on.  Being only second generation American, they never really heard of Mormons or anything about the faith (my father's side.  My mother was from a family of Baptists, Methodists, and Southern Baptists).

The missionaries taught them for a good while in that first appointment.  My parents felt a very powerful feeling that what they were hearing was true.  They actually answered the three bullet items above.  They felt like that was all correct.

Then at the end, my father asked if they could clarify "this idea of three Gods in one thing."  They taught them what Mormons believed about it.  Again a powerful "ah-hah" moment.  That was so simple and so clear.  That was what both he and my mother had believed all along.  But they kept being told they were wrong.  But here it was.  These strangers from a strange religion had put words to the concept that they somehow already believed.

They made an appointment for the next visit.  Then my father told me,"Then Satan got hold of my heart because as soon as I closed the door I yelled,'why on earth did I tell them they could come back?!' but Mommie calmed me down and reassured me it was the right thing to do."

They were baptized soon thereafter.  He was ordained a priest and was able to baptize his own parents some time later.  My grandfather had to wait a while because of Word of Wisdom issues.  So, I can say I'm second generation Mormon even though my grandparents were LDS.

The second story was of a dear friend of mine that I met at work one day.  He's about 20 to 25 years older than I.  He asked me where I went to school. I told him "BYU".  He smiled and said,"Great, I sent three of my kids there!"  We shook hands and have been great friends ever since.  

One day he told me about his conversion.  And it still brought tears to his eyes as he told it almost 30 years after it happened.  Unlike my father's, this story makes a lot more sense when told in his words.  So I'll tell it as best I can remember his words.

Quote

I grew up a Catholic.  I went to Catholic schools.  I did all the sacraments.  I'd read the Bible many times.  I knew all the stories.  And I felt like I knew about God.  But I could never really get to know God.  I didn't get what church attendance was about.  What good did any of this stuff do?  <edit depricating comments about Catholic beliefs and practices>...

My wife and I had just had a big fight.  And it was a time when things at work weren't going right.  I went out to the garage to work on some stuff.  And I found that I just couldn't get the stuff done that I wanted to.  My mind just wasn't in it.  I knew something was wrong in my life.

At that time I really said a prayer. Growing up in my family, when you made a declaration, you didn't say it unless you meant it.  Some families apparently say "I hate you!" and stuff like that and just forget about it the next day.  In my family you just did not say stuff like that.  Everything that was said was what you really meant.

In my prayer I told God,"I don't know if you're really there.  I really hope you are there.  I think it would be nice if you really are there.  I'd have someone to celebrate with when things go well.  I'd have someone to petition when things go bad.  And if you are there, I'd really like to know.  But I just don't know how to find out much about you.  I've seen the Bible twisted in too many ways to simply appeal to the Bible.  I just really need to know you're there."

"So if you are there, you gotta send someone to me because I don't know how to find you.  And I'm not going to ask again."

I meant it.  I wasn't going to ask again.  I was done.  So, I put the tools away.  I was heading back into the house when two guys on bikes and wearing suits came by and asked to speak to me.  They said they'd like to talk to me about the Book of Mormon.  I told them to take a hike.  Yeah.  I really did.  Even after that prayer.  My mind just wasn't in it.  I was still feeling troubled and it wasn't the right time.

The problem was that they went around the block to talk to whoever would listen.  And then they prayed on their knees on the sidewalk.  They were both impressed to come back to my house.  They knocked, I answered.  I had calmed down a bit and agreed to speak with them at the door for just a little bit.  We spoke and they went away.  They kept coming back.  I kept talking to them at the door.

After a while I let them in.  And we talked.  But I still didn't really buy into it.  Over the next couple of years I moved several times.  And each time the missionaries kept finding me.  What I didn't know is that my wife called the mission home.  I don't know how she got the number.  There was no internet back then. She told them,"I don't believe in your church and I don't want to be a Mormon.  But all I know is that when we don't have the missionaries here, my husband and I fight.  When he sees the missionaries, we don't fight.  So, send them here.  Just don't tell my husband I called."

So, they found me again.  We had some discussions.  But this last time.  I just realized that I really wasn't progressing.  Nothing new was happening.  And so I told the missionaries that I didn't want to see them again.  They left.

About this time, the ward I was residing in hadn't had a convert baptism in two years.  The ward decided to fast and pray each month for someone for the missionaries to teach.  Not only that, but the mission president had asked the entire mission to fast and pray for this one area.  That morning after they had planned their day (and they had been fasting for three days that week) they prayed to be guided where to go.

They showed up at my doorstep and I told them,"Look I told you I didn't want to see you anymore."  They told me that they'd prayed and were told that if they came to my house today that I'd let them in.  I told them they were wrong and I proceeded to close the door...

But it wouldn't close.  I looked up and down the door.  I couldn't find anything wrong with the door.  I shook my head,"Look I don't know what's going on here.  But apparently I need to let you guys in."  They came in and, of course, the door shut.  We began talking again.  And they asked if I would say the prayer.  This was the first time that I said the prayer in one of our discussions.

I was baptized soon after.  And after the years without a baptism and the fasting an praying they had done, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  That was on a Saturday.  I had to fly out of town on business that night.  So I couldn't go to church on Sunday.  But later on Sunday evening, I called my wife and asked her how things went.  

She said,"I went to church."

"Really? How was that?"  Up until then she had shown no interest in the Church.  So, I was surprised she went without me.

"Well, I think I bore my testimony."

"What do you mean?"

"The had a spot of silence during the testimony meeting.  And the guy was about to get up and close the meeting a bit early.  But the Bishop told him not to.  I slowly stood up.  They handed me the microphone. <generally, they discourage non-members from speaking in sacrament meeting--similar to "mass".  But the bishop has discretion on this rule>  I told them I don't know anything about the Mormon Church.  I've never read the Book of Mormon.  And I don't know who Joseph Smith is.  But I've seen the influence of the Church on my family... It has to be true."

They both shared a cry over the phone.  She took the lessons and was baptized shortly thereafter.

Edited by Guest

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I was a precocious child raised in a believing, but non-affiliated family.  We were Presbyterians in the same way Trump is a Presbyterian (lol).  My first experience with the Bible went like this.  I found a Bible on a shelf in the house and somehow made my way to Exodus 20 and the Ten Commandments.  I learned to read very young (like age three) and thus, I was able to read the text from Exodus with fairly good comprehension, but some of it confused me.  My grandmother found me with the book and we had an interesting conversation about it.
 

Quote

 

Me: Ma-ma, is God bad?

Her:  What?!  What are you reading?

Me: The Bible.  It says that God is a jealous God.  Isn't jealous bad?

Her:  (Stammering) I don't think it means it like that.

Me:  How come there are bad words in the Bible?

Her:  Bad words?!  What bad words?

Me: It says "ass." (The part about not coveting your neighbor's ox or ass).

Her:  It doesn't say that.  Here--give that to me.  (Tries to take the book away.)

Me:  What's "sabbath?" 

Her:  It's Sunday.  Give that to me!

Me:  It says you're not supposed to labor on the sabbath.  That means work, right?  Why does Pa-pa work on Sunday?  He cuts the grass on Sunday.

Her:  (Snatching the book out of my hands).  Don't worry about that.  Just go outside and play or something!

 

I tell that story to illustrate where I began.  I had an innate curiosity about God and took things at face value.  Shortly after that, an older neighbor kid tried to frighten me telling me that the devil was as tall as a telephone pole, was red, had horns, and a long tail.  It was frightening to think about, but I developed a bit of skepticism about what he told me.  After all, how did he know?

At the age of seven, my family visited a Baptist Church.  Even 50 years later, I still recall the preacher's booming voice.  It was thrilling and he was a great singer, too.  This particular Sunday was the day they served communion (what we Mormons call the Sacrament).  I watched with interest because this ritual was unfamiliar to me.  I saw people take little crackers and grape juice.  Some of them bowed their heads afterward.  Some wept.  It was fascinating.  I wanted a little cracker when the tray came by so I could see what all the fuss was about.  When the tray came to me, my mom put my hand down and passed the tray on to my father, who then passed it on to someone else.  I whispered to my mother, "Why can't we have any?"  She tersely replied, "Because we're not SAVED!"   I didn't like the sound of that.  I didn't know what it meant, but being saved sounded a whole lot better than not being saved! 

My next experience came at the age of 10.  A big Baptist church in our area (in the South) used to send school buses through the neighborhoods to pick up kids and take them to church meetings on Sundays.  (I can't imagine the uproar that would occur if Mormon churches did that in the South.  There would be angry mobs with pitchforks and torches!)  Parents used to send their kids to church and stay home while they watched the ball game.  Some friends of mine had been going and I thought I would join them.  If you went ten Sundays, the church would give you a free Bible as a reward.

I went every Sunday for about a month.  It was a huge church with a large congregation.  The preacher was an exciting orator.  He preached what I now recognize as doctrines taught by Jonathan Edwards, about man's fallen nature.  Edwards described man as being no more important to God than a "scurvy spider" and would think no more of casting us into hellfire than we would of tossing a spider into a campfire.  Today, I think that preaching that sort of doctrine to a ten year-old ought to qualify as child abuse.  He scared me and probably everyone else in the room.  I didn't want to burn in hell forever.  I was only 10!  So one week, they had the usual "altar call" and up I went.

To LDS folks who may have never been in another denomination's services before, an altar call is done after the sermon where the preacher has scared you to death about hell fire and offered the way to escape: a profession of faith in Jesus.  The choir starts to sing the hymn, "Just As I Am" and the preacher beckons you to come up and pray with him.  On this occasion, I went up.  In a room full of grown-up, as a little 10 year-old, I swallowed hard and stood up.  I walked down that long aisle to the preacher calling to me.  My head was swimming.  I truly wanted to be saved from hell.  He knelt down with me and said a little prayer, which I recognize as what is now called "the Sinner's Prayer."  It's a little ditty wherewith the new believer confesses belief that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior.  You accept him as Savior and you're considered born again from that moment forward.

I went home and told my parents about it.  They were amazed.  It wasn't explained to me how this was to occur, but there was supposed to be a baptism on the first Sunday of the following month.  My family showed up on the appointed day, but there wasn't a baptism service.  There had been no information given to us.  We didn't know what was expected.  Turns out that they don't baptize children under 12.  I drifted back into adolescence and the usual distractions until high school.

At age 11, I found one of those Chick Publications tracts on a school bus about the Apocalypse and the Last Judgment.  That started a lifelong interest in prophecy and the end times.  I remember taking it home and looking up the references in Ezekiel and Revelation. 

When I was in high school, around the age of 15, I started going to Methodist meetings with some friends.  They had a very active youth group and a friendly, low key pastor.  He focused on the joy of faith more than hellfire.  We shared a common interest in music and he often asked me to play guitar in the church.  I had several spiritual experiences in that church which I now understand to have been the influence of the Holy Ghost.  However, there wasn't any instruction on how one was to feel this communion or guidance from the Spirit. When I asked one of my friends why he went to the Methodist Church, he said that it was a good church because it didn't demand much in the way of lifestyle or obedience.  It didn't preach hell fire.  If there wasn't a God, you didn't waste a lot of time or energy there and, if there was a God, you were "covered."

I had conversations with the minister about the creed that stated we believed in one church, holy, catholic, and apostolic.  Where were our apostles?  Why catholic when we weren't followers of the Pope or any other authority?  My biggest question was what happened to people who died in ignorance of the gospel?  It was conceivable that billions of souls had died before John the Baptist came along preaching repentance and before Jesus appeared and taught the gospel.  What happened to those people who died before any Christian missionaries could ever reach them?  I couldn't imagine that God could be fair and just while condemning those souls to damnation.  The pastor had no good answers.

The more I studied the doctrines of Calvinism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, and Catholicism, the more my faith failed me.  I came to the determination that, not only was there no true church on the earth, but that God probably didn't exist either.  I eventually drifted off into studying Buddhism and Hinduism, believing that Jesus was an "avatar" or enlightened soul like Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, or other teacher who taught men a way to enlightenment relevant to their culture and time.  I no longer saw God as a personal being.

After high school, I went through a period of trial, during which I turned to the Bible.  I got more questions than answers from this time of intense study.  What was the connection between the Old Testament patriarchs like Abraham and the New Testament apostles?  How did Moses fit in with those two extremes?  What did it mean when Christ gave the apostles to "bind" or "seal" on earth and in heaven?  What happened to visitations by angels, spiritual gifts, healings, prophecies, and revelation.  I recall having a conversation with my mother contemplating what it would be like if there still apostles and prophets like there were in the New Testament.

Pardon the length, but I just wanted to paint an accurate picture of the conversion process.  It took years, but when my heart was ready to receive it, the Lord introduced me to the Book of Mormon and the Church.  The converting power of the Book of Mormon touched me.  The astounding promise of Moroni was amazing to me.  I could know for myself.  Nobody ever told me that.  It was always, "just believe" in what some man said--and every man said something different!  All of a sudden, I could know for myself, directly from God.  I did receive an answer regarding the veracity of Joseph Smith's testimony and the divinity of the Book of Mormon.  I recall thinking after my answer came, that I was now finally "a Christian."  I was compelled by the spiritual "evidence" to believe in Jesus and follow him.  I did this without benefit of missionaries.  It was just the power of God.  A new friend had given me the Book of Mormon and the Spirit took care of the rest.  I was baptized shortly afterward.  I served a mission for the Church, married in the temple, and raised my children in he gospel.  I served in many different callings over the years, including a bishopric and two branch presidencies.  It has been 39 years and I'm still on the path, working out my salvation "with fear and trembling," as Paul called it.  I found the answers I always sought in the doctrines of the Restoration.  It hasn't always been easy.  There have been many trials.  I look back on my early spiritual experiences in other churches with gratitude because the Lord used them to prepare my heart.  It has been a great blessing to be a member of the Lord's earthly kingdom.

 

Edited by spamlds
Corrected wording.

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1 hour ago, spamlds said:

Pardon the length, but I just wanted to paint an accurate picture of the conversion process.  It took years, but when my heart was ready to receive it, the Lord introduced me to the Book of Mormon and the Church.  The converting power of the Book of Mormon touched me.  The astounding promise of Moroni was amazing to me.  I could know for myself.  Nobody ever told me that.  It was always, "just believe" in what some man said--and every man said something different!  All of a sudden, I could know for myself, directly from God.  I did receive an answer regarding the veracity of Joseph Smith's testimony and the divinity of the Book of Mormon.  

 

Thanks for this Spamlds its a great post but I dare to disagree with Zil - its too short! You left me hanging. Please finish it off by telling us how the Lord introduced you to the Book of Mormon and the Church and how to received an answer regarding the veracity of Joseph Smith's testimony and of the divinity of the Book of Mormon.

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I listened to the Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon sessions live but I wasn't planning on listening to the Priesthood session until it is broadcast in my stake next Sunday. Now I'm just going to have to listen to it tonight. This is going to be really interesting, knowing that I have some sort of slight connection with someone who has been talked about in General Conference.  

Edited by askandanswer
Added the final sentence

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33 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

I listened to the Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon sessions live but I wasn't planning on listening to the Priesthood session until it is broadcast in my stake next Sunday. Now I'm just going to have to listen to it tonight. This is going to be really interesting, knowing that I have some sort of slight connection with someone who has been talked about in General Conference.  

Yeah, just finished listening to President Uchtdorf's talk.  Thanks, @UtahTexan, for sharing!

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On 10/2/2016 at 5:09 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Growing up in an Evanglical-Pentecostal church, I loved hearing conversion stories.  Christians who had left some dead, false spirituality for new life in Christ were thrilling to hear from.  They might talk about hypocrisy, or meaningless rituals, or realizing that what they had been doing was empty and unfulfilling.  I imagine that LDS often have these same stories to share.

In the past couple of weeks the seriousness of such stories hit me hard.  A dear friend and fellow clergy has resigned his calling, and is converting to Catholicism.  While I agree with the decades-old assessment (on the Catholic side) that we are really just "separated brethren," it still hurts.

So, what I would appreciate reading are posts from those who have converted from another faith. Of course, you should bear your testimony.  However, to the extent that is comfortable on an internet forum, it would help to hear about the struggles over doctrine, over close ones who are still in the former religions who feel betrayed, etc.  What I realize is that conversion is seldom short, sweet, and without heartache.  For those brave souls willing, I really hope to learn from your stories. 

 

1 hour ago, UtahTexan said:

Last night, Elder U gave a talk during the Priesthood session.  He discussed a person named "David".  Well, if you heard that, you heard about my conversion story.  I am the "David" he was talking about.  He told my story (with my permission, of course)

So PC, how often do you listen to the talks given during the Priesthood session of LDS General Conference?

 

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34 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

 

So PC, how often do you listen to the talks given during the Priesthood session of LDS General Conference?

 

I have not done so as of yet.  Now that we have a response to my question imbedded in one of the talks, I'd better give that one a go.

Thanks to all those who have shared their stories, thus far.  SPAMLDS went above and beyond.  I probably understood the episodes better than many here, since he traveled in "my" circles.  I am a product of bus ministry.  Never had the privilege of childhood ears receiving 'fire and brimstone preaching' though.  :-)

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7 hours ago, UtahTexan said:

Last night, Elder U gave a talk during the Priesthood session.  He discussed a person named "David".  Well, if you heard that, you heard about my conversion story.  I am the "David" he was talking about.  He told my story (with my permission, of course)

So, thanks to you, I have listened to my first conference talk.  :ph34r:  It would be helpful to hear about interpersonal struggles you may have had with family and colleagues, as you made your return.  Of course, only share that which is comfortable for you.  Many thanks.

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

So, thanks to you, I have listened to my first conference talk.  :ph34r:  It would be helpful to hear about interpersonal struggles you may have had with family and colleagues, as you made your return.  Of course, only share that which is comfortable for you.  Many thanks.

Once again, PC plunges courageously into the depths of the unknown in pursuit of knowledge and understanding. More power to you! What did you think of the talk?

Edited by askandanswer

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5 hours ago, UtahTexan said:

You are most welcome.  It was odd hearing my story like that. But I feel humbled and blessed

Here is my favourite, non-serious scriptural description of lawyers:

 

(New Testament | 1 Timothy 6:5)

5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

 

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4 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

So, thanks to you, I have listened to my first conference talk.  :ph34r:  It would be helpful to hear about interpersonal struggles you may have had with family and colleagues, as you made your return.  Of course, only share that which is comfortable for you.  Many thanks.

I will do that tonight after work......if you have any other points you wish me to address, let me know.

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18 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Once again, PC plunges courageously into the depths of the unknown in pursuit of knowledge and understanding. More power to you! What did you think of the talk?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Second Counselor in the First Presidency offered a classic narrative preaching sermon. In simple, clear, heart-felt rendering, he retold a scripture story.  Then, he offered a modern testimony that paralleled the account. One of my greatest pleasures in hearing and delivering God's Word is in seeing how ancient writings are so relevant.  :cool:

Edited by prisonchaplain
Change to more appropriate reference to LDS Elder

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Just a question here - - How many of us LDS are offended when someone refers to our Prophets, Seers, Revelators, Apostles, etc. in the LDS church by initials only, or by shortened versions (Br. Joe Smith when talking of Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr) of their names.

The Elder U that is mentioned is actually President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Second Counselor in the First Presidency isn't it? Or are you referring to Elder Juan A. Uceda of the Seventy? Out of respect, please use the name and title that the Church refers to them by.

 

Edited by Iggy

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10-4, Iggy.  I was not sure how to refer to the speaker, and went by what another LDS poster referred to him as. 


Last night,

Elder U gave a talk during the Priesthood session.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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I believe; at least from my personal life time experiences, that there is a difference in believing in G-d and Jesus Christ or as we say in the LDS Church receiving a testimony of the true G-d, his Son and the “True Church” and becoming converted to Christ.  I realize there may be some definition problems in the words we all use but I have found that an understanding and faith in Christ comes to us via the Holy Ghost – but to remain converted we need a constant companionship (relationship) with the influence of the Holy Ghost.  But this requires constant obedience (repentance) to covenants and commandments.

Anciently in the scripture those that believed in G-d were encouraged to “follow” the path or the way.  This following of the path – to me is the real and actual conversion.  There have been many spiritual experiences that helped me understand Christ and his work – but I have found that by following the way or path that I become stronger in my resolve – but if I lose focus and entertain temptations  I become weaker in my resolve.

There also appears to be another dimension to our religious journey in life.  That is that we tend to walk with those we find friendship with.  This is why G-d created his church – that we may have fellowship one with another.  We tend to think of attending a church with the doctrine we like but I believe we are greatest friends to those we serve.  If we focus more on doctrine than service I believe that a follower of Christ will become weaker in their resolve to follow Christ.   I believe this is why G-d commanded his prophets in the LDS church to call everyone to a church service calling rather than to have paid positions that are our jobs.  I believe if we are not serving – providing service not just trying to fulfill ourselves – that we will gravitate from going to one church – to another thinking that by switching we will find more fulfillment – or in some cases a better paying position for ourselves and family.

The final observation is that sin will cut someone off from the support of other believers.  Sometimes sin becomes such a distraction that others will withdraw their personal support from a person caught in sin – thus loosing support of friends they gravitate towards friends that will provide more support.  It is possible and does happen that some, rather than repent of certain sins – find refuge in those of like mind that may be convinced that such and such is not a sin of concern.  An example of this is the influences of same sex relationships rather than marriage of a man and a woman.

Anyway without going into my personal spiritual journey – these are some of the lessons I have learned.

 

The Traveler

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I know that Chap, I should have quoted the other poster - HE should know better! THAT is one thing that is truly unique among LDS is the stating pretty much a person's full name. In all the LDS faith bases forums I am on, this type of abbreviation is generally what an anti uses.

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