Monday, October 28, 2013

My conversion story -- by Ryan Ballif

My full conversion didn't happen until I actually came on my mission. I was raised in a Mormon family and my parents were active as well and are very faithful. I lived off my parents testimony for most of my life. I did what my parents told me to do and always went to church, but I was just going through the motions. 

When I got around the age of serving a mission my testimony started to get smaller and smaller to the point where I questioned whether or not I believed in the existence of a god. I started my mission papers because that's what you do in Utah. I turned in my papers and was called to the Nebraska Omaha Mission about a month later. 

During this time I still did not have a testimony of Jesus Christ or Heavenly Father. I still was just doing what people wanted me to do because of the social pressure. About 2 months before my date to go to the MTC was my lowest point where I proclaimed myself atheist. But I still went along with everything. Things started to improve with the help of my parents because I finally told them of my struggles and concerns. 

My testimony was just big enough to get me out of the car at the MTC. 

During the MTC my testimony continued to grow but I still had questions and concerns. Out in the mission field I still had questions and concerns but obviously I knew I needed to gain a testimony fast. This work can't be done without one. I had never read the Book of Mormon my entire life on my own but I decided now was the time. I started it in the MTC and finished it at about 5 months out. That strengthened my testimony greatly but I never got an overpowering, overwhelming experience. 

It wasn't until one night here where I started to have doubts again. I was thinking to myself "What am I doing?" "Am I just wasting my time?" I decided I needed to go to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I told Him I needed to know. I can't keep going on like this. Tell me right now if what I'm doing is not a waste of my time and if this work is true... I got my answer.

I know this work is true. I know this is Christ's restored Church, here on the earth again. Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. This Church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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