Thanks for your input, now I have a follow-up question, and actually could use a little advice on this one.
Currently I am a seminary student at a Baptist seminary, my studies are in the area of evangelism and church growth. I only have three semesters left and feel that my education would prove valuable even in the Mormon world. My problem is that if I were to “convert” (for lack of better terms) I would probably not be allowed to continue with my education. This is a masters degree that I have worked hard on since 1995 and look forward to getting soon. But once again, I want to seek Him above all things, would it be wrong to “muffle” my beliefs in order to finish with school and then follow in His will?
I’m sure that the masters degree would be a valuable asset to you regardless of what your religious preference would be. So I’m sure that it’s not something that you would or should give up lightly. I also feel sure that being true and faithful to the word of God is very important to you; hence the dilemma.
Let’s assume for the moment that you were to receive from the Lord a conviction that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed on the earth, that the holy priesthood, with its attendant authority to act in an official capacity in God’s name, had been restored by angelic beings to the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and that the Mormon Church is indeed the kingdom of God on the earth. The blessings inherent in God’s kingdom are so marvelous and far reaching, that one would not hesitate a minute to be baptized for the remission of his sins and to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a spiritual guide to his life.
Then comes the question, should I reveal this to the seminary authorities? When we are baptized we make a covenant with the Father that we will take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, that we will obey His commandments, and that we will remain true and faithful all the days of our lives. The first question I believe I might ask myself is, what would the Savior do in a circumstance like this? It is doubtful that he would hide his light under a bushel. So, I imagine that you would reveal your actions to those of concern. (I would suggest that such a revelation be made after the fact. If you declare your intentions to the authorities of another religion, they will naturally do all they can to dissuade you from making what in their eyes would be a grievous mistake, and not permitting you to continue to pursue your degree there would be an obvious tool to dissuade you from your decision.)
If you went to them after the fact, there would be a greater probability that they would allow you to finish your degree. Let’s assume that the authorities would not permit you to continue your education there. First, you might find out how many of your credits would be acceptable at other schools– State Universities, or one of the Mormon Church schools, such as the Brigham Young University or BYU Idaho.
In a worst-case scenario, let’s assume that none of your schooling were transferable to another institution. Having thought through this contingency before your baptism, you would demonstrate to the Lord that you loved Him more than the world. The fact that you would be willing to sacrifice something that obviously means much to you, would be an application of the law of sacrifice, with its attendant rich blessings. The prophet Joseph Smith had this to say on the subject–
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life” (Lectures on Faith, p. 58.)