Alonzo Gaskill was a young adult convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Greek Orthodox faith. His experience in changing religious commitment was a profound part of his early life and has influences all that has happened since.
For his recent book “Converted,” Gaskill invited other converts to the LDS faith to share stories of how they were introduced to and changed by the doctrines of the Mormon faith, and the effects that change had on their lives. This book is a compilation of the stories he collected.
The stories of conversion come from a varied group of religious believers, including himself and an atheist. Beginning with a man raised in the Amish faith and touching a number of other mainstream and lesser-known groups including Buddhists, Hinduists, Jews, Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans, stories are shared that explain the process and thoughts as the religious believer searched for greater truth.
Each person has a different reason and method for testing the truths of the LDS Church, but the final outcome for each is baptism and conversion to the faith. Gaskill is careful to allow each person to express individual thoughts but also includes a short summary of principles that helped in the search for truth.
Some of the stories are simple and others are detailed in their descriptions. Each reflects the experiences of finding a new faith and the attendant consequences. The additions made by the compiler are generally relevant, but a few seem to stretch principles of the gospel a bit. Overall, the stories and experiences are enjoyable and give readers a platform to understand things that affect missionary efforts among other faiths.
Alonzo Gaskill is a professor of LDS Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University and, in his youth, served as an altar boy in the Greek Orthodox Church.
Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.