For more information on this topic read “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” by Neil L. Andersen, Ensign, May 2010, 108–12.
In our world today, each [person] needs his or her own conversion to the truth. Each needs his or her own light, his or her own “steadfast and immovable” faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Ensign, May 2010, 108–12.)
“I Will Follow God’s Plan,” Children’s Songbook, p. 164.
And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
Show a birth certificate of a family member and ask if they know what it is. Can anyone have two of these? Then show a baptismal certificate and ask how it might be considered a second birth certificate. Invite a member of your family to read John 3:3–7 and ask your family to look for what might have been on Nicodemus’s mind. Ask:
- What does it mean to be “born again”? (See Alma 5:14; Mosiah 27:24–29.)
- How can a person be born of the water (baptized) but not born of the Sprit?
Share the following by Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “Church members are not born again by the mere fact of baptism alone; rather, after baptism, they must so live as to experience a ‘mighty change’ in their hearts.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:142.)
Share an experience in your life when you felt a change of heart or spiritual rebirth. Explain that the process of spiritual rebirth happens over time. Testify that the sacrament allows a wonderful time to recommit one’s self to following God. Encourage family members to always seek for a change of heart by becoming a little better each day.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006], p. 116.)
The "mighty change" of heart (Alma 5:14) is a process that takes varying amounts of time for different people. Let me tell you about a man I will call Sasha to protect his personal privacy. He is a man in his early forties who describes himself as having previously been a very hard, cynical man.
Sasha's cynicism came from his background, which he describes in detail:
“I was born in the north of Russia, in a worker's family in a small town. I spent my childhood and youth in a place where many criminals had been deported, as well as soldiers who had been captured and accused of treason. Cruel and wild morals reigned there.
I learned that a strong man always rules and a weak man always submits. My years of studying in an institute confirmed this statement. Three years of working in a colony of a special regime for dangerous criminals amazed me. I saw and heard unbelievable things. Now it is hard for me to understand how a man could do such things.
I did not wait for help from anybody, and I also did not help anybody, either. I often thought about the question of the meaning of life. What do we live for? I asked everybody about that, but nobody could answer me. People were busy with their own problems.”
One evening two young missionaries met Sasha on the street of a city where he still resides. They asked whether he believed in God. He continues:
“I was confused. I knew from my experience that when someone comes to you in the darkness and asks for ten kopecks, your answer does not matter much, because there is going to be a fight within a
minute or two. Earlier, I had considered religious believers to be mentally sick people, and yet these young men seemed like quite normal people.
I agreed to make an appointment with the missionaries. Oh, I tortured them so much! I asked them many silly, cynical questions, and I even supposed that they were agents of the CIA.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!), I had lost my job then and had time to read the Book of Mormon and the Bible all day long. The experience of reading these two books of scripture hour after hour, day after day, completely transformed my life. I found the truth. As I met with these wonderful young men, my cynicism gradually but fully dissolved. In our meetings and through my personal reading of the scriptures day after day, I became a new person, with a new outlook on the world.
Since my baptism and the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost, I have committed to our Heavenly Father that I will always try to help lift others throughout the rest of my life. As Alma explained [see Mosiah 18:8-10], when I accepted baptism I promised to be a comfort and a strength to others. And I will.”
Sasha is a dedicated servant of the Lord who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood. He is a man who shows great love to others. He now manages a new private company in his city.
(Howard L. Biddulph, The Morning Breaks: Stories of Conversion and Faith in the Former Soviet Union, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996].)
Give each family member an old magazine or newspaper, a blank piece of paper, and some glue (younger children can be paired with an older family member). Ask each person to think of a word or phrase that describes the changes that can happen after a person has been converted. Have them find and cut out the letters to spell this word in the magazine. Then paste them onto the blank paper. After everyone is done, have them share their words.
1⁄2 c. butter
1 1⁄2 c. sugar
1⁄2 c. canned milk
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
Combine eggs, butter, sugar, milk, salt, and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients. Roll dough into a triangle, and cut through dough to make long strips. Cut across strips diagonally to form smaller diamond shapes. Cut a slit in the center of each diamond shape. Pull the bottom corner through the cut in the center to make a twist. Deep fry the twists until light golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or eat plain.
(Elaine Cannon, 5 Star Recipes from Well-known Latter-day Saints, [Salt Lake City: Eagle Gate, 2002], p. 189.)
Click here for a printable pdf file.