Repentance is the “root of real conversion,” taught Elder Jorge F. Zeballos at the 2017 Seminar for New MTC Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors held Jan. 10-12.
A General Authority Seventy and a convert, Elder Zeballos spoke of the joy repentance brought to his own life as he accepted the gospel and an invitation to be baptized. Repentance allowed him to experience real conversion.
Missionaries, he said, should count repentance among the most fundamental principles that they will teach their investigators to help them also realize true conversion. Repentance is at the core of the doctrinal purpose of missionary work.
“Baptism is always preceded by repentance,” he said.
Elder Zeballos asked the MTC presidents and visitors’ center directors and their wives to consider how repentance is defined in the missionary guide Preach My Gospel:
“Our faith in Christ and our love for Him lead us to repent, or to change our thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that are not in harmony with His will. Repentance includes forming a fresh view of God, ourselves, and the world. When we repent, we feel godly sorrow, then we stop doing things that are wrong and continue doing things that are right.
“Bringing our lives in line with God’s will through repentance is a central purpose of our lives. We can return to live with God the Father only through Christ’s mercy, and we receive Christ’s mercy only on condition of repentance” (Preach My Gospel, p. 62).
Elder Zeballos said Alma spoke of the “mighty change” of heart he experienced when he repented. That life-changing event brought about Alma’s true conversion.
“This mighty change not only helps a person to change their thoughts, but all aspects of their life,” he said.
It is a missionary’s essential duty to deliver the message of repentance to the people he or she teaches. Investigators who make the choice to repent and be baptized experience true conversion.
A true conversion, he added, includes faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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