So that we don’t start as big as the universe, I’d like to just create a little framework for
our discussion tonight and then
when I’m finished with that
we’re going to invite you toshare with us your most pressing questions. And we’l
l put them up on the board, here,
and we’ll try to prioritize them
give our very best responses to yourquestions in, hopefully,
a very productive discussion format. And we’ll go until you get
tired or we get tired, but not too long tonight.
Let’s just see if we can agree that this is the world that we live in. Maybe I could even
call this, just to give it a little more framework, the conversion process. How is it thatsomeone ever becomes converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?Well, after years of experience with this, brothers and sisters, it typically begins with aperson who is a seeker. Three hundred thousand people a year join our church throughthe missionary effort and most of those people receive a letter from their mission
president once they’re baptized that asks them to talk about their conversion. I would
wager that 90% of those people say that they were seeking, they were looking for adifferent life. Often, you notice in Sweden, we baptize people who have moved all overthe country, who have divorce or a death or are down on their luck in some way. That
lead President Hinckley once to say, “I don’t know how the missionaries find some of the people they find.” He said, “the FBI can’t find them, the police can’t find them, butour missionaries find them” [laughter]. Why is that? They’re looking. They’re looking.
And it is the poor, often, that are looking.What is there in our universe, brothers and sisters, that drives or impels or motivates
people to come toward truth. Can you think of something doctrinally? Maybe I’ll just say
we won’t take time to make this a discussion. But we know there is a light
or a spirit
of Christ that is at work in our universe. It’s spoken of in Section 84. It’s spoken of in
Moroni 7. It is a spirit that is born into the heart of every person who ever comes toearth and it says in Moroni that it invites and entices and persuades people to do good
and come unto Christ. Some have called this the universal conscience. It’s somethingthat brings a seeker toward truth, and I think we’ve all felt that in our
lives. It’s nothingunique to the Church. It’s just out there for everybody, and it does create in the world, I
think, a sort of universal morality.
On the other hand, there is another spirit. It’s the spirit of the d
a couplescriptures here
I would like to read a scripture on this one. It is spoken of in Moroni 7.
If you’ve got your scriptures, you might want to turn to the seventh chapter of Moroni.It says in verse 16, “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may
know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto the way to judge; for every thing whichinviteth to do good, and persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift
of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.” That’s t
hemind of Christ, the Spirit of Christ bringing us toward truth, bringing us toward God,bringing us toward Christ.
Verse 17, however, says, “But whatsoever thing persuadeth
men to do evil, and believe not in Chirst, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may