Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Five Stages of Conversion

As we discuss the five stages of Conversion we need to ask ourselves
the question continuously: What motivates us to righteous living?

Many of us, in fact most of us are converted to a person at first; the
missionaries, the bishop, a friend or relative. We believe because they
believe. Our testimonies are reliant on their testimonies. We have what is
called a “borrowed testimony”. The problem with this is that people change
and when they change what happens to you?•


There are those who are converted to the church; the organization, the
auxiliaries, the programs. We love going to Relief Society, Mutual, work
parties or activities. The downfall of this stage is that the church
changes. I can remember when we used to go to church in the morning and in
the evening on Sunday. Now we only go for a three hour block in the
morning. What happens to your testimony when your ward, which meets on a
Sunday morning, is told that they must start meeting on a Sunday afternoon?
What happens when you become too old to attend the Young Men or Young Women
programs, and now you have to attend Relief Society or Priesthood?•

I believe that most of us find ourselves at this stage of conversion,
where we are converted to the principles, the teachings, and the
commandments. We could be found thinking “I am proud of being 100%
obedient”. The downfall of this stage is that the scriptures say it is a
slothful servant who is commanded in all things. A good example of one who
is converted to the gospel is found in Luke 18:18, where a Young ruler asks
the Lord “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The Lord then answers
him by enumerating some of the commandments, to which the ruler answers:
“All these have I kept from my youth up”. Jesus then challenges him to move
his conversion up a stage by saying “Come follow me”. The Ruler goes away
In Alma32:27,28,41-43 Alma compares the gospel to a seed and how we
should nourish it.•

When we are converted to Jesus Christ, we are motivated to righteous
living by His love for us and our love for Him. The downfall of this stage
is that we do things because we feel obligated. We go through the motions
with the attitude that we have to do it.
In Alma 33:19-23 Alma teaches how we should look to Jesus Christ and

It is difficult to think that there is yet a higher stage.•

When we listen to the Apostles bearing their testimonies they invariably
testify of the atonement, and how it works in their lives. When we are
converted to the atonement we have the attitude, “I want to do it”. We are
prepared to sacrifice all, so that He does not have to sacrifice anymore.
In Galatians 2: 20 we read “I am crucified with Christ: never the less I
live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live, in
the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loveth me, and gave
Himself for me.”
In Alma 34:8-16 Amulek explains beautifully how the atonement works.•

• The transformation that takes place through the stages of conversion
is like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. We are like the
caterpillar that is ground bound and lives a mundane life of no change with
a limited perspective of life. He then enters a cocoon, as we enter the
church. There are many things that we experience as we go through each
stage of the conversion process, learning principles and participating in
ordinances that will transform us like the caterpillar is transformed into
a beautiful butterfly. As we learn to apply the atonement we will be able
to “fly” and see from above, as God sees. People will notice a change in
our countenances and we will shine from within.

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