Nurture, love new members, `they leave much behind'

Experience conversion process

Be an example- Reach out to those who wander

Every member must be a fellowshipper - nurturing and caring for fully active members, new members and less-active members alike - said Elder Robert D. Hales Sunday afternoon.

Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve said there is a conversion process that each son or daughter of God must experience if they are to help others return into His presence.

The first seeds of conversion, he said, begin with an awareness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a desire to know the truth concerning the restored Church.

"We come out of the world into the kingdom of God. In the conversion process we experience repentance which brings about humility and a broken heart and contrite spirit preparing us for baptism, remission of sins, and receiving the Holy Ghost," Elder Hales explained. "Then, over time and through our faithfulness, we overcome trials and tribulations and endure to the end."

Elder Hales recalled the things that the first members of the Church left behind to come to Zion.

"It is no different today," Elder Hales added. "When one comes out of the world into the kingdom of God, they leave much behind them."

After baptism, Elder Hales said, a new member must learn how to become a "fellow citizen" with the Saints in the Church through study, prayer, and most important, member example. "As testimony grows, we become more and more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we follow Him, we commit ourselves to serve Him by serving others."

Elder Hales explained that the Church is growing rapidly. New members, he said, "join the Church with great faith, with a testimony of Jesus Christ, with love in their hearts, and then they face the realities of reordering their lives to reflect the Lord's will."

Comparing new members to seeds that need good soil to grow, Elder Hales said some members - who don't receive a warm hand of fellowship - may become discouraged and lose the Spirit that brought them to the Church.

He asked members to ponder the sorrow of losing one soul.

"That is what the Lord feels. It is what our prophet feels, and that is what I hope that you and I can feel so that we can show a determination to nurture those who have experienced the joys of feeling the Spirit, being baptized, gaining a testimony, and are in the process of overcoming trials and tribulations and achieving an enduring conversation that will last eternally."

He told members that they must reach out to those who wander.

"Conversion requires consecrating our lives to caring and serving others who need our help and to sharing our gifts and talents. . . .

The LordT said, feed my sheep and my lambs. Help them survive this world, keep them close to you and lead them to safety - the safety of righteous choices that will prepare them for eternal life."

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