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Faith

Devotional: Lifelong Conversion

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered Tuesday's devotional address. He spoke on how lifelong conversion produces authentic happiness.

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“The best way to become a lifelong convert is to engage with the doctrine of Christ. The doctrine of Christ — faith in the Savior and His Atonement, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost — is not intended as a one-time event,” Elder Renlund said.

Rather, deepening our commitment to the core principles of Christ’s gospel is a process of spiraling upwards, like climbing a mountain.

“This ascent,” explained Elder Renlund, “provides new vistas and perspectives, brings us closer to the Savior and we eventually return to the presence of our Heavenly Father as an heir to all He has.”

To help us reach the summit of our spiritual mountains and consequently experience lifelong conversion, Elder Renlund explained the significance of each aspect of the doctrine of Christ.

1. The Sacrament
While baptism is considered the first aspect of the doctrine of Christ, we can’t repeatedly experience baptism to learn more. However, taking the sacrament renews our baptismal covenants and reminds us of our commitment to Christ.

Preparing to receive the sacrament is also essential because it's the "ordinance needed every week for the rest of our lives.” Like conversion, partaking of the sacrament is not a one-time event.

To help us develop an individualized way to prepare for the sacrament, Elder Renlund suggested, “Decide what aspect of the Savior’s mission you are going to think about during the sacrament and perhaps consider one thing you can do to increase your faith.”

2. Faith
Through experimenting on the word, we can nourish our desire to believe into a stronger testimony of Christ’s gospel.

Even though a testimony of the gospel may have a simple start, Elder Renlund fervently declared that “there is no better foundation for lifelong conversion than to know that the word … is good and true. That knowledge prompts us to trust the faith we already have and, then, to act in faith.”

3. Repentance
“Repentance is not to be feared,” said Elder Renlund.

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“Fearing repentance blocks lifelong conversion because it hinders cycling through the elements of the doctrine of Christ.”
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Jesus Christ cares about who we can become; He wants us to keep trying instead of worrying about our imperfections.

Quoting President Russel M. Nelson, Elder Renlund reminded us that a “repentant soul is a converted soul.”

When the uphill slope to conversion becomes extra steep, Elder Renlund insisted that we must develop a type of determination defined by the Finnish word “sisu.” While sisu doesn’t have a complete English translation, it connotes purpose, grit, courage and action.

As we develop spiritual sisu and engage in the doctrine of Christ, happiness and lifelong conversion become attainable.

“We are armed with God’s power so that no combination of wickedness will have power to prevail over us,” said Elder Renlund, and we can return as successful servants to our Heavenly Father.

Next Devotional
Paul B. Pieper, a General Authority Seventy, will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, September 21, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center. Elder Pieper's remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.

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