How was Saul converted from persecutor to proclaimer of the teachings of Jesus?
But the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, stirred up the scribes against the disciples of Jesus.
And the highest ones persecuted the disciples, treated them with scorn, imprisoned and punished them. And some of the friends and disciples of Jesus were put to death even; for they would not deny their faith, would not fail their Brother and Master.
And among the scribes there was a learned man whose name was Saul.
Saul was pious, was highly learned in the law, and in his heart was sorely angered over the new teaching. He disdained all the apostates, persecuted them and put many obstacles in their way.
When the highest ones saw his great zeal they chose him as an envoy, for they had much faith in him.
And they bade him go to the distant city of Damascus, for the new teaching had reached there also.
And they sent him with greetings and a letter from the Council in Jerusalem to all the highest ones in Damascus, and they instructed him to make certain that the disciples of Jesus in this city were imprisoned and punished; for in this way they thought to prevent any further progress of the new teaching.
Saul promised to do their bidding, and he chose some companions and they set forth on their journey.
But the way was long and arduous, and Saul had much time to think upon that which he had heard of the Nazarene. And often in his thoughts he repeated many of the fine and tender words of Jesus.
Slowly, anger and hatred receded from his heart.
And gradually arose in him the thought that the words of the Nazarene were true, that he was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah they had all awaited.
But he dared not fully believe in these thoughts, and he tried to push them away; but they always returned to torment him. And he pondered often and deeply on all that he had heard, whilst his companions wondered at his silence.
When they were come near to the city, he was much fatigued and felt exceeding weak; for the sun glowed upon their heads and the white dust of the road burned their eyes.
Saul and his companions rested a while at the roadside, and sleep overcame his weary body; but his spirit was awake.
And behold, Jesus of Nazareth stood before him in all his radiant glory.
But his countenance was sorrowful. And he said: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
For while Saul's body was asleep, Jesus came thus to his spirit to stay, if possible, his evil conduct—for Saul was of the Youngest.
When Saul’s spirit saw his brother and knew him, he was struck with horror over the evil he had done.
And his fear woke his slumbering body.
And by the sudden awakening he kept a faint image in his remembrance of the glory that he had seen, while the words of Jesus echoed in his ears.
But when he arose he was in yet more horror, for his eyes were blinded, and all was darkness about him.
In his fear he called out to his companions, and he said to them that the radiance around Jesus of Nazareth had blinded his eyes; but they understood him not.
When they saw that he ailed and was weak, they led him into the city to a place where he might rest in quiet. And when they had tended him for some days his eyes grew stronger, and he was again able to see; for it was the sun and the dust of the road that for a time had blinded him.
But Saul understood that God had called upon him through Jesus of Nazareth so as to prevent him from following the wrong paths.
And in his heart he pledged to both that he would himself in times to come proclaim the teaching he had up until then opposed.
And Saul became a mighty warrior for Jesus of Nazareth.