Elder Malm Speaks on the Role of the Spirit in Conversion

Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer

  • 28 January 2015

Elder Per G. Malm speaks to couples attending the 2015 Seminar for New MTC Presidents and Visitors' Center Directors on January 14, 2015.  Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.

Article Highlights

  • The Light of Christ is given to everyone and is essential in the process of conversion.

“We must understand and recognize the Spirit of Christ has an impact that we perceive from the beginning of conversion.” —Elder Per G. Malm of the Seventy

Conversion could be thought of as a process along a continuum that includes experiencing the Spirit of Christ, feeling the confirming power of the Holy Ghost, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, being endowed with spiritual gifts, and feeling the assurance expressed in the Savior’s words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” Elder Per G. Malm said.

Elder Malm of the Seventy led a discussion on January 14 with couples attending the 2015 Seminar for New MTC Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors. His topic was “the role of the Spirit in conversion.”

“We must understand and recognize the Spirit of Christ has an impact that we perceive from the beginning of conversion,” he said.

Noting that the Light of Christ is given to everyone, Elder Malm cited Doctrine and Covenants 93:39 to show that there are two key reasons why the light begins to dim in the hearts of some people: the evil one comes to take away the light, and disobedience and traditions diminish the light.

“And because this happens and is so common in the lives of individuals, missionaries and teachers are sent to rekindle the recognition of the Light of Christ,” Elder Malm said.

He cited 3 Nephi 7:18, which refers to the ministry of the prophet Nephi and states that some people were angry with him because of his power and that due to his faith in Christ, it was not for them to disbelieve his words.

“Did he connect to the Spirit of Christ that was in them in such a way that they were reminded of truth?” Elder Malm asked. “Absolutely. Your calling, my calling, and the calling of each missionary is to obtain that convincing power so that it is not possible for those we teach to disbelieve our words. Now, were they all converted? No. They were kind of angry with him.”

He cited Doctrine and Covenants 11:21, wherein Christ admonishes those who declare His words to first obtain His word, and then their tongues will be loosed so that if they desire they will have convincing power.