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March 4, 2019

“Exhaustive Research: The creation of a starter testimony” by: Tyler Haas

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies — admin @ 3:23 am

I was fortunate as a youth to be surrounded by men who lived and loved the gospel. My father was a convert to the church, went to BYU shortly after being baptized at the age of 18 and served a full time mission just a year later. He is the kindest most loving man and is has been the biggest influence on the development of my own testimony than anyone else save the Holy Ghost. My grandfather is a mountain of a man spiritually speaking. He was the stake patriarch and temple sealer nearly my whole life and having been named after him I have tried to live up to the standard he set. He is the person for me that demonstrates what it means to love as Christ does. I always feel the love of the Savior when I’m around him. As if that weren’t enough I also have two uncles that had a major influence on me throughout my life. One has been the bishop or in a bishopric more times than I can count. The other a historic baseball coach and influential community member that is the epitome of “letting your light so shine before men that they may glorify your God in Heaven”.

With these sorts of influences around me I felt at a young age a desire to know what they knew. The common thread among all of them is they lived and loved the gospel and made it a central part of who they were. I wanted to have the same level of conviction they had. I began to think a lot about this when I received the priesthood as a deacon but it didn’t really reach its breaking point until I was about 14.

I remember thinking that I was about the same age as the prophet Joseph Smith was when he received his big revelation about the church. That year I had planned on participating in TREK. An “opportunity” to experience what the latter-day saint pioneers did when they trekked across the country to the Salt Lake Valley. Knowing this was coming up I decided that I would come away from the experience knowing one way or the other what I believed. 

The first day of the TREK was grueling. We marched for 14 hours through the mountains of Washington state pulling handcarts in teams of 6 all while eating almost no food. I’m pretty confident this would constitute child abuse by today’s standards. When we finally stopped we were all exhausted and I just wanted to sleep. But I had committed to finding out about the truthfulness of what I had been taught. I busted out the Book of Mormon from my pack and started reading. This was the first time I had read the book from cover to cover and I thought if I did I would for sure know whether it came from God. I stayed up all night read first and second nephi, enos, jarom, omni, mosiah and the first part of Alma. At the end of the night I knew the church was true right? Nope. I didn’t experience anything that resembled what I thought would happen.

The troup set out the next morning for more painfully exhausting hiking. We actually didn’t hike as long this time only about 8 hrs or so. But as it turns out the human body doesn’t do so well on no sleep after a 14 hr hike and only eating 1 orange and a cup of broth. So this next day was way worse than the first. When we stopped for the day. I was experiencing exhaustion like I never had before but I was determined to find the answers I was looking for. 

I again opened up my scriptures and continued reading. The rest of Alma, Helaman, third and 4th nephi, Mormon, Ether and Moroni. By this time I had to have a testimony right? Wrong again. I had stayed up two nights straight all while walking 22 hrs in 2 days. What more did I have to do? 

At the end of TREK there was a testimony meeting. I DID NOT plan on bearing my testimony. To be honest I was pissed. My feeling at the time was that if it was true I for sure would’ve known by now. Had all the men I looked up to been tricked? If not what was I missing? It was a confusing day for me. Thankfully during the meeting the spirit had time to work on me. I felt a prompting to say a few words. And without knowing what the heck I was doing or what I was going to say I started walking up to the front of the group.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what I said. I do remember however that for the first time I felt the love of Christ. It was powerful and special. And so I did what any self respecting 14 yr old boy would do. I wept. I wept because I had never felt anything like this and IT FELT GOOD.

That was my baby starter testimony. Through the years it has grown and it has shrunk at different times. But one thing I know is that the more I read the Book of Mormon the more I feel God’s love. Its miraculous and it’s unexplainable. I cannot put into words how it feels when I’m reading the Book of Mormon and feel engulfed in the Love of Christ. But I do know that if I need to feel that feeling it can be found in more abundance there than anywhere else outside of the temple. 

I challenge you to read every day. Even if you can only read a verse or a couple words just do what you can. I know that it will bring more peace and joy into your life than anything else you can do. You will feel the love of your Savior. And you will begin to be like him. You will see others as he sees them and you will live a happier more purpose filled life.

February 25, 2019

“My Testimony of the Book of Mormon” by: Joe H. Ferguson

Filed under: Book of Mormon,Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies — admin @ 3:39 am

How did I acquire a testimony of the Book of Mormon? I have not acquired it. I am in the process of acquiring it. Because the more I read it and the more I see of life, the more convinced I am that it is true. In my still-maturing testimony, I am constantly reinforcing my testimony by two processes: (1) by proving and (2) by disproving. My testimony involves faith, but it is not by faith alone.

In my 50 years of private, U.S. Air Force and commercial airline flying around this country and the world, I have made it a practice to observe, in each nation that I have visited, the culture of the people, the governments and the religions of those nations. (I also happened to take notice of a few good-looking girls) I know of no nation where the doctrine or the organization of any church equals or even approaches that of the doctrine and the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If there were, I believe I would be aware of it. 

One thing that convinces me that the Book of Mormon is true, and is what it claims to be, is the examination of the criticisms waged against it. All such criticisms that I have seen are very shallow. There are thousands of people and many powerful forces who (that) would like to disprove the Book of Mormon.  Some claim it was written by Joseph Smith. Nonsense!  A 15 year old uneducated farm boy?  Some claim it was written by some professor. Nonsense! There is not now nor was there then a professor with enough brains to write the Book of Mormon!!!By the process of elimination, only one claim stands valid as to the origin of the book of Mormon. And that it was transcribed on gold plates and later delivered to Joseph Smith by Moroni. 

On the positive side, the Holy Ghost must play a part. I do not possess the natural intelligence to be able to make such a determination on intelligence alone. (And I am smarter than at least half of the people in this country.)  One very important factor that convinces me of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is its explanation of secret combinations of the devil and the great and abominable church of the devil. From independent study, I have come to be aware of the existence, power and tactics of these entities and, to some extent, the identities of some of the people and organizations involved. They are very, very real. And they are definitely inspired by the Devil. Their ideology is the exact opposite of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Any church that would be the church of Jesus Christ would warn its members of these satanic, soul-destroying powers. The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants do this. I know of no doctrine of any other church that does so. 

The more I read the Book of Mormon, the more I become convinced of its veracity and legitimacy.   It certainly is, as the 8th Article of Faith claims, “…The word of God.”

February 18, 2019

“Book of Mormon Testimony Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” by: Ryan Best

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies — admin @ 1:39 am

I am always looking for testaments of the Book of Mormon’s validity while reading. I have had many extremely real experiences when I have known that the Book of Mormon was written by prophets of old and translated by a prophet of God in modern days.  I call a Moroni experience anytime while reading the Book of Mormon where the world stops as it seems for a period of time and God speaks to me one-on-one. I have learned so many beautiful things in the Book of Mormon the most important is that God lives and Jesus is the Christ.  Each time it’s by the Holy Ghost that I learn these things.  It’s been almost 25 years since my first experience and it was just recently that I had my last. Moreover I hope and believe it won’t be long before I have another.  Each time I read I know, and experience that the book is real and true. 

My first experience was at college while studying about the Prophet Joseph Smith and simultaneously finishing the BoM.  I was attending an institute course where I was provided a great syllabus with references and information we would study during the semester. As I scanned the document I noticed the prophets many great accompaniments, stories I had learned or heard about all my life. I knew the prophets stories and as I was reviewing them I was struck by the volume and beauty of his life and his value to the world. At this time in my life, I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time start to finish without significant gaps. It was at that moment when I knew The Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  The new knowledge came fast and struck my heart and mind. This burst of knowledge didn’t wither away immediately but stayed for many minutes where I was reminded of all the testaments and proofs that I’d been shown as a youth. I was given confidence beyond description that a boy could not have written a book that had touched my heart so deeply and changed me so dramatically. I was reminded of Moroni’s promise and my prayer about the promise a few days earlier when I had asked if the Book of Mormon was true and was told as with a voice “this is your answer.” The feeling that rushed through my body for those minutes was pure knowledge and love.  I was eternally grateful at the time. 

During my most recent reading the BoM I decided I wanted to kneel and ask again. This time I received a different testament of the truthfulness of the BoM. I was impressed to examine closer the last chapters written by Moroni in the BoM.  When reviewing Moroni’s promise, I saw in my mind’s eye Moroni asking me to pray to know if the words he had used to describe the Savior of the world and the testimonies I had read were true, not if the book was real or if Joseph Smith was a prophet but if Jesus was the Christ?  A beautiful answer came as I realized how much better I knew The Savior because of the Book of Mormon.  I knew the testimony of Christ as given to me by Moroni and other prophets was true.  I knew that Moroni’s efforts, as well as other BoM prophets, had enlarged my understanding of Christ.  This new knowledge that Jesus is the Christ and that the words in the Book of Mormon had helped me to know him was the sweetest answer to any previous requests by myself to the Lord regarding the Moroni promise.

February 11, 2019

“50 Years With The Book Of Mormon” by: Bruce Curtis

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:58 am

It has been almost exactly 50 years since I first finished reading the Book of Mormon.  The year was 1968 and our Church leaders had encouraged the members to read it in its entirety.  That worked out well because in the printed edition of that day, there were 521 pages.  So, 52 weeks @ 10 pages/week would exactly do it! I was eight years old that year and I decided to take the challenge.  I remember making a reading chart for my family and faithfully reading each week and marking off the progress each Monday night in Family Home Evening.  More than reading to know of its truthfulness, I was probably more reading to mark it on the chart!

I read the Book of Mormon several more times as a youth. One time was as we studied it in 9thgrade seminary.  That year I joined a Seminary Bowl team where we competed with other schools in our area as to our knowledge of the names, facts, and events of the Book of Mormon as well as memorizing 40 of its most meaningful scriptures and then competing to see who could locate those scriptures the quickest given a variety of clues.  I feel a little bad at this point because, even though this study and competition was well meaning, we probably focused a bit too much on irrelevant facts and we did not treat our copies of the Book of Mormon with the respect they deserved as we raced to locate the scriptures.  

There is promise made by one of the Book of Mormon’s prophets, Moroni, on one of the last pages of the Book of Mormon, that if we seriously desired a witness of the truthfulness of this Book, God would grant that to us.  For me, it was not a case of reading the entire Book and then receiving an unmistakable witness.  But as I continued to read the Book as a youth, my witness of its divine origin and its importance in my life came bit by bit.  As I would read the teachings and sermons by ancient prophets on Christ–His life, mission, ministry and Atonement–and on other teachings like faith, repentance, grace, and service, I could just feel these things were true.  Sometimes I would be touched by a warm/comforting feeling that would come over me, occasionally I had a tingling up/down my back as I read/discussed the Book, and yet other times I just enjoyed new and related thoughts and insights that would enter my head as I studied the Book.

So, even though I cannot pinpoint an exact day I knew the Book of Mormon was truly God’s word, that witness certainty did come.  I loved my time as a young missionary in Japan where it was my privilege to carry around copies of Morumon Keiand teach the people in Japan of Jesus Christ as it is taught so clearly in the Book.  It strengthened my testimony of the power of this Book to personally see many dozen people read it and be touched by its spirit, power, and truth.  I saw many of these people then change their lives and join the Church which was founded by the Book’s translator, Joseph Smith.

In the nearly 40 years since I returned from my mission, I have read the Book of Mormon many times – sometimes over a whole year, other times, over just a couple of weeks.  I have marked inspiring and instructive verses in several printed copies and now on my phone and tablet.  I have read the Book with my children and now they are regularly reading it with theirs.  I have attended classes, seminars and conferences on the Book and have had the privilege of speaking about and teaching from the Book numerous times.  I have read many books by both Church leaders and scholars on various aspects of the Book.  I have also spent much time and effort getting to know its inspired translator, Joseph Smith, and the means and events whereby the Book of Mormon came to be.  Through all this, I can unequivocally state, where I could not 50 years ago, that the Book of Mormon is truly a divinely inspired book and it is the word of God.  I love this Book and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I have come to know through the study of this Book.

February 3, 2019

“Silly Kid, You Already Know” by: Jeremy McLerran

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies,Uncategorized — admin @ 5:23 pm

It always seemed perplexing to me that people needed to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, I’ve always known it was true.  I read it cover to cover for the first time when I was 10 years old, and thoroughly enjoyed the stories. It was like the very best action movie mixed with intense drama, with powerful steadfast personalities like Nephi, Abinidi, Alma, and Moroni.  It was easily my favorite book, and I never doubted it’s veracity.  
As I grew older I heard people more and more talking about how “they didn’t know it was true until they prayed and asked Heavenly Father…” and as they talked about the spiritual confirmation they received I wondered if I was missing something. Was there some giant heavenly manifestation I could get if I got down on my knees and asked to know if the Book of Mormon was true? I felt silly doing it, because in my heart I already knew it was true. It was more than faith, it felt like actual knowledge, but to illuminate any possibility of “missing out“ on something bigger, I wandered into the woods near our church building, picking a spot that I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed I knelt down and poured out my 13 year old heart to my Heavenly Father.  The answer was almost immediate.  It was as though He was saying “You feel silly right now, don’t you? You already know these things are true, you’ve always known. Other people might struggle with their faith, but I have given you knowledge and you don’t need to ask ever again.” I walked out of those woods satisfied and calm.  I didn’t need some burning bush or pillar of light. I didn’t even need a warm feeling in my heart. I had something that most other people needed to work for, and it has guided my life ever since.  

January 27, 2019

“The Book of Mormon, My Life-Long Testimony” by: Jared White

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies,Uncategorized — admin @ 6:13 pm

My name is Jared White, I am 50 years old and have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my entire life. I have often been asked to share how I came to know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ (just like the Holy Bible).  It has been said that everyone must be “converted” to the truth of the Book of Mormon whether they are born into the church or are introduced to it later in life. I suppose this is true, but for me, the conversion process happened at a very early age. One of my earliest memories is sitting on my mother’s lap as she read the Book of Mormon to me. Although, I was only three or four years old, I remember clearly the impact of feeling the Holy Spirit testify to my young heart that what I was hearing was truth.

As I grew older, I never questioned my testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, as happens with many other adolescents… My testimony of its truthfulness just continued to grow as my study and knowledge of it increased.  When I was a 19-year-old missionary called to serve in Guatemala, I remember challenging an investigator to read the Book of Mormon, and to pray and ask our Heavenly Father if it was true. I told them that I had read it many times (which I had) and that I had asked God in prayer if it was true (which I actually never had done), and that He had blessed me with the witness from the Holy Spirit that it was truly His word (which, again, was true, but not exactly as an answer to prayer).  That night as I knelt down to say my prayers, I reflected on the “white” lie I had told that investigator. I remember telling God that I was almost ashamed to ask if the book was true, because I already knew that it was true. But I felt I had to do it, so as to be completely truthful when testifying to other people. After some anxiety over the possibility of offending God, I asked him in prayer. 

I will never forget the awesome power of the Holy Spirit that came over me. What I experienced was not the “still, small, voice” of the Spirit that I had known all of my life. It was an almost consuming fire of confirmation! I felt the answer in such a powerful way as to penetrate my entire being and leave me weak and shaking… not with fear, but with awe.

Since that day, I have continued to grow in my knowledge of the Book of Mormon, and I can honestly say that my testimony has only grown stronger as to its truthfulness, although I have never again “asked” in prayer for further confirmation. I know it is true! It is the word of God! I am so thankful for that knowledge. Because of my testimony of the Book of Mormon, I know that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God’s true and living church. What a blessing the Book of Mormon has been in my life! From those tender days on my mother’s lap, to that wonderful night on my knees in Guatemala, until my middle-age… I have always been blessed to know that Jesus is the Christ, that He is my redeemer, and that testimony has come through the Spirit testifying to me that the Book of Mormon is true.  

January 24, 2019

“My Testimony of the Book of Mormon” by: Ryan Richards

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimony,Uncategorized — admin @ 4:10 pm

I was raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My parents were faithful, hardworking members. By their examples and teachings in our home, I knew from my earliest ability to understand, that God lives and loves us as his children, that his Son Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that we will be happiest in this life and in the next if we do our best to pattern our lives after Jesus Christ and trust and follow the counsel of the prophets. My belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon has the same source. I know it to be true. But my belief in these things, has grown significantly in breadth and depth over the years as I have grown and matured and learned. Though I’ve never doubted, I have repeatedly put my belief and my understanding to the test, not out of rebellion or doubt, but to confirm and strengthen.

As Alma taught, I nurtured the word (the gospel, the Book of Mormon, the teachings of the prophets) in my heart, I tried the counsel, I sought the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, and I considered the results. (Alma 32). Likewise, I followed the counsel of the Savior himself who said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17) In every case, as I have nurtured the word, and as I have lived the commandments and teachings of the Savior, I have been strengthened in my knowledge that it is the word and will of God.

I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God for his children. Together with the Bible and other canons of scripture, it will illuminate our path back to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. It will bring comfort, guidance, and happiness to our lives. I know this because I have read it and put it to the test in my life.  

January 22, 2019

“How I Came to Know the Book of Mormon is True” by: Justin Griffin

Filed under: Book of Mormon Personal Testimonies — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:19 am

17 years ago, when I was 28 years old, I was in the temple just absolutely filled with gratitude for all that Heavenly Father blesses us with when I received a very clear prompting from the Spirit to keep the commandments more fully. I did not agree to make that commitment at that time because it seemed too difficult. What happened next, I could only understand after many days of pondering about the stark contrast between the overwhelming joy I was feeling and the dark sense of emptiness that came as a result of offending the Spirit. As soon as I realized that the loss of the Spirit had been the consequence of my own lack of faith, I immediately promised the Lord that if He ever saw fit to extend another similar invitation to me that I would immediately accept it and work to fulfill it regardless of how difficult it may seem. 6 months later, the next invitation finally came.

All my life I had read and been taught the doctrine of Christ from the Book of Mormon. As a missionary, I even testified for two years to the people in Greece that the Book of Mormon was a true source for coming to know the Lord. However, I only ever used the words “It is true” or “I believe” it is true. I never even once said the words “I know.” I didn’t say “I know” because I didn’t know for sure for myself. That’s not to say that I wasn’t convinced it was true. After my own analysis of the evidence available to me it seemed much more probable that it was true rather than made up. Even so, I felt like I lacked the witness from the power of the Holy Ghost as was described by Moroni.

After six months of repentance and begging, the Lord finally extended a new invitation to me. Through His Spirit I was invited to say the words “I know” when sharing my testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I could have easily made an argument about why I wasn’t quite ready to do that yet, but I didn’t. The lesson learned from my previous mistake was still fresh in my mind. So, I accepted the invitation fully, even though I didn’t feel up to it, and was determined to figure out how to accomplish it as soon as possible. Two weeks later was fast Sunday and I decided I was going to take that opportunity to fulfill my promise. As soon as the members were invited to take the stand I went up. As I stood at the pulpit, I hesitated. My own weaknesses flooded my mind. Who was I to make such a solemn declaration so publicly? I got through my doubts by just beginning to talk. I showed the Lord my willingness and He gave me the strength to carry on. And then I said it, “I know the Book of Mormon is true!”

As the words came out of my mouth the Spirit bore witness to my soul that it was true, just like Moroni said it would happen. In that very instant, the myriad of blessings that come as a result of taking upon yourself the name of Christ were all seemingly made available to me. That witness gave me the power to keep the commandments more fully. From then on, I counted myself among those people who are held deeply accountable for this great knowledge.  

The first time I said the words, “I know” was the first time I comprehended that I had somehow always known. I’m 45 now and I still guard the words, “I know” very carefully. To this day there are so precious few things I am 100% certain of. But this much I can say–I know the Book of Mormon is true.

July 21, 2016

I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

In 2013 I was reacquainted with my cousin Sindy. We are only a year apart in age and had been close as children, but because of extended family dynamics we didn’t see one another for several years. We both married, had children, lived in San Jose, California and led our own lives… even though we lived only miles apart.

I contacted Sindy when I found out she had stage 4 brain cancer. I was devastated for her, her husband and her 4 children. What do you say to someone you haven’t spoken to in 40 plus years…especially when you know they are going to die?

Well it was much easier than I thought. We just started where we left off years earlier. I could tell Sindy’s perspective on life was very different now. She wasn’t raised in a religious family and really had no need of church and God. But now she was hungering and thirsting for answers. The difficult part was that many of her friends from various religions were trying to “save her soul”. They wanted her to go to their church or have her repeat certain phrases so she could be assured that she would go to heaven. I knew I had to be careful and let the Spirit guide me in sharing the gospel with her.

I sent her a Book of Mormon with my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ written inside. I also wrote her a letter assuring her that I knew her soul was just fine and that Heavenly Father was very aware of her and loved her unconditionally. That opened doors to further conversation about the church. I knew the Lord was leading me along this path. I was able to feel His extreme love for her.

One day as she struggled with the effects of chemo, losing her abilities, and hopelessness I asked if she would like a blessing of comfort. I explained what that entailed and she agreed. I asked a former bishop, Steve, in my San Jose ward to visit her and give her a priesthood blessing. Steve is a great man with a solid testimony and is always looking for a good missionary experience. I went to the temple the day before I knew she would be getting the priesthood blessing and our family fasted on Sunday for both Sindy and Steve.

Sindy and Steve formed an instant friendship. It’s as if these two had been friends before. Steve and his companion stayed several hours at Sindy’s home getting to know her, talking about the gospel, and answering Sindy’s many questions. As far as Sindy was concerned Steve “walked on water”. She was so comforted by his presence and his blessing. He explained many truths to her that day, all of which rang true to her.

I thought this would only be a one- time meeting, but Steve stayed in contact with Sindy and reached out to her family (who weren’t interested in the gospel at all). He became a friend to them and was there at Sindy’s side the night before she passed away.

I knew I wanted to do Sindy’s temple work, but couldn’t quite find the words to say to her. Finally Steve gave me the courage to ask. She was delighted, humbled, and felt very unworthy of this blessing. She knew she hadn’t gone to church in her life and felt undeserving. As both Steve and I taught her about “the plan of salvation”, she really began to understand the Savior’s love for her and for all His children. We sent her a paper to sign giving us permission to do her work in the temple. At this point she was so weak she could barely sign her name. But it was good enough. She would remind me quite often that I had agreed to do her temple work. She didn’t want me to forget. It was obvious that it was foremost on her mind.

Sindy passed away February 1, 2015. A year and 3 days later we were at the Mt. Timpanogos temple. My daughter, Kellie, acting as proxy was baptized in behalf of Sindy. What a spiritual feast that was! We went on to do the rest of her ordinance work by proxy and I know that Sindy was there with us.

I learned so many things during this journey. I surprised myself with my reluctance to share the gospel that I love dearly. I’m a convert after all! Where would I be without my friend who had the courage to open her mouth and love me enough to share what she held most sacred and dear? I had forgotten about that special missionary spirit – that special feeling the Lord blesses us with when we share the gospel with others.  I had forgotten that we are the Lord’s hands and voices. If we don’t act and speak, who will? I had forgotten that there are so many who are searching for truth. Would we deny ourselves and others of this great gift?

One of my favorite scriptures is in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”

Sindy and I are forever reunited. We have an eternal relationship that will never end. She is in the spirit world teaching the gospel (very enthusiastically, I’m sure) to our family. I am here trying to gain a relationship with her family so they too can have the blessing of the gospel in their lives.

What’s not to love about this gospel!


May 15, 2016

For Time and All Eternity

During my teen years I developed an unfortunately negative view of and attitude toward marriage and children. Partly this came from experience. Though I have since learned that my parents expressed their feelings of love and tenderness in private, what I too often witnessed were criticisms and arguments. Also, growing up as the oldest of a large family—the tenth child was born during my senior year in high school—I experienced all of the drudgery and few of the joys of motherhood.

An even bigger contributing factor was that I failed to understand certain doctrines and principles and misunderstood others. I thought that marriage and motherhood meant that I had to diminish, to become less than my full potential, to sacrifice the essence of who I was and the things I most desired. I thought I would be miserable! Though I dreamed of romance, I tended to avoid boys and dating because I truly believed in the gospel, the scriptures, and the commandments, and therefore I couldn’t see how I could have the romance I craved without the marriage and family I feared.

I needed to understand why marriage and family were eternal parts of the gospel, and all my prayers and study of the Book of Mormon left me dissatisfied. The first glimmers of an answer came when I went to the temple in August 1992. The Holy Ghost taught me that Heavenly Father was pleased with Eve’s purity and righteous desires. I knew that not only did he love Eve, but he loved all of his daughters, and he loved me. I knew that he would never require of me anything that wouldn’t lead to my greater happiness.

A year later I was serving a mission. As I studied the October 1993 Conference Report, tears filled my eyes as certain talks finally answered my questions. In fact, several of the talks contained doctrines that would be collected, refined, and published two years later in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  (See talks by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Boyd K. Packer.)

In the safety of a mission environment when dating and marriage were clearly against the rules and I didn’t have to act immediately, I felt the first seeds in my heart that marriage and children just might be right for me.

Even though I had a testimony of the importance of marriage in the Plan, it was still hard to exercise the faith I needed to act on it. The real test came almost four years later. I’m ashamed to say that not even an hour after I accepted my husband’s proposal, I told him that I wasn’t sure and needed more time. The problem wasn’t this man I knew I loved; the problem was marriage itself. It was forever, but would it lead to my eternal happiness or misery? The next several hours of uncertainty were agonizing for him and for me. I spent them on my knees, plagued with tears, fears, and indecision.

Finally, as I read from the Book of Mormon, the impression came to me that I could not rely upon my own feelings in this matter but must rely on the witnesses of others. I thought of what I had learned of marriage, and I also had the witness of those close to me, who assured me that he was a wonderful man. That evening I called him and said I was saying yes for real this time. Our very short six-week engagement was filled with more doubts and fears, which I tried to keep to myself, but finally the day came, and in 1997 we were sealed in the Mount Timpanogos temple.

We will have been married 19 years in August, and we have three children. Marrying him has proven to be one of the greatest blessings of my life, and each year gets better! I know that the doctrine of eternal marriage leads to our happiness, and that happiness in marriage results when covenants are made and kept between two people who serve, honor, and love the Lord and each other.

Cedar Hills 10th Ward member (blog post submitted by anonymous)

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