A few years ago I wrote a 15 page essay on this topic. The following is a story from that work that I like. If you are interested in the other 14 pages let me know.
Two Months ago one of the authors had the opportunity to visit Mexico. While visiting the ancient Zapotec site of Monte Alban, I stopped at a hotel in Oaxaca, about a day’s trip south of Mexico City. As one of the hotel workers helped me with my bags, he asked where I was from. When I replied "Utah," he asked if I was LDS. His name was Rene, and he, too, was LDS…
He was a wonderful young man, who was always kind and gracious. We visited his home and invited his family to dinner, during which Rene’s mother told us the story of her conversion. Their family is pureblooded Zapotec Indians. In traditional Mexican society, Indian peoples are usually oppressed, lacking social status and political and economic power. Many live in extreme poverty with almost no education. Although things have improved somewhat in recent years, Native Americans are still an underclass in much of Mexico.
Twenty years ago, Rene’s mother and father were living in a small two-room house on the outskirts of Oaxaca. They had two small children and a third on the way, but had never been formally married. In his despair, the father had become an alcoholic, contracting a terrible plague that afflicts many poor Mexicans. One day, two LDS missionaries knocked on their door. Rene’s mother answered, and was mildly interested in their message, but said they would have to return when her husband was home. When the missionaries came back, the father refused to have anything to do with them. But he allowed his wife to listen to the discussions. A few days later, when the missionaries were visiting, the husband was sick in bed from overindulgence. The wife asked the missionaries to give him a blessing. He was not only healed but touched by the Spirit; within two weeks they were both baptized.
Although it took the father a number of years to fully recover from alcoholism, their lives were completely transformed. Today, twenty years later, Rene’s family is still poor, but it is not a poverty of degradation and despair, "we are poor in material things, but rich in the spirit, as Rene’s mother put it. They have hope and purpose not only in this life but in the future life as well…The father is now the bishop of a ward in Oaxaca…all of their children have finished or are attending high school, and several are going to college; Rene is working toward a degree in computer science. All of this because two missionaries knocked on the door of a poverty-stricken family whose mother asked the missionaries to give a blessing to her alcoholic husband.
Of course, different versions of this story occur thousands of times a year throughout the world. Yet this should not blind us to the miraculous nature of what happened to Rene’s family. Such events emphasize the essence of religion, which is its capacity to change the human soul—to cause people to be born of the Spirit. The life-transforming reality of such experiences is what gives religion its continuing power and influence in the world today, despite ongoing predictions by secularists of its imminent demise. (William J. Hamblin and Daniel C. Peterson "Higher Things" LDSWORLD GEMS Feb. 15, 2001)