This journal entry was written by Dale and Jan at the beginning of their second week studying Act in Doctrine, a new book written by Elder David Bednar.
I found the difference between testimony and conversion to be very thought provoking. I always associated the two together. I am a convert to the Church and testimony has been something I have had since first reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it at age 22.
Conversion is quite another matter. It is built on study, prayer, a true change of heart manifested by one’s service to others and service to self.
In reflecting on my situation in my life, I have never considered how separate testimony and conversion are. I can see that I made a lot of changes in my life when I first joined the church. For instance, I changed my habits of social drinking to weekly Sunday observance, I changed my circle of friends to people who supported me in my membership of the church, and I changed my desires as to the type of girl I would date. Since that time, changes have been harder to see. Some of that is because I have not been studying scriptures like I should. I think I understand now that conversion is an ongoing process that one works on their whole life and beyond.
This chapter on testimony and conversion has given me a lot to ponder upon. First, I never considered that I needed to concentrate on the conversion part of my spirituality. I do read the scriptures each day, especially since I am in a twelve-step program that keeps me focused on daily meditation. There’s more to testimony and conversion than I thought.
Keeping the “oil” of conversion in my life takes time, effort, and action. When I look at how I can apply this to my life, I believe I need to do more reflective thinking about the temple ordinances, the words of the prophets, and more unselfish service. Since I am blessed with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, I can do more to become closer to him and to Heavenly Father. Daily effort, prayerful pondering, and deeper understanding will help me toward this goal.