In Mosiah 27, Mosiah and Alma face a difficult situation. Their adult sons are rebelling against the church. Alma, the son of Alma, is a particular problem as he is good with words, and he is convincing others to follow in his ways.
After much prayer by their parents, the five young men encounter the angel of the Lord who appears to them and speaks to them with a voice of thunder, causing them to be overcome and fall to the earth. Alma is unable to stand or move for the next two days. During this time, he has a powerful conversion experience. In his words:
“I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit…after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God…I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.” (Mosiah 27:24,28,29)
After his conversion, Alma became a great leader for the church as God used Alma’s gifts to benefit His people rather than to help the enemy.
What is your conversion experience? If you are part of the family of God, there was a point in time at which you were converted. You had to be old enough to be accountable for your sins before you could be baptized, so there was some period of time when you were in the enemy’s camp. Thank God that He revealed to you that you were on the wrong team and that the Holy Ghost then drew you to the right team.
How did He do it? Did He speak to you in an audible voice? Did He show you a vision? Did He speak to your heart? Did a different feeling come over you? Did new thoughts come into your mind? The conversion experience varies from person to person, but we all need to have one.
Why is it important to have a conversion experience? Why can’t we just join the Church? Here are a few reasons:
Repentance Is Necessary
In order to become part of the family of God, a person needs to recognize that he is a sinner and he must repent of his sins. Your conversion experience enlightens you to your sinful condition and creates a desire to repent of your sins.
To Know That God Wants You
Your conversion experience is a connection with God when He is calling you into His family. Knowing that God wants you in His family gives you confidence that you are doing the right thing and is something you can lean on in the future when trials arise and perhaps some doubts start to creep in.
You’ll Have a Testimony
Even if God never did anything else for you — however unlikely that may be — you’ll always have your conversion experience as a personal testimony that you can relate to others. Now, granted, it may not be as impressive to say that a good feeling came over you as compared to an angel appeared and spoke with a voice of thunder, but your sincere gratitude that God snatched you from the enemy and changed your life forever should shine through and make an impression on others whenever you discuss your conversion experience.
Don’t dwell on the magnitude of your conversion experience. There have been people who had powerful experiences and later denied them and left the Church while others who had simple personal callings remained faithful for their entire lives. Be thankful that you had a conversion experience. Think on it when times get tough, and share it with others who are still awaiting their own conversion experience so that they will desire to have one as well.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.