November Young Women Lesson: How do I know if I am becoming converted?
Conversion is a big topic, and I think we all wonder sometimes what it means and question our own conversion. This lesson can provide a good opportunity to reassure the young women that it is ok to be unsure or to have questions. This lesson outline is quite a departure from the lesson manual. It seemed to me that the lesson from the church manual was focused on being converted to the Church; here the aim is to discuss conversion to Christ.
Begin by asking the class to think of conversion stories they have heard, from the scriptures or from people they know. Some examples may be:
Saul/Paul: Act 9 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/acts/9?lang=eng)
Alma the Elder: Mosiah 17 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/17.1-2?lang=eng#p1)
Alma the Younger: Mosiah 27 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/27.8?lang=eng#7)
Once you have discussed a few examples, as the class to brainstorm some commonalities across them. Some key points to bring out out include each gained a belief in Christ, and that each individual changed in important ways subsequent to their experiences.
From there, you might encourage the class to develop a definition of conversion as a group. It is difficult, after all, to know if something is happening if you don’t know what ‘it’ is. You might use Alma 5 for an additional reference, and encourage your class to think about what it means to be changed in our hearts.
You may also want to have students read from True to the Faith on conversion (https://www.lds.org/languages/eng/content/manual/true-to-the-faith/conversion), especially this section:
“Conversion is a process, not an event. You become converted as a result of your righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith.
Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle. Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion. Even Alma, who saw an angel, became converted only after he “fasted and prayed many days” for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46). And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Because conversion is a quiet, constant process, you may be converted now and not realize it. You could be like the Lamanites who, “because of their faith in [Christ] at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not” (3 Nephi 9:20). Your continuing efforts to exercise faith and follow the Savior will lead to greater conversion.”
I really like the idea of conversion as a process. Most of the stories we have of conversion (including the examples from scripture listed above) are a singular, extreme event. True conversion takes a life time. It takes practice and hard work and patience and developing a relationship with Christ.
I feel it is important to point out, especially to teen-aged girls, that one sign of true conversion is a desire to try again. Being converted does not mean we are always perfect and loving. It does mean that when we can’t be, we learn and repent and try again.