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Conviction, 2 Nephi 3:16

2 Nephi 3:16

I am trying to understand where conviction comes from. In this verse quoted of Joseph of Egypt, he says, "I am sure of this thing." I have jogged the halls of my memory to find a talk of President Faust's where he quotes the classic English poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley. Henley penned this poem in a crippled state.

The poem in is entirety is published online at . I reprint it here:

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Obedience increases conviction. One of our insightful missionaries shared in our sacrament meeting today a simple thought that has stayed with me: Obedience increases our ability to be member missionaries.

President Hinckley discussed this idea of conviction:

Some time ago I read the newspaper report of the remarks of a prominent journalist. He is quoted as having said, “Certitude is the enemy of religion.” The words attributed to him have stirred within me much reflection. Certitude, which I define as complete and total assurance, is not the enemy of religion. It is of its very essence.

Certitude is certainty. It is conviction. It is the power of faith that approaches knowledge—yes, that even becomes knowledge. It evokes enthusiasm, and there is no asset comparable to enthusiasm in overcoming opposition, prejudice, and indifference. (“Faith: The Essence of True Religion,” Ensign, Oct 1995, 2)

Conviction, then is the power of faith. If conviction comes of faith, it is true and becomes the substance of knowledge. Faith is conviction, or the assurance of things hoped for and not seen.

I can have a conviction of the American dream and the ideals that informed that dream, because they are good and true. I can have conviction of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Christ, because these are true principles that will lead me to salvation in the kingdom of my God. I can be completely convicted of the destiny of this work, because of the witness of prophets and the Holy Spirit regarding it.