Elder Giuffra mentioned that he–like Joseph Smith– began to have questions about religion at the age of 14. This is because of SCIENCE! Many studies have been done on the religious “plasticity” of teenagers. They are at a perfect age to gain their own testimonies because they are 1) trying to understand their personal identity separate from anyone else and 2) they are open to new ideas and concepts. It’s no surprise that both Joseph Smith and Elder Giuffra were converted in their teens!
Elder Giuffra mentioned three invitations that changed he and his mother’s lives: the invitation of his neighbor to Elder Giuffra to meet with the missionaries; the invitation of the missionaries to have the message shared in his own home with his mother present rather than meeting alone at a neighbor’s house; and the invitation of the scriptures to ask if the Book of Mormon is true. This is a powerful illustration of why being an example isn’t enough– we have to actively invite others to come to Christ!
The first two things that interested Elder Giuffra in the gospel were:
1) that the missionaries visiting his neighbor’s home looked “special” and
2) that his neighbor’s prayer seemed like real communication with God. Who we are on the inside is a sermon in itself. If we want to share the gospel powerfully we need to live it powerfully!
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