August 15, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen
Brother Nathan Relken taught students about the blessings of true conversion during a BYU-Idaho Devotional on Tuesday, July 15.
He quoted from prophets and scriptures about conversion, including Ether 12:4, "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better word, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." Then said why this is important to him.
"This surety of hope is what keeps me buoyed up, when I may experience times of physical pain, mental anguish or just temporal disappointment," Relken said. "I cleave to that surety of hope and the Lord quickly brings to my heart, mind and countenance to a place of joy and peace. I long for others to be able to experience that same type of rescue, where the Lord's spirit transforms and repositions us towards an eternal perspective."
He told BYU-Idaho Radio what he hopes students get out of his message.
"I hope that they will really realize that if they do take the time and they do pray and contemplate about the blessings of true conversion, that they will begin to see those things and they'll start to see that they have blessings all around them," he said.
Using his own experiences with conversion, Brother Relken talked about the blessings he received after he found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his early twenties. After years of small and simple experiences with the Church, including watching an interview between Larry King and President Gordon B. Hinckley, Relken finally found the missionaries and was baptized a short time later.
He met his wife at his baptism and they were married a soon after.
During the devotional he even had his wife get up and talk about the experience of meeting him and hearing him speak at his baptism, which she said was unusual.
"And while he was shaking all over like a leaf - you could physically see him shaking - there was that surety in his voice, there was that boldness in his voice, and I knew by listening to him this is someone who recognized the truth and is ready to live the truth," said Joanna Relken. "It's like the spirit whispered to me, this is what you've been looking for. And no the spirit wasn't telling me about him the person, that would come later, it was telling me of that surety, that boldness, that's what I had been looking for."
While Relken's experience with finding the church and conversion is unique, he says, the outcome of reliance on the Lord is not and can be found and felt by anyone.
"We all have this same opportunity," Relken said. "We must seek to be truly converted unto the Lord, and in doing so, we will experience the power of true conversion, and we will receive countless blessings."
You can listen to the full devotional below.