Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Elder David A. Bednar on the need for true conversion in today's world

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion. Testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination. Strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established.
"Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection we need. Some members of the Church with testimonies have wavered and fallen away. Their spiritual knowledge and commitment did not measure up to the challenges they faced....
"A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received--with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel."
- David A. Bednar, "Converted Unto the Lord," Ensign, Nov 2012, pp. 106-109
Click here to read or listen to the full article

Elder Bednar's remarks in the October 2012 general conference explored the relationship between testimony and conversion, giving insights into each and particularly into the ways they relate and interact. The first important point to understand is that testimony is not the ultimate goal; it is a foundational step, a necessary and required one, on the way to conversion. But alone it is not sufficient to provide the "spiritual strength and protection" that are needed against the "storm of darkness and evil" in today's world. It is crucial that our testimonies grow into true conversion:

I love this summary of the principle. It's so critical that we know the gospel is true. But it's far more crucial to be true to the gospel. It's in the implementation of the principles, and not just in understanding them, that we gain power!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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