“President Kimball once called missionary work the lifeblood of the Church, and indeed it is. It’s not only because new converts give the Church vitality and strength, but the missionaries themselves gain a new measure of vitality and strength as they participate in the converts’ commitment to Christ.” (Link)
It is finally here: Time for hugs and stories. Today marks the 3rd Annual International Hug a Convert Day. You are probably already tired of seeing the little logo, but I promise you will be seeing a lot more of it over the course of the next week.
Several times a day, it will pop up on Facebook, or Twitter, or your reader, and each time there will be a new story for you to read. Each story represents someone finding, and accepting the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and then acting on it. I have so much admiration for those brothers and sisters who made the choice, and share in their joy.
Yes, I have been converted to the gospel too, but I was born in the church, and do not meet the church’s definition of “convert.” Which is this:
Converts should be baptized and confirmed when they have met the qualifications outlined in “Interview Instructions” in Handbook 1, 16.3.3.
Convert baptisms are defined as baptisms of (1) persons ages 9 and older who have never been baptized and confirmed and (2) children age 8 whose parents are not members or are being baptized and confirmed at the same time as the children.
So, let’s make today, and this week, about those who chose to join the church. New and old alike. I have a special fondness for my ancestors who were the first to accept the gospel and join the church, as far back as 1830. They set their posterity on a wonderful path, and I am the beneficiary. I hope to hug them one day, too.
• You will see 3-5 conversion stories posted every day between now and next Sunday. The schedule is full, so if you are late, get ready for next year!
• I will be accepting readers comments on the stories, but I will screen them before I post them. And they had better be kind, and supportive – or they won’t see the light of day. Please be respectful on the Facebook and Twitter links as well.
• The stories are published as written. I have done very little – if any – editing. Please don’t get nit-picky with punctuation and writing issues. Being a fabulous writer is not a requirement for baptism.
• These are sacred stories, and I am honored to be able to share them with so many of you. Thanks to those who submitted them, and thanks to all of you for reading, and sharing them.