To convert means to “turn to another.” In our lives, we are constantly “turning.” All of our decisions and actions either turn us toward Christ or away from Him. I wish to share a short “turning” story of Amber. Amber is an incredible woman and mother. Her life has not been easy. She has four children, three living with her. She has been through four marriages and is currently going through another difficult divorce. Her youngest son has a serious form of cancer and has spent countless months in hospitals seeking a cure.
With all of these trials weighing her down, she had two options, turn to God or turn to the world. When we first met her, she was turning to the world. We began teaching her and her 16 year old daughter Miranda. Miranda was baptized one month later. Amber, however, was more stubborn and much more skeptical. She assured us that she would be baptized someday, but she needed her wine to get through her divorce. She was still turning to the world for her strength and deep down, she wasn’t finding it. Then something started to change. Instead of just sitting in the lessons, she began to search, read and act. She wanted to know for herself what this gospel had to offer. How could she change her life? She decided to experiment upon the Word.
She wanted to test the strength that comes from turning to Christ. She started to study. It wasn’t just reading, but searching, questioning, praying and asking. She started praying daily. These little things built her testimony line upon line. She was hungry and she was finding the feast the gospel has to offer. One day after our lesson she asked us how she could handle a tough situation with some relatives living in her home. The only advice we could give her was to pray and ask God what to do. A few days later, she sent us about 10 text messages of how she felt. She said that God’s spirit ran all through her body. She had received her answer and acted on it right then and felt an overwhelming sense of God’s love for her.
She said she was crying because of the joy that followed this most recent “turn” in her life. From that point on, her little spark of a testimony starting building into a forest fire. She was not only learning, she was experiencing a huge change of heart. Her conversation was a result of her sincere desire to know, as spoken of in Alma 32:26-27. As Amber’s baptism approached, Satan stepped up his game and did all that he could to get Amber to turn back to her old ways.
Everything that could go against her did. Every possible doubt entered into her mind. She knew she needed another “turn.” The week before her baptism, she asked one of the ward members for a priesthood blessing. Through the spirit, this good brother in the ward was able to address every single one of her concerns, without being told in advance. With tears in everyone’s eyes, she stood up after the blessing and said, “OK, Let’s do this!” She was now ready to make her baptismal commitment. Her baptism and confirmation were perfect. Amber is one of my heroes. Her conversion was a direct result of her yielding her heart to Christ, and turning toward Him, and obeying the commandments. I hope to be her neighbor someday in the Celestial Kingdom! Conversion is real. Of this I testify!
Sister Chelsea Rozsa