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May 1, 2015

Three Aspects of a Testimony

Filed under: testimony,witness of the Spirit — Ryan Best @ 4:33 pm
Our kind, loving Heavenly Father has provided ways for us to come to know Him, His “Plan of Happiness and Salvation” for us, and the truth of His gospel and doctrines.  God’s plan is given to us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Savior’s Atonement for us makes every blessing of God available to us.  A knowledge of these things is often referred to as a “testimony.”

A modern-day apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ taught that a testimony consists of reason, experience, and the witness of the Spirit.  He said:

“Today I desire to hold up that light by testifying of Jesus Christ and what he has done according to what I know, have seen, felt, and heard in my life. This testimony involves my reason and my experience—the two limited but helping witnesses! Happily, there has been given to me the third witness of the Spirit—the unimpeachable and convincing witness!” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King” Ensign, May 1976)

In my life, I have also experienced the growth and development of my testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored Church and gospel to the earth in these same 3 ways:  by reason, experience, and the witness of the Spirit.  I am grateful for each of these and how they have worked together to help me learn and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  My testimony did not come all at once.  Rather, it has been a gradual process over my lifetime.  My testimony has been greatly strengthened through my study of “The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared the process he went through to receive a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon:

“When I first read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, I read the promise that if I ‘would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if [the things I had read were] true; and if [I would] ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he [would] manifest the truth of it unto [me], by the power of the Holy Ghost’ (Moroni 10:4). I tried to follow those instructions as I understood them.

“If I expected a glorious manifestation to come at once as an overpowering experience, it did not happen. Nevertheless, it felt good, and I began to believe. … I learned that anyone, anywhere, could read in the Book of Mormon and receive inspiration….

 “My experience has been that a testimony does not burst upon us suddenly. Rather, it grows. … Do not be disappointed if you have read and reread and yet have not received a powerful witness. You may be somewhat like the disciples spoken of in the Book of Mormon who were filled with the power of God in great glory ‘and they knew it not’ (3 Nephi 9:20).  “Do the best you can” (Ensign, May 2005, 6–8).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered more insight into how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon by pondering a question while reading:

“There is another and simpler test that all who seek to know the truth might well take. It calls for us simply to read, ponder, and pray—all in the spirit of faith and with an open mind. To keep ourselves alert to the issues at hand—as we do read, ponder, and pray—we should ask ourselves a thousand times, ‘Could any man have written this book?’

 “And it is absolutely guaranteed that sometime between the first and thousandth time this question is asked, every sincere and genuine truth seeker will come to know by the power of the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true, that it is the mind and will and voice of the Lord to the whole world in our day” (Ensign, Nov. 1983, 73–74).

God does not hide the truth from anyone.  He makes it available through His authorized servants—prophets, apostles, and missionaries—and invites us to learn for ourselves.  He sends His Spirit, the Holy Ghost, to teach and testify of truth to us as we study, ponder, and pray about these things.

That’s how I gained my testimony and how I am striving to help it grow today.  I read the scriptures (God’s words through ancient prophets) and read the talks from General Conference (God’s words through modern-day prophets and apostles).  God has always communicated with mankind through His prophets and He does so today as well.

By reason, experience, and witnesses of the Spirit, I know that Jesus Christ lives today.  He performed the Atonement for all mankind, died, and was resurrected.  He restored His true Church back on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1830. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true church on the earth today and contains His priesthood authority, true doctrines, covenants, and the correct ordinances that will bring us happiness and salvation in His Kingdom here and hereafter.  The Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ (alongside the Bible) and is true.  The Savior leads His Church and people through true prophets and apostles today, just as He did anciently. President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet today.  I share my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

by Mike Graf

April 8, 2015

Youth Mini-Mission Message: Mission Ready

Filed under: mission,missionary,testimony — admin @ 1:35 am

My ward is doing mini-missions.  I think it’s really cool that we’re doing this because it’s preparing me for my real mission.  Sleeping over and talking with my companion about the lesson and preparing it is just like preparing to teach non-members.  I’m really feeling the spirit throughout this mini mission.  

I’d like to bear my testimony. I know the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a real prophet who restored  the church to the earth.  I know the importance of serving a mission and that it will help other people in their lives and the lives to come in heaven.  I know that the words of God are spoken through the prophet and that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost love everyone one on earth.  I say this in the name of Jesus Christ.

C.H. 10th Ward youth member (blog post submitted by anonymous)

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