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VelvetShadow

Conversion Stories

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I was hoping some of you would be willing to share your conversion stories with me?  

I've only just started reading The Book of Mormon so I'm not ready for conversion yet but I would really like to hear how joining the church has changed your life, how you knew it was the true church and what its like living a mormon life.  Did your family join with you (or joined later after you?). Were you in another faith when you found the mormon church? Anything you are willing to share with me about your conversion story.

I appreciate all who reply

Thank you

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Hello VelvetShadow,

My experience in the Church is that I was born under the covenant. My mother and father both found and were converted to the true gospel of Jesus Christ when they were in their early twenties. Their road to baptism was very different, unique and personal. The path by which they discovered the Church was also unique to both of them.

When I served a mission I also discovered how unique and personal every persons road to conversion is unique to them also. For some they were converted through spiritual witness, others were converted by dreams, and others were converted through visions. My mother is what missionaries would call the "golden" investigator.  From the time she met the missionaries to the time she entered the waters of baptism was three weeks. Her words, "The moment I heard it I knew it was true." As I delved in deeper with her, at least deep as she would allow, "The gospel answered all my questions that I found important at that time."

I just spent some quality time with my father, and I learned more about his conversion. Needless to say he wasn't a golden investigator. Here are words from my father pertaining life in the gospel, "The first 15 years all my trials stemmed outside of the Church. After 15 years it seemed like everything switched and all my trials were inside of the Church." Being a member of the true gospel of Jesus Christ will not remove trials from us, but will provide added knowledge that will help with trials if we are truly listening.

My mother is the only convert in her family of origin. My father was introduced to the gospel by his older brother. My father's sister joined later in life, and I believe was active before passing a few years back.

That is wonderful you are reading the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about God's plan, have some doctrines clarified as it is used as a companion with the Bible your life and knowledge of Jesus Christ will increase with His Spirit.

The Lord bless you.

Edited by Anddenex

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Here you go - my story of how I "reasoned" myself into a testimony.

Quote

Alma 32:27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

The first scripture promises a slowly evolving process from faith to knowledge, through the assumption that if it looks good, and acts good, and produces good fruit, then it is good.  Not really enough to base a testimony on, in my opinion.  But Moroni promised something else - "he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.".  That sounded a little more like it.  So, when I looked at the verse, it laid out my side of the bargain:

1- "And when ye shall receive these things" - Before it would work, I had to read the Book of Mormon.  But more than read it, to "receive" it.  I had to internalize it - deeply reading for meaning, more than just a cursory glance.  Not a critical reading, looking for faults.  I had to read it, with the notion that it very well might be exactly what it claimes to be - scripture.  True.  The word of God.  A literal history of people who literally lived.

2- "I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true"

So, I had to pray.  Not just pray, but pray in the name of Christ.  That means, I had to be worthy of his name.  The guy who owns The Simsons brand, will let any amount of stupid garbage bear the name - Bart Simpson toothpaste, cheap flimsy Homer travel mugs, stupid T-shirts make out of inferior materials, whatever.  But Jesus is more choosy.  If you are going to bear his name, you need to be following his teachings. 

This is possible to do, without actually believing in him.  After all, I follow some of Sun-Tzu's "art of war" notions, but I don't believe he is a god, and I also don't share his faith.   The best advice for a happy marriage, the notion that I've used as a foundation for mine, came from a drunk Tongan I met in an alleyway one night.  I follow that advice daily, yet I'm not a big fan of the guy who gave it to me.

So, to take upon myself the name of Christ, I had to do and be a couple of main things:
* Not sinning
* Loving my neighbor
* Desiring to know a God I could love

I did not have to be perfect, I figured it was a matter of heart.  It wasn't how close to my destination I was, it mattered only that my compass was pointed in the right direction, and I was following it.  Yes, there was some doubt about what the compass was pointing to - was it true north, or just wishful thinking.  But that didn't matter - I was just trying to satisfy this part of the scripture - and be able to pray in the name of Christ.

So, I prayed.  I prayed nightly, starting about halfway through the book.  I prayed fervently.  My prayers were short and simple: "Dear Heavenly Father, if thou exist, thou knowest my heart.  Thou knowest I am sincere.  I desire to know of the truthfulness of this work.  Please show it to me.  In the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, amen".  Simple, plain, sincere, over and over again. 

3- "and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,"

Ok - 3 requirements - and I had to have all 3 of them.  In years past, I had read the BoM and prayed in the name of Christ, and got nothing.  I was missing real intent - I figured I wouldn't get an answer, and praying was a way of proving my guess true.

It's about where my heart is.  It needs to be sincere, not with an ulterior motive, burdened by unrepented of sin, or trying to get something else out of the experience.  My intent had to be true.  No faith, no promise.

I can't impress enough on everyone, the importance of these 3 items.  They're related, but if you are missing one, don't be expecting anything.  If you are having a hard time figuring out where you are on these 3, you're probably not there. 

Throughout the process, I was comfortable with my part of the bargain.  It was like showing up for a test being very, very well prepared - there's a confidence based on the fact that you know what you're doing.  I wasn't lying to myself, or bending any rules, or figuring out the least I could do to satisfy the bare minimum - I was there, and there solidly.

I did not believe in God - but I didn't have to.  I just had to want to.  I was not setting aside doubts - they held the center stage. 

4- "He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

So, what can I say - it happened. 

It happened at work, where I was a candy maker, with an arm covered with chocolate.  (If you've ever been to a fancy hotel, or taken a fancy cruise, and there's a chocolate mint on your pillow - that's what I used to make by hand.)

The details?  Here is where I need to be a bit vague, in order to avoid embarassing stuff about someone who is not me.  I was working away quietly, thinking about reality, wondering if I'd ever know what it was, and thinking about an unresolved situation in my life.  I was at a crossroads, only tangentially related to my quest to discover the truth about the Book of Mormon.  As I thought about this crossroads, trying to discern what to make out of the facts before me, I thought something along the lines of "Well, this pattern indicates that things are moving in the right direction... "

And it happened.

Words can't really explain it - they can only approximate it. 

It was unmistakable, not a warm fuzzy, not an emotional reaction.

I had my answer.  It was "yes". 

It was a strong, internal sensation.  Not a feeling - I wasn't happy or sad.  The best word is "confirmation" .  And what was it confirming?  Many things.   It was confirming that yes, I had just said something true - the pattern I was looking at was indeed moving in the right direction.  It confirmed that there WAS a right direction.  It confirmed that this notion of reality that I had looked at - this bizarre tale of prophets and plates and revelations and restorations, had the added benefit of being true.

A few side details:

* The first thing that dawned on me was, "My gosh, this is the Holy Ghost speaking with me!"  The second thought that came a few minutes later was "My gosh, I've felt this before!"  In one or two of the most stressful times of my life, I had felt that sensation before.  I had written off the experience at the time, but realization flooded me - the Lord had stood by me, even while I was inactive.

* Other people tell me their conversion stories, and they are often different.  My Bishop, as a young man, was watching a sunset, and said a brief prayer "thank you, God", and heard the words as clear as day "You'll be all right - I'll always take care of you".  My experience was different.  Another guy from my ward had been desiring to feel the Love of Christ - and felt it unexpectedly when he stood up to shake hands with a brother from another ward.  They stood there with clasped hands, with tears flowing down both their faces.  My experience was different - there was not a lot of emotion (although I pretty soon felt exhilleration, as it sank in what was happening).  My wife's grandfather was on a bar stool 40 years ago, having left the church, and was almost knocked to the floor by the words "Wayne, why hast thou forsaken me?"   I heard no words.  The energy and the impact was internal to me, not external like it was to him.

* I have since felt this impression, this confirmation, quite often.  As I returned to church in full force, keeping my baptismal covenant, the Holy Ghost has been, at points in my life, my constant companion.

* I have since been able to test this "answer", this influence of the spirit, this burning in the bosom, fairly scientifically. I've been able, once, to "switch" it on and off several times, by asking the Lord in prayer "should I do this?.... should I not do this?...  should I do this?"

 

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I was born in the Church, but not necessarily raised in it.  The missionaries found my parents in the seven years between their marriage and my birth.  My mom has since told my sister she never really had a testimony.  My dad was excommunicated for cheating on my mom, they divorced, and I have a sister from another mother.  (Her parents never married.)  He was rebaptized my senior year of high school.  Growing up, church was something we did if we had nothing else better to do.

I ping ponged between being active and inactive until the spring my junior year of college.  One of the reasons I liked my college campus was that, even though it was a Catholic school on a hill, there was an LDS stake center at the bottom of it.  Growing up, it had been a thirty minute drive to church; now it was a fifteen minute walk.  Even so, I struggled acclimating.  There were no single's wards, and I was young.  I moved into the dorms on my 18th birthday, so my first Sunday in RS was in a ward where I didn't know anyone. The winter of my junior year, my depression got the best of me and I was struggling with a lot.  Probably in March, one of the girls on my floor came down the hall and said someone had called her room phone looking for me.  She lived in the room I had lived in my freshman year, which was the phone number I used on Church records, so I knew that it had to be someone calling from there.

Turns out it was the ward mission leader.  I guess they were doing a directory clean up (my name would have been towards the top) and he asked if he and the missionaries could come over and visit me.  My dad had been a branch mission leader for a time (and is one now) so I had a hard time saying no to missionaries.  They invited me to General Conference (the next weekend) and to read the Book of Mormon.  I went to the afternoon session on Sunday and kept going, and was called as a secretary in the Relief Society before school let out for the summer, which played a large role in my deciding to stay on campus that summer instead of going back home (where I would have lived with my mom and not gone to church).

About a year into being back at Church, we had this lesson, which starts with President Spencer W. Kimball feeling motivated to read the whole Bible.  While reading that lesson on my break at work, I realized "I've never read the whole Book of Mormon, either."  I decided to start.  I made incredibly slow progress in my reading, but prioritizing the Church, I decided to move to Omaha instead of back home after college.  I started attending Institute, and it was following President Monson's admonition to make Institute a priority that really helped me learn to make the scriptures my own. 

I'm a tough sell, though.  The Swede and the Irish in me fight over who's more stubborn, and I don't always read and do the simple things I'm supposed to.  Even though I know with both sides of my brain that doing so brings blessings in my life.  Not only because the prophets say so, but because I've noticed and felt it when I was doing those little things.

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Hi!

I was born in the covenant but I am a convert. There was some issues my family encountered that kept from getting baptized "on time". I waited years and I kind of wish I didn't. I am not sure I believe it is more true now than I knew before. I have always known The Book of Mormon and The Holy Bible were the word of God. I would recommend getting baptized as soon as you are able. Not only for the redeeming cleansing power of the Lord but also getting the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. 

I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet, I have a love for that man and great respect for all of his sufferings. His testimony of Jesus Christ helped me to believe in the Savior even more. For me it was easier to relate to Joseph because he was real to me, imperfect like me. He helped me understand that Jesus was perfect but also very strong, loyal and loving. This was important to me as I was raised to be proud of my manhood. I was raised to fight for what I believe in. Understanding that Jesus submitted Himself to all he did For me, you, EVERYONE and Father (God), that He chose to give up his life... it really has made a huge difference. Knowing that he is Loyal means SO much to me. If He has a problem with me He will come to me and correct me BUT he will show me an increase of love afterward. I know Jesus is the Christ, I love how the LDS church teaches personal responsibility and how salvation comes after all we can do ourselves. 

Now do I believe in all the prophets? I am a man and I see everyone who has lived on this earth, besides Jesus, as a Man (mortal and imperfect) I try to be on board with what the Prophets and local leaders say. There are some issues that I have but nothing at the moment that is a deal breaker. I have looked around and other religions don't have the answers to my deep concerns like the LDS Church does. Now do they have ALL the answers? Nope. Nobody does right now. I don't care who any mortal claims to be, they don't have all the answers. 

I claim this without being ashamed: THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS is the best organization today, that I have found, for getting closer to God and preparing for eternity.  Now if I am alive when Jesus comes again and I find out that being Christian was enough, then I will never sit through another 3 hour church meeting again. Lol

Congratulations on reading The Book of Mormon. Please let us know when you get baptized so we can celebrate with you. 

Edited by Overwatch

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I loved reading all your stories, thank you all so much, its really encouraging.  I adore how those raised in the mormon church still consider themselves converts, it really speaks to my heart and I think its a wonderful way to approach faith, not just accepting everything because its what you were born into.

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I am a convert I grew up in a very religious family (not LDS) and was told that the LDS church was a cult my entire life.  I never looked into the mormon church as a kid because of this.  I met my (now) husband who was baptized at 8 but that was the extent of his church going when I was 18.  His best friend and wife (who became my best friends) are LDS and always led by example but never pushed the church on either of us.  I saw them, their family, their lives and how they were still able to be themselves while in the church.  I was encouraged by their example.  They invited us to go to a temple open house with them.  While in the temple I had an undeniable feeling that I needed to come back to the temple again- that I WOULD come back into the temple again to be sealed to my family (at the time my husband was my boyfriend or maybe my fiance I can't recall).  I read the Book of Mormon and prayed for guidance.  I knew it was where I was supposed to be.  I had feelings in the temple and while reading the BofM that I had sought after my whole life.  My husband had similar feelings in the temple and had read the Book of Mormon on a whim the week before (he completed it in one day).  My husband and I were married, a month later I was baptized, 9 months after that we had a sweet baby boy and a year after my baptism we were sealed with our little baby for time and all eternity.  Since then the path has been ANYTHING but easy.  We have been tempted and tattered to the bone.  We were on the brink of divorce and both made some pretty devastating choices.  But we always come back to the gospel.  We always know without a doubt that it is the glue that will hold our family together through the eternities.  The journey hasn't been easy but it has been worth every moment.  I know this church is true.  I know that it is really the only thing that has saved my life, my husbands life and our life together.  

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On 7/12/2018 at 11:41 AM, Returninghome said:

I am a convert I grew up in a very religious family (not LDS) and was told that the LDS church was a cult my entire life.  I never looked into the mormon church as a kid because of this.  I met my (now) husband who was baptized at 8 but that was the extent of his church going when I was 18.  His best friend and wife (who became my best friends) are LDS and always led by example but never pushed the church on either of us.  I saw them, their family, their lives and how they were still able to be themselves while in the church.  I was encouraged by their example.  They invited us to go to a temple open house with them.  While in the temple I had an undeniable feeling that I needed to come back to the temple again- that I WOULD come back into the temple again to be sealed to my family (at the time my husband was my boyfriend or maybe my fiance I can't recall).  I read the Book of Mormon and prayed for guidance.  I knew it was where I was supposed to be.  I had feelings in the temple and while reading the BofM that I had sought after my whole life.  My husband had similar feelings in the temple and had read the Book of Mormon on a whim the week before (he completed it in one day).  My husband and I were married, a month later I was baptized, 9 months after that we had a sweet baby boy and a year after my baptism we were sealed with our little baby for time and all eternity.  Since then the path has been ANYTHING but easy.  We have been tempted and tattered to the bone.  We were on the brink of divorce and both made some pretty devastating choices.  But we always come back to the gospel.  We always know without a doubt that it is the glue that will hold our family together through the eternities.  The journey hasn't been easy but it has been worth every moment.  I know this church is true.  I know that it is really the only thing that has saved my life, my husbands life and our life together.  

Thank you for sharing your experience. It brings Joy to read how you and your husband prevailed through such difficult times.

 

Styln

 

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