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Elder Joaquin E. Costa, General Authority Seventy

Speaking to “friends and investigators of the Church,” Elder Joaquin E. Costa, General Authority Seventy, shared four lessons he learned on the path to his conversion.

“I pray that your heart may be touched by the Spirit as was mine,” he said during the Sunday afternoon session.

First, meet the missionaries.

Elder Costa told of when he was a 24-year-old college graduate with a good job, dating a nice young woman. He had fallen in love with her and asked her to marry him.

“She spoke of her goals — of marrying only someone who could take her to the temple, of having an eternal family — and she declined my offer,” he said.

Since he loved the young woman he agreed to meet with the missionaries. At first, he did not understand much of what they said and admitted to not paying much attention. Elder Costa said he now, years later, recognizes the sacrifices of the missionaries and encouraged listeners to “please take them seriously.”

Second, Church attendance.

“The first time I attended a Church meeting, I heard many words that didn’t make any sense to me. … If this is the first time you have attended a Church meeting and you are feeling confused by something you don’t understand, do not worry,” he said. “I was clueless, too. But, I still remember the impressions, the new feelings of peace and joy I experienced. I did not know it then, but the Holy Ghost was whispering to my ears and to my heart, ‘This is right.’”

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Third, read the Book of Mormon.

“When you receive these things — the Book of Mormon — and you are exhorted to read and ask God if they are true, please just do it,” he said.

Fourth, repent.

“Experience repentance,” he said. “Nothing draws you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ than a desire to change. ...

“I testify to you that if you pay the price of revelation, humble yourself, pray and repent, the heavens will open and you will know, as I know, that Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior and He’s yours.”

mholman@desnews.com @marianne_holman

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