Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. In the immediate context, the disciples had been arguing about who was going to be the greatest. This happened before, when the mother of James and John came to Jesus and asked Him to grant these boys!
James and John had even done this themselves. But the words of Jesus, strangely, are directed towards Simon Peter! Peter was usually the mouthpiece for the disciples, but Peter usually entered a situation mouth-first! This shall never happen to You. Matthew Henry in his commentary says that as Peter was the mouthpiece of the group, this time Jesus made him the ear. And the first of three statements is directed to Peter, and, by extension, to the group.
Likewise, some farmers may not know a lot about fishing. But Peter heard these words of Jesus and perhaps wondered what Jesus was trying to say. Some of us may remember sifter, something that looked like a one-pound or so coffee can, with a crank on the side. It had a wire mesh screen, and a metal ring that turned as you turned the crank. We used the sifter to spread powdery materials onto various things before we baked them.
I loved to do that! The first step, of course, was to reap the grain. No doubt the disciples remembered that afternoon in Samaria, in John chapter 4, where Jesus had met the woman at the well. I tell you, look on the fields: This meant that the workers would toss the grain into the air, and the wheat and chaff would wind up ideally in separate piles.
The last step was to take the grain into a tumbler, perhaps with a sieve, so that the impurities would be removed but the grain stayed in place. And they straightway left their nets and followed Him.
April 1997 General Conference
And yet, in time, the scriptures make abundantly clear that the conversion process was ultimately completed, and Peter became the powerful Apostle of testimony and miracles who sealed his declaration of the Christ with his own blood. Consider the conversion process of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I bear my own testimony with certainty that the boy Joseph saw what he said he saw. When the light rested upon me, I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.
One of them spake unto me. Fast forward with me to the winter of and the horrific conditions of Joseph and his companions in Liberty Jail. Cold, damp, dark, isolated, unjust, unfair, inhumane. Have you ever found yourself in what you might consider to be a similar place? But the Lord acknowledged the continuing conversion process in His reply: Indeed, Our Savior Himself, though perfect as God, experienced, in His own way, the conversion process of mortality. He will take upon Him their infirmities. Is true conversion reserved for only a select few?
No, for we know that Our Father desires eternal lives for each of His children! But, is our path of conversion, then, to be somehow different than the process needed by the prophets? Our conversion process may lie in our understanding of three keys concepts and our continued application of those concepts as we strive to serve others like the Savior and like the prophets have done.
When Thou Art Converted - D. Todd Christofferson
First, we start by understanding that conversion, true conversion, is an attainable process for each of us. Like most processes, there is room for question and sometimes even doubt. It is often accompanied by ups and downs, contrasting moments of light and darkness. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?
What greater witness can you have than from God? The continuing process is why we give talks, prepare lessons, do our home teaching and visiting teaching, or serve in callings. I was recently released as a YSA bishop, serving in a ward with a number of returned missionaries. I learned once again just how important it is that the conversion process continues after returning home — that just serving a mission can not be a substitute for continued growth and application after returning. A number of years ago, I walked in a hallway of the Mt. Timpanogos Temple with President Eyring.
Now, we have a magnificent temple — one of the earliest temples in the Church, dedicated nearly years ago — a few hundred yards from here, so I ask, are you attending regularly enough — in endowment sessions or in baptisms for the dead — to let its light aid in your continuing conversion process? Perhaps I can illustrate from my own life. When I was 15, I attended a missionary farewell for a young man in my ward.
He was an exemplary young man — one just enough older than me that I could look at as somewhat of a hero. In his farewell address, he bore a very straightforward testimony about the Book of Mormon. And an angel appeared to tell me it is true. Can you imagine the impact on me? Within days, I began an earnest search for my angel.
I read the Book of Mormon — no angel. I thought perhaps my angel would come when I submitted my missionary application or just before I spoke in sacrament meeting — no angel. I considered that my angel might appear while I was at the MTC or as soon as I arrived in the mission field — but, alas, no angel.
When Thou Art Converted
About three weeks into my mission, I was very distressed! In desperation, I asked my senior companion if we could stop on our way home late one night and say a prayer in the quiet solitude of a park in Dundee, Scotland. It was during that prayer that I first experienced the overwhelming witness of the Holy Ghost — no flashes of light, no extraordinary appearances, but the unmistakable reassurance borne to the core of my soul.
Indeed, even when they do happen, they are not a guarantee of conversion. Instead, true conversion is marked by our ability to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Each member of the Church is developing daily a deeper personal commitment, testimony, and conversion as they serve in their families and in Church callings. Once in the kingdom of God, as a newly baptized member, we honor the restored priesthood. Honoring the priesthood and being obedient in living the commandments are important elements in the conversion process.
Adult male members receive the Aaronic Priesthood soon after baptism. After a period of time, if worthy, they should receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and each individual in the family shares the blessings of the priesthood in the home. Women are welcomed and enjoy the blessings of sisterhood in the Relief Society.
- Lobbedienza non è più una virtù (Italian Edition).
- Lectures on Riemann Surfaces (Graduate Texts in Mathematics).
- The Cop and the... Vol. 1.
- Despierta conmutada por la guerra (Libro 2) (Despertar por la guerra) (Spanish Edition);
- Featured Verse Topics;
Youth develop friendships as they associate in the Young Men and Young Women organizations. The children are blessed as they are taught and feel the love of caring teachers in the Primary. Our obedience to the commandments leads us to service and sacrifice in accepting callings in the priesthood quorums and the auxiliary organizations. We faithfully progress for at least one year after baptism and prepare ourselves to enter the temple of the Lord.
In the holy temple we receive our sacred endowments, which teach us how we must live to return into the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Then we are sealed for time and all eternity. Our children come into the world protected, born in the eternal covenants we have taken together as husband and wife. If we enter the waters of baptism after our family is grown, our children are sealed to us as though they were born in the covenant. Knowing the truth and gaining a testimony strengthen us to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.
As testimony grows, we become more and more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we follow Him, we commit ourselves to serve Him by serving others. Brothers and sisters, the Church is growing rapidly as our missionary force introduces the gospel in all parts of the world to those who are prepared with ears to hear. They lose the close association with the missionaries who brought them the light.
They come to our wards and branches feeling as though they are strangers. We read in the scriptures about seeds and about the sower of seeds see Matt. We are taught that a seed can grow, become a tree, and bear fruit. But we have to have good soil to accept the good seed, and that is one of our roles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—that we provide the soil which nurtures the seed so it can grow and bear fruit and that the fruit remains see John Many are strong enough to endure to the end.
Without receiving a warm hand of fellowship, some become discouraged and unfortunately may lose the spirit that brought them to the waters of baptism. What was once a centerpiece in their existence is pushed aside for what they may perceive to be an offense, more pressing matters of the day, or it is simply lost in the shuffle of living. Have you ever pondered the sorrow of losing one and what sadness there must be when many are lost? That is what the Lord feels.
It is what our prophet feels. And that is what I hope that you and I can feel, that we can show a determination to nurture those who have experienced the joys of feeling the Spirit, being baptized, and gaining a testimony and who are in the process of overcoming trials and tribulations and achieving an enduring conversion that will last eternally. Amid the busyness of our day and concerns of what we are trying to accomplish in our individual lives, and within our families, we sometimes are not aware of the needs of the new member who has just entered the kingdom.
As we are committed to be by the side of each new member, could we walk with them along the straight and narrow path that leads to the temple, going with them to the temple so that in our friendship we can have joy and rejoice with them as we move together towards eternal life? Visualize for a moment a shepherd tending his sheep. The shepherd is studying and praying diligently to get close to God. As the shepherd concentrates on his personal relationship with God, he loses track of time and circumstance.
He is not aware of his sheep wandering away or being ravaged by evil marauders. The shepherd awakes from his personal pondering to the reality that some of his sheep are missing, and he must go forth and find them, bringing them back. We whose conversion is sufficient must reach out to those who wander.
- Luke 22:32.
- Satisfaction (The Darling Detectives Trilogy);
- April 2004 General Conference.
Ammon, the Nephite missionary, provided an example for us. He had chosen to serve the Lamanite king and was sent to watch the flocks of Lamoni. What did Ammon say?
Related When Thou Art Converted
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