The Confessions of Saint Augustine tells of the events and life choices that Saint Augustine made through his life which eventually led him to converting to Christianity. This was not an easy or quick process for Saint Augustine, just as many members of the LDS church spend a great deal of time truly converting to the gospel. Saint Augustine’s conversion and also LDS members’ process of becoming truly converted, shares many similarities. Both involve trials, growing from those trials, an ongoing process, and a significant change. In order to understand the importance of what becoming truly converted means to a Mormon, there must be distinguishing factors between this and just being a convert to the Mormon Church.
One who is a “convert” is someone who is changing their ways in order to live the standards of the gospel and to be baptized into the church. As the word implies, conversion literally means, “the act or process of changing from one form, state, to another” (“conversion”). The Bible Dictionary, in the King James version, says that conversion, “denotes changing one’s views, in a conscience acceptance of the will of God.” It goes on to say, “Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing” (Bible Dictionary 650). Bonnie Oscarson, the LDS Young Women General President, said that, “true conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of the gospel principles and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create, ‘a mighty change in us, or our heart’” (“Be Ye Converted”). The difference between being converted and complete or true conversion could mean that the one is making the gospel of Jesus Christ an influence in one’s life and the other is making the gospel the very core of what they are.
Augustine faced different struggles and trials throughout his life, especially with his inability to accept Christianity for a long time. His mother, Saint Monica, instructed him in the Christian religion since he was a young boy. She deeply cared about his faith. Later when Augustine left for Rome, his mother followed with the hope and goal to convert Augustine to Christianity (“Saint Augustine”). She also remarked later on in Augustine’s life, “One thing there was, for which I desired to linger a little while in this life, that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. God has granted this to me in more than abundance, for I see you his servant” (Ryan 165). Even though he had been raised in a Christian setting and sat in on Saint Ambrose’s sermons, Augustine still wasn’t fully convinced enough to change his life and convert.
All people face struggles and LDS members’ aren’t exempt from them. Many times these trials can be struggling with their faith. Neil Andersen, an apostle of the LDS church says, “We treasure our faith, work to strengthen our faith, pray for increased faith, and do all within our power to protect and...