Honolulu Hawaii Mission Fireside: Commitment leads to conversion

Written by: 
Geena DeMaio

The Honolulu Hawaii Mission and the Laie community paired up to promote missionary work and personal conversion in a fireside given by President James Bekker at the Laie Temple Visitor’s Center on Sunday, March 11. The Honolulu Hawaii Mission president told the audience, “Becoming converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ means we become committed. Conversion leads to commitment.”


Bekker opened the event by welcoming the crowd and highlighting its diversity. “I hope that we are all studying about the gospel of Jesus Christ. … We have investigators here tonight. Some of us are new members of the church. Some of us have been members for a long time. It doesn’t matter where we are or what path, we are all on that path, and it’s important that we keep moving forward.”


He explained the distinction between the gospel and the church. “There’s a big difference between studying the gospel of Jesus Christ and studying about the church. The church is an organization that helps us live the gospel.”


Bekker proposed a reflective question to those at the fireside. “Are we just going through the motions in life, or are we becoming converted?”  Bekker outlined three main ways to become converted: ask with real intent, follow promptings, and follow up and act on those promptings. “I promise you it will work if you ask with real intent, if you follow the promptings, and if you are willing to do what you are asked to do, even if you have to stand alone. ... It will be worth it to know your Father in Heaven, to know your Savior, Jesus Christ, to become converted to the gospel.”


Jemesa Snuka, the ward mission leader for the Temple Beach YSA Ward, said, “Our commitment is important to being converted because we show how much we love Heavenly Father, how we respect the atonement, and through our commitment we show how much our covenants mean to us.”


Snuka continued, “When people have a way to gage how committed they are, it helps them to understand how much further and deeper their conversion can be when they are committed to a goal or aspect of the gospel, [such as] missionary work.”


Elder Stephen Allen, director of the Visitor’s Center, explained how missionary work in Laie can inspire conversion globally because of the North Shore’s diverse population.“We as members of the church in Laie ought not to see boundaries in Laie or on the North Shore as boundaries, because this community is more international per capita than most.”


Allen is a former missionary department managing director at LDS Church headquarters who supervised the development of missionary tools such as “Preach My Gospel,” “The First Twelve Weeks,” and the instructional series “District One.” Allen continued, “The missionary purpose applies to all God’s children. His message is universal to all people in all places at all times.”


Bekker concluded the fireside with his testimony: “In this beautiful land of Hawaii, we couldn’t be anywhere more beautiful to be gathered together on a Sunday evening. The Spirit of our Father is here. I have felt it. I know He lives. I know you feel it in your hearts as well. I pray we can be on that path, that covenant path, and that we can follow the Savior and become converted.”

Date Published: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2018