Saturday, February 05, 2011

Conversion part 5

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

So the reason I say my conversion was not complete is because I remember a distint decision I made that after I was baptized I would still not pay tithing. This also makes me think that I had a problem with honesty because I know that is a question in the interview before baptism. I just felt like my money was earned and I did not want to give any of it to the church. I just tell you this so you have an idea of where my mind was at this time. I obviously did not understand that everything that I have has been given to me from God. I was also very selfish and very materialistic.

Anywho, that aside, a little after I was baptized I was working at a bank and had an incident with a customer. I'm not sure how he found out I was Mormon but he was really concerned about it and brought in some literature about Joseph Smith. He asked me what it said about the book of Mormon on the cover. "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." He said another means a different testament, different than the Bible. In other words, the Bible was a true testament and the book of Mormon was a different one so it cannot be true.

I didn't know how to respond. I had only been a member for a couple months, I felt awkward and uncomfortable. I had this gross feeling in the pit of my stomach and I could not think of a thing to say to him. I don't think I even thought about what he said to me, I just felt like there was something wrong. I did read the literature at my break and it also gave me a horrible feeling.

I went home that day, thinking is the church true or not true? Did it really matter, it was changing my life? I was happier. I was eating. I wasn't dying. The gospel was literally saving my life. Did I even care if it was true? I could always stop when I felt like it wasn't doing me any good. right? It was still doing me good, so I'm fine. right? I still had this gross feeling in the pit of my stomach and I knew something was very wrong.

My evening activities went similar to any other day. I was getting ready for bed when someone came knocking at the door.

It was Elder Shrieve and Elder Tarah. Crazy how they just show up when I really need them. Their appointment canceled and they stopped by to see how I was doing. Right away they knew something was wrong and asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I invited them in and told them what happened.

I remember three main points from Elder Shrieve's response:
1. That horrible feeling I had was the Holy Ghost telling me what I was hearing was wrong.

2. Another doesn't have to mean different, as in not true. Yes, there is one source of truth, but its not the Bible or the book of Mormon, it is God. The word another can mean different as in two different experiences of the same thing. Another testament is simply a different account. Now that felt right.

3. Where does satan focus his time and energy? Not on those making bad choices. They have friends and the woes of life to help keep them down. He focuses on those making good decisions. He focuses on people whose friend's choices no longer have a negative influence and those who choose to be happy no matter what life brings them. As long as I continue making good choices, satan will continue to try and influence me in blunt, harsh ways until I am consistent enough in making good choices. Once he realizes those direct tactics no longer work on me, he will be trixy and much more subtle.

I guess there were four things I remember from this visit. After our discussion, Elder Shrieve said to me, "I think you should start preparing for a mission."

In my head: Elder Shrieve must be going crazy. The church would never send me on a mission, I know nothing (I had only been a member for two months when he said this to me). I'm not even paying tithing. No way on earth will I ever go on a mission.

To be continued....


Bennions said...

I love your conversion story Jen! You're so amazing!! I love the 3rd point that Elder Shrieve made, it is so true! Satan will never stop trying to influence us, but he does it in a more subtle way when he knows we don't want to make the wrong choice. That's why it's SO essential to continue putting on our armor every day- reading scriptures as a family and indivually, praying as a family and indivdually, going to the Temple as often as our circumstances allow and having regular family home evenings. I am a firm believer that if we just keep doing the right things, even if there are doubts in our minds, the spirit will lead us to the right path. That's why it's so important to just be consistant, even if our hearts aren't 100% in it, because eventually we will be. Just like you now! You're such an awesome member of the church and such a strength to me and so many people!! I would have never guessed that you didn't pay tithing becuase you are so amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your testimony and conversion story. Can't wait to read more! :)

mjjacksons said...

Jen, I'm lovin' this. Thanks for sharing!

vandi said...

just wanted to add I'm loving this too. It's so interesting....
can't wait for more: )