Recently I was asked to speak in Church. My desire was to not only inspire my ward members, but to pull a King Benjamin and deliver a talk so awesome, so mind blowing, that everyone within earshot would became permanently and more deeply converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the spot… oh, and that our entire ward would be translated as well.
So, with that totally obtainable and reasonable expectation in mind I set out to find the perfect topic. To achieve a ward translation I figured I likely needed a single topic that could somehow also cover every topic of the Gospel at the same time. This meant my single topic had to cover reading the scriptures, Temple attendance, magnifying your calling, having meaningful prayer, keeping the Sabbath day holy, paying tithing, home teaching, and basically every other aspect of the Church all at once. At this point I’m feeling super good and confident about the goals I had set for myself. I somehow needed “One topic to rule them all”. The problem was that single topic that covered all topics didn’t exist. Or so I thought…
Later that night I went to a meeting where Sabbath Day observance was discussed. A comment was made that we needed to have a “Zion Stake”. The comment then continued: to achieve that we would have to have Zion Wards. In order to achieve Zion Wards, we had to become Zion Families. To become a Zion family we have to become Zion individuals. Boom! That comment was the answer to my prayers and my talk began to form in my head! I had my topic! Not only that, I realized there is in fact “One Topic to rule them all!” It was Conversion! Deep, personal, and true conversion! This means knowing and understanding that this Church is true and that God lives.
It makes perfect sense because when we are TRULY converted we will NATURALLY find ourselves reading our scriptures, having meaningful prayer, paying tithing, home teaching, and doing all those good things! When I say converted though, I don’t mean converting like Heat “fans” when Lebron came to town only to abandon the team the second he left… I mean converting like Cubs fans, who deep in their heart know they are never again going to win a World Series, yet still buy season tickets, still paint their face, still cheer for their favorite players, and still hold out hope for the impossible. In this article though, the conversion I’m talking about is deeply rooting yourself and immersing yourself in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This conversion when true, can and will change your life. It will change who you are, how you view yourself and others. It will change how you speak, how you act, and change the way you look at life. This deep conversion spans beyond this life and into eternity.
Awesome! So… How to we become converted? This is what I love about this Church and what I love about this Gospel. There is not a single person in the Church that doesn’t know the answers to this question. It’s simple, it’s the Primary answers! Go to Church, read the scriptures, pray consistently, attend the Temple, ect… I love it because it’s not too difficult or hard to understand for anyone! It applies to every single one of us regardless of where we are in our Spiritual progression. This works every time without fail right? Yes… under one condition, I’ll explain…
James 1:5 and 3 Nephi 27:29 have something amazing in common: the word “ask”. This means you have ask for it. You have to want it. Sometimes “asking” requires you to ask really really hard, and often, before you receive an answer. If you don’t receive your confirmation right away it’s not because God doesn’t hear you, or that he doesn’t exist, it’s because you have to prove that you want it. You have to show him that you want it. Maybe you need to want it more or ask even harder. Remember that scripture that says “be ye slothful and not diligent, ask me not, and I will pour my Spirit upon you”? Me neither because it doesn’t exist! Asking for it, and wanting it will likely mean we have to take things to the next level.
What that means is not just doing it to do it, or just doing it to cross it off a list. We have to want it in our hearts, and with all our hearts! Going through the motions with empty intention doesn’t bring conversion anymore than buying a weight bench gets you ripped… I know, because I’ve totally tried that and it doesn’t work. There is an incredible amount of difference between “Praying” and “communicating with our Father in Heaven in deep and meaningful prayer”. There is a mammoth different between “reading the Scriptures” and “feasting up on the words of Christ and praying for understanding”. The same goes for “Fasting” and “going without food”, “home teaching” and “developing a relationship with your families” so on and so forth. What I’m saying is it’s possible to live the Gospel without the Gospel living within us. Whether we have never committed ourselves before or whether we simply need to recommit ourselves the starting point is the same. It begins with each of us. I promise you a deeper commitment to this Gospel will change your life, and for the better. I know because I’ve put those scriptures to the test, and again I promise you they work. I have seen and felt that first hand. Add this, my invitation to the countless others who have invited others to do the same. Happiness awaits.