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Personal Conversion : A Prelude & Hallmark of the September First Presidency Message   Leave a comment

     When you know that the Spirit of the Lord testifies to you of the truthfulness of all things, you know you have found a precious gem worth treasuring and speaking highly of. Better said, how many of us, when we find something we like…. something we love…. what is the very first thing we do in regards to that? We run to share our love of that item with everyone! We are all capable of relating to that.

      Given that many people have different likes and dislikes, we cannot expect one person to react the same way another person would all the time. Chances are there will be similarities, but in short, we all are different. Some may try, or look at, or invest in whatever it is that we excitedly share with them, but they will do so mostly as they desire of themselves. We place the seed of suggestion and they look into it based upon (perhaps) how convincing, or truthful, we sounded.

     This can be tied into Missionary Work, but more importantly… Member Missionary Work. Before we really can put the significance of that type of Missionary Work into perspective, we must first change what we think we know about conversion. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles recently testified to the team that…

     “Well, as members of the Church, we all need to be true to what we know. I believe every member of this Church has a testimony. A testimony is what we know to be true not intellectually, but, by the power of the Holy Ghost. I’m not so sure every member of this Church is converted to the Lord Jesus Christ….because as we are increasingly converted we become more consistent and true to what we know. So it’s one thing to know that it is true, it’s another thing to be consistently true to what we know. The members of the Church need to have more than testimonies, they need to be converted. That produces a Spiritual fruit in our lives, if you will… that’s evident to other people and they will inquire; And we should never be ashamed to give a reason for the hope that is in us, which is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ….so it is a more elaborate way of saying we need to live what we know. It’s more than being an example, it’s living what we know. As we do that… in a world that’s becoming more confused and where evil influences are ever more pervasive… that goodness will shine, and people will be attracted to that light.

     Knowing that, allow me now to progress into how our conversion plays into Member Missionary Work. President McCombs was the second speaker at this Priesthood Meeting and delivered one of the most powerful affirmations of the need of conversion. He stated to us, “My personal conversion to the Gospel came as a junior in high school- in and through seminary..”. Why is that significant? It was a stepping stone of instruction that taught him to look to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through the Book of Mormon. He had to believe it, or it may have had no fruit in his life.

     In an age full of destitute moral standards, and suggestive themes that were seemingly science-fiction not but 60 years ago… the critical time of preparation is young! The responsibility falls upon the parents for this great honor and calling that is Eternally ours, and though it is very significant, I only wish to add one thing President Monson said in a talk concerning the kids that these very parents are responsible for; He said:

“Dr. Glenn J. Doman, noted author and medical authority, wrote: “The newborn child is almost an exact duplicate of an empty … computer, although superior to such a computer in almost every way.

… What is placed in the child’s [mind] during the first eight years of life is probably there to stay. 

… If you put misinformation into his [mind] during [this period], it is extremely difficult to erase it.” 

Dr. Doman added that the most receptive age in human life is that of two or three years.
I like this thought: “Your mind is a cupboard, and you stock the shelves.” 

Let us make certain that our cupboard shelves, and those of our family members, are stocked with the things which will provide safety to our souls and enable us to return to our Father in Heaven. Such shelves could well be stocked with gospel scholarship, faith, prayer, love, service, obedience, example, and kindness.

This all helps provide the blocks for the means to prepare to serve that Mission, whether it is serving two years as a full time missionary, or simply serving and honoring in your calling… prepare!

President McCombs also shared the sweet testimony that, “I do not believe that there is a better way to be prepared for a mission, than through the study of the Book Of Mormon.” The great vision of the vine has been taken hold of, and affirmed through the Spirit, of it’s authenticity and because of it we know that our Stake Presidency has received the vision of the vine, which includes a second stake in Lubbock in ten years. This also includes the Plainview Branch, becoming the Plainview Ward!

Next, President McCombs shared the scripture, “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:81) which he likened the scripture by saying, “We need to warn and invite all to the church, but need to be patient in the challenge of Member Missionary work.” He provided a few options to support his statement…

1) [Our Need] To have a desire.

Certainly we have to have the desire to do the work. President Shumway has continually driven
home that we need to “Increase Our Desire To Have A Deeper Level Of Trust And Faith”
(See The Shumway Sequence # 4)

2) [Don’t Select] Talk to everyone; We need not be a shy people. Many won’t come in, but the
                            fruit of your labor (The planted Seed of interest) may continue.

We need not get discouraged when “Our” plans for invitations to Church or Home Evenings
continue to fall on deaf ears; President Shumway also includes in his counsel to us, that “All Things
[Are] Accomplished According To The Lord’s Timing”.  (See The Shumway Sequence # 2 ;
See also D & C 67:14)

3) When we invite, we succeed!
He said, “We succeed as Member Missionaries as we invite people. The Lord places people
in our path, which we can influence.”

Some other things were mentioned by President McCombs, but he bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and how it has influenced his life for great good. His testimony was worth sharing, and thats why I had to write this blog. I affirm also that these things are true, and I leave them with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

*****Lubbock Texas Stake Announcements:

Saturday, September 11th – Court Of Honor for Alan Rivera

Sunday, September 12th @ 8:30 a.m.- Branch Council

Friday, September 17th @ 8:00 p.m.- Branch Temple Day *Go out for Ice Cream at 10:00 p.m.

**Submit Your Testimony To Share On by sending your story, missionary moment, inspiring thought or conversion story with testimony to…

*******************Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

9-12-10 Combined High Priests & Elders; “The Church of Jesus Christ Today” (Gospel Principles, Chapter 17 – Page 95)

9-19-10 “Faith in Jesus Christ” (Gospel Principles, Chapter 18 – Page 101)