Blast from the past: my conversion story

in Brian’s post below, Michelle asks me about my conversion story. I think this article explains it as well as I can.

Here is the key excerpt:

The moment my grandfather got up to offer the opening prayer, something happened to me. It was as if a small cloud floated down onto my body. I was suddenly infused with joy, pure joy. I remember looking around at the people in the chapel and feeling nothing but love for them. I felt a concentration of my senses and a keen reminder that I needed to listen carefully to the service.

Family members talked about the importance of baptism, and I found myself following their words as if my very life depended upon it. At one point, a speaker reminded people in the audience that everybody should be baptized, and I had to literally stop myself from getting up and declaring I wanted to be baptized.

The rest of the day I walked around in a kind of a daze. I was so happy, so at peace.

You need to read the entire article to understand this quotation in context. I hope you enjoy the story.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

10 thoughts on “Blast from the past: my conversion story

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » Blast from the past: my conversion story The Millennial Star --

  2. Ditto Michelle’s comment!

    While I was born into the Church, I consider myself converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and also felt a powerful witness when I obtained my own testimony of the Restoration.

    Thank you for sharing the link, Geoff.

  3. You should have gotten up and said you wanted to be baptized. That was the Holy Ghost energizing you to do that.

    Although the Spirit is often very strong in LDS meetings (sacrament, and other), we still often quench the Spirit when he tries to motivate us to do/say things that are outside of our mostly calm and formulaic traditions.

    The scriptures talk about meetings being conducted by people as they were led by the Holy Ghost. I think today’s local leaders would more often spontaneously call upon members to speak if members were more open themselves to going outside of the standard meeting pattern.

    Sacrament services are supposedly to be _mostly_ “by the book”, but the over-arching rule for the leadership is: “Do what the Spirit tells you.” Fast and Testimony meeting is the main place where members have opportunity to “get up and say what the Spirit tells you to say.” It’s amazing to me that more F&T meetings don’t turn into more like “open mike” night or free-for-alls. And by that I mean, it’s evidence to me that the Lord and his Spirit are in charge.

    Firesides and baptism services are even better opportunities than sacrament meeting for going outside the formula.

    I’m going to have to check and verify this with someone, but as far as I know, in a small and less-formal baptism service or fireside, at an appropriate breaking-point a member of the audience may raise their hand, and if the person conducting recognizes them to speak, they could ask permission if they could say something. The person conducting would look at the person presiding for approval.

    Firesides often have a period towards the end for questions/comments from the audience anyway.

  4. Book, at that point in my life I had no idea what the Holy Ghost was and what was going on with me.

    I am torn on the issue of speaking out during sac meeting. I think the Church manual clearly asks for sacrament meeting to be orderly. When I was on the high council, we were instructed to remind the bishops to discourage speakers from holding up signs or any other props during sacrament meeting to maintain reverence. So my take is that the Brethren want sacrament meeting to be what is, ie, a predictable, subdued meeting.

    I would like gospel doctrine and other Sunday school classes to be less formulaic, however. I like people to burst out with different thoughts and theories. It shows they are engaged and involved.

  5. Agreed on sacrament meeting. That has to be under the bishop’s (or a higher presiding authority, if present) very close control. I think I have seen bishop’s pass and recieve notes during sacrament, usually with one of the Aaronic priesthood acting as a runner. Our bishop sometimes has one of the boys sitting in the row behind him on the stand.

    The meeting where you felt moved to get up and say something was the baptismal service, right?

  6. Yeah. I was way too shy and unsure of myself to actually get up and say anything, but, come to think of it, it would have been well-received if I had, so I understand your point.

  7. Very powerful Geoff. God has a way of reclaiming his own. I have seen this before, an LDS descendant finding the way back. How is your step-son? I hope he continues to do well in overcoming addiction.

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