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Sunday, December 22, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Today I gave a talk on Conversion in sacrament meeting. This is what I said:
How can I learn to serve more effectively in the Church? When the Lord calls us to serve, He also qualifies us to serve faithfully. As we learn what our responsibilities are and then diligently fulfill them, the Lord magnifies our efforts. We are also blessed in our callings when we follow the counsel of our Church leaders. In this way we participate with Him in building His kingdom and serving His children.
Teaching in the Savior’s wayThe Savior trusted those who followed Him. He prepared them and gave them important responsibilities to teach, bless, and serve others.
Jeremiah 1:5–9 (Prophets who received strength from the Lord to fulfill their callings)5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordainedthee a prophet unto the nations.6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot aspeak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
John 15:16 (God calls us to serve through revelation)16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have achosen you, and bordainedyou, that ye should go and bring forth cfruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in mydname, he may give it you.
Jacob 1:17–19; D&C 4; 107:99; 121:34–36 (We should act in all diligence to fulfill our callings) 17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the atemple, having first obtained mine berrand from the Lord. 18 For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been aconsecratedpriests and bteachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi. 19 And we did amagnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the bresponsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not cteach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their dblood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.
D&C 25 (Emma Smith receives counsel about fulfilling her responsibilities) in 12 it says For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
Henry B. Eyring, “Rise to Your Call,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2002, 75–78Not long ago, a young man I did not know approached me in a crowded place. He said quietly but with great intensity: “Elder Eyring, I have just been called as the president of my elders quorum. What advice do you have for me?” I was sure that what he needed to know and to feel I couldn’t give him there, with the people rushing past us. And so I said, “I will give you my counsel in general conference.” That young man is not alone in wanting help. Thousands of members of the Church across the earth are called every week to serve, many of them recent converts. The variety in their callings is great, and the variety of their previous Church experience is even greater. If you are the one who calls them, or trains them, or simply cares about them, as we all do, there are some things to know about how to help them succeed. You may think first of being sure that they get a handbook, lesson manuals, or the records they are to keep. You might even give them a list of the times and the places of the meetings they are to attend. Then you might be about to tell them how their work will be evaluated, when you will notice concern in their eyes. You see, even the newest member of the Church can sense that a call to service should be primarily a matter of the heart. It is by giving our whole hearts to the Master and keeping His commandments that we come to know Him. In time, through the power of the Atonement, our hearts are changed, and we can become like Him. So there is a better way to help those who are called than descriptions of what they are to do.
ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR from Whom Say Ye That I Am? We can learn much about testimony and conversion from the ministry of the Apostle Peter.As Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He posed this penetrating question to His disciples: “Whom say ye that I am?”Peter responded forthrightly:“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:15–17).As is evidenced in Peter’s reply and the Savior’s instruction, a testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation. A testimony is a gift from God and is available to all of His children. Any honest seeker of truth can obtain a testimony by exercising the necessary “particle of faith” in Jesus Christ to “experiment upon” (Alma 32:27) and “try the virtue of the word” (Alma 31:5), to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19), and to awaken unto God (see Alma 5:7). Testimony brings increased personal accountability and is a source of purpose, assurance, and joy.Seeking for and obtaining a testimony of spiritual truth requires asking, seeking, and knocking (see Matthew 7:7; 3 Nephi 14:7) with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in the Savior (see Moroni 10:4). Fundamental components of a testimony are knowing that Heavenly Father lives and loves us, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth in these latter days.
Conversion:It includes a change in behavior, but it goes beyond behavior; it is a change in our very nature. It is such a significant change that the Lord and His prophets refer to it as a rebirth, a change of heart, and a baptism of fire. 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.
“We Become” is this church video about that is about conversion, and basicly this is what it says “we are not just listening and learning, but sharing, teaching and acting as we become converted to the gospel, as we become converted, our hearts open and relationships with others change.” Then it went on showing first hand experiences with people who had been blessed from this. “You gain a better relationship with the savior because you receive his message. As we become converted we learn what the gospel is doing for us, and want to share this with others. Makes it easier to have missionary experiences with others, as you are already in that mind set. You get the confidence to share with others not of our faith. As the spirit works on our hearts, we want the atonement to become clean and worthey. Repentance is the best thing we have if used in the right way. The bishop can help you out. You have your trials, your temptations, in which you must past, but there is great moments of eternity which lie ahead. Arise and shine forth, be a light unto the world, a standard to others.”
After reading this I answered the questions below
How does the Lord help you as you strive to fulfill your callings?
Share an experience of your own, and bear your testimony.