- How can you become converted? How can you make the gospel of Jesus Christ not just an influence in your life but the controlling influence and, indeed, the very core of what you are? The ancient prophet Jeremiah spoke of the law of God, the gospel, being written in our hearts. He quotes the Lord speaking about us, His people in the latter days: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The gospel cannot be written in your heart unless your heart is open. Without a heartfelt desire, you can participate in sacrament meetings, classes, and Church activities and do the things I will tell you, but it won’t make much difference. But if your heart is open and willing, like the heart of a child, let me tell you what you can do to be converted.
He then shares some specific steps that can be taken to become converted to the Christ.
- As a first step, you must lay aside any feeling of pride that is so common in the world today. By this I mean the attitude that rejects the authority of God to rule in our lives. Our beloved Creator does not force us to accept His authority, but willingly submitting to that authority is the first step in conversion.
- Further, for the gospel to be written in your heart, you need to know what it is and grow to understand it more fully. That means you will study it. When I say “study,” I mean something more than reading. For conversion, you should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time.
- You will know that the gospel is being written in your heart, that your conversion is happening, as the word of the Lord from His prophets, past and present, feels more and more delicious to your soul.
- Your Heavenly Father wants you to pray about your hopes and fears, your friends and family, your school and work, and the needs of those around you. Most of all, you should pray to be filled with the love of Christ.
Concerning the love of Christ, he notes some specific things that will take place as we turn to Christ:
- This love is the fruit of the tree of life, and tasting it is a major part of your conversion because once you have felt your Savior’s love for you, even the smallest part, you will feel secure, and a love for Him and for your Heavenly Father will grow within you. In your heart you will want to do what these holy beings ask of you. Go often to your closet, your secret place, your wilderness. Thank God for your blessings; ask for His help; ask Him to bestow upon you the pure love of Christ. Sometimes fasting will help.
As we take steps to change our lives, we must put the gospel into action in our lives.
- To be converted, you must not only open your heart to a knowledge of the gospel and the love of God, you must practice the gospel law. You cannot fully understand or appreciate it unless you personally apply it in your life.
- You must look outward and care about others. You can be compassionate; you can be friendly; you can share; you can help others in a hundred small ways. As you do, the gospel of Jesus Christ will become a part of you.
- As you seek the blessing of conversion, you can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. In reality, it is the gift of yourself—what you are and what you are becoming.
He speaks of the repentance process and being worthy as being essential for conversion to be lasting.
- Is there something in you or in your life that is impure or unworthy? When you get rid of it, that is a gift to the Savior. Is there a good habit or quality that is lacking in your life? When you adopt it and make it part of your character, you are giving a gift to the Lord.
As we put these things into practice, our inward souls will change and we will become who Christ wants and needs us to become.
- You don’t have to do it alone. Jesus Christ will help you make of yourself a worthy gift. His grace will make you clean, even holy. Eventually, you will become like Him, “perfect in Christ.”
In summary, Elder Christofferson says:
- We have talked of desire, submissiveness to God, study, prayer, service, repentance, and obedience. From these, coupled with your worship and activity in Church, will come testimony and conversion. The gospel won’t be just an influence in your life—it will be what you are. Plead with God in the name of Christ to write the gospel in your mind that you may have understanding and in your heart that you may love to do His will. Pursue this blessing diligently and patiently, and you will receive it, for God “is gracious and merciful, … and of great kindness.”
I have had a lingering thought over the past couple months about how I can become more converted to Christ and put my will more in line with God's will. This talk in an answer to me about steps I can do to move my life closer to Christ. I want this blog experience to be something that helps others to come unto Christ but I also want it to be something that brings me closer to Christ. This talk will be referred back to many times in the future as a checklist to see if I am on track to making the changes in my life that will bring me closer to my Savior and putting my life in His hands.