About a month ago one of our ward missionaries sent me an email explaining that they are getting ready to launch a missionary blog and asking if I would write down my conversion story for them to post.
I agreed, and though I haven’t started writing it yet, I’ve been thinking a lot about it since then (pre-writing is an important step in the writing process after all). When did I become converted? Can I record it in a way that others will find interesting to read—a way that accurately reflects my love for and feelings about the gospel? Why did they ask me to do this again?
I come from a long line of Mormons. My mom and dad both have pioneers in their genealogy. I was born in Provo, Utah and spent the bulk of my growing up years in Utah Valley surrounded by other members of the church. I went to BYU, served a mission, and then got married in the temple. If we’re talking about story in the Greek drama sense, I haven’t really got one. But I am converted to this gospel. I know it’s true; I love it; I try to share it and live it. So, how have I become converted? What is my story?
Michelle Lehnardt’s essay, Nauvoo in the Summer 2009 issue of Segullah, shares a piece of her conversion. As a young girl and part of a new convert family she took part in a journey to Nauvoo that helped her discover how she fit in to the heritage of Saints. That childhood experience led her to long for involvement in the events surrounding the rebuilding of the Nauvoo temple. Due to life, a new baby, all the demands of her growing family, she was unable to be there, disappointment and frustration were her companions until the week of the dedication. She writes, “I was doing the usual evening routine of putting the kids to bed. They laughed in the tub, chased each other in the hallway, and fought over the toothpaste. As I sat on the floor drinking in baby’s freshly bathed head on my shoulder and my beautiful boys leap-frogging over my legs, I was struck with profound joy. This is where I was supposed to be—this is what I needed to be doing. . . I laughed out loud in jubilation as every blessing, both spiritual and physical, flickered through my mind. I didn’t have to fight for a place in the kingdom. Christ had opened the gate, and taking His name at baptism secured my divine genealogy. I had enough. I was enough. “
When I re-read this in preparing to write today it helped me remember, dramatic or not, I do have a conversion story. It is made up of moments like this, when the Spirit brings to mind my blessings, the surety of the Gospel, the covenants I’ve made and how God is fully keeping his covenants to me. A couple of years ago, President Eyring spoke in general conference. He said, “’O remember, remember’,” Book of Mormon prophets often implored. My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness.” (Ensign, Nov. 2007, “O Remember, Remember”.) He told us that as he was raising his children he kept a journal and before he would write he would ponder the question, “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” Then he would write it down. He said, “I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.” As Michelle concludes her essay she says of her children, “I’ll teach them to look for the Spirit, not just in the grand venues, but in the hallways and fields and corners of their lives.” If we all do that, and follow President Eyring’s counsel as well, we will remember. We will know our divine genealogy and God’s kindness and when someone asks us to write our conversion story, we’ll have something to share.
What helps you remember God’s kindness?
If you keep a journal, how do you keep that habit up?
Tell us about your conversion if you like.