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Is there a difference between having a testimony and being converted?
In Mosiah 5:1-7, we read about the conversion that the people had after listening to the powerful sermon given by King Benjamin. What is important however to understand is that conversion is a very personal experience, and everyone has different levels of conversion.
In a talk given by President Henry B. Eyring in 2015, he said:
"There is a difference between receiving a testimony of truth and being truly converted. For instance, the great Apostle Peter bore his witness to the Savior that he knew that Jesus was the Son of God.
The story of Alma the Younger and his conversion along with the Sons of Mosiah is an incredible one, but what is often is overlooked is the pain that Alma the older experienced with his wife. As a parent, and the prophet, Alma most likely tried his hardest to instill in his son the gospel of Jesus Christ and a testimony.
What we learn however is that even with the best Gospel filled home, to gain a testimony and be converted is a very personal thing and that the two are very different. For example:
One might have a testimony of tithing, meaning that they understand it's an important principle, but not be fully converted to it because possible application or some lack of understanding. This same person could however be converted to the teachings of the Book of Mormon and truly live by that. Being converted, like Christ said, requires a change in our life. This journey of conversion is one that each and every one of us will have to, or hopefully, go through.
President Eyring concluded his talk with this:
"The Lord described the journey this way: “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24).
I promise you that is possible for each of us."