When I started seriously dating a man who wasn’t a member of my faith I had to ask myself, am I going to be okay marrying someone who doesn’t share my beliefs? That’s when I started actively sharing my faith with my then-boyfriend. Over the course of a year I took missionary lessons with him, read scriptures with him, and tried to share my own feelings about my faith with him. Ultimately he decided that he believed the same things I do, he converted to my faith, he proposed and I am now engaged to a wonderful man. However, it wasn’t a short or easy process and there were a few things I learned about being converted through my convert fiance.
I Don’t Have All of the Answers
My fiance had a lot of questions. He had questions about scripture, he had questions about the organization, he had questions about why we couldn’t live together before marriage. Those were all of the easy questions, the ones with the simple answers. Unfortunately, the most important questions that kept coming up were questions that I couldn’t answer. Namely, was he converting for the right reasons; was his family and friends going to support him; and did he actually believe everything he had been taught. I so desperately wanted to give him the answer that I wanted but I had to trust in my fiance’s connection with God and hope that everything would work out.
There’s No Template for Prayer
Growing up there was a kind of template for prayer. Each prayer was different but it needed order in each one to make it a “prayer” in my mind. When I first started praying with my fiance, I had to let go of that idea. His prayers did not follow a template or an order and sometimes I wanted to stop his prayer and fix it for him. However, my fiance realized something that I didn’t. The necessary elements to prayer are praying for the needs of yourself and others, giving thanks, and speaking with love and respect. He always invites a wonderful spirit with his prayers and I know that despite my OCD, God is still listening to him.
Conversion is a Lifelong Process
When I first started dating my fiance, I was going through a crisis of faith. I didn’t know if I believed but I knew that I wanted to believe in something. When I took missionary lessons with him, I was somewhat going through the process with him. Every time he learned about the commandments I learned something about the commandments too. Whenever we read scriptures together I learned more about the journeys that led ancient people to their faith. I realized that conversion is a process we go through every day. It isn’t a one time choice, it’s a lifetime of choices that keep us close to our faith.
I never could have imagined the lessons I would learn from sharing my faith. Conversion is a process. You won’t have all of the answers, it is a lifelong process but luckily, God is listening no matter the template of our prayers. If you are struggling with your faith I would encourage you to share it because it may bring some much needed clarity into your life.