Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Talk Last Sunday: Testimony and Conversion

Here is the outline of my talk last Sunday.

I added my commentary to each numbered element.  If you have any questions about any element, let me know.


Testimony and Conversion 

1) "Testimony" means "witness" - which means something seen or experienced, felt or believed, certain or hoped. It does NOT mean "known intellectually". (Use court room example, then examples of spiritual witnesses: in church, in nature, in the temple, burning in the bosom, great peace or calm or love, sudden clarity, stroke of pure intelligence, etc.) Some people never have experiences they feel comfortable saying they can accept as proof of things others feel they know. Given this disparity of experience, I love the following verses:

2) D&C 46: 13-14

"To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."

"The CofJCofLDS is a place for people with all kinds of testimonies. There are some members of the church whose testimonies are sure and burn brightly within them. Others are still striving to know for themselves. The church is a home for all to come together, regardless of the depth or the height of their testimonies. I know of no sign on the door of our meeting houses that says, "Your testimony must be this tall to enter." - Pres. Uchtdorf, October 2014 General Conference (Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth)

Brothers and sisters, how true that is here in our ward depends on us and how completely we accept it.

3) James 1:22

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only."

"In contrast to the organizations of the world, which teach us to know something, the Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something." - Elder Oaks, October 2000 General Conference (The Challenge to Become)

4) "I Am a Child of God" - The wording was changed from, "Teach me all that I must know," to, "Teach me all that I must do." I would love to see it changed once more, this time to, "Teach me all that I must BE."  (A friend suggested, "Teach me all that I CAN be."  I love that suggestion.)

5) "Conversion" means "change" - as does "repent". Thus, one repents (acts / does) in order to become converted (be). In other words, one changes in order to become changed - or to be born and raised and grown up again - or to become a new creature in Christ - or to become Christ-like.

6) Discuss reactive repentance and proactive repentance. (For reference here, the following is a lesson outline from my Sunday School class last summer that dealt with reactive and proactive repentance:

Repentance: A Deeper, Fresh View

In conclusion:

"Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair." - Gilbert Chesterton 

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