2 What is a testimony?A testimony is a spiritual witness of the truth given by the Holy Ghost.
3 Our Sacred Opportunity & Responsibility As members of the Church, we have sacred opportunity and responsibility to obtain our own testimonies.
4 How do we obtain a testimony? James 1:51 Nephi 10:191 Nephi 15:113 Nephi 18:20Moroni 10:4-5
5 Obstacles to gaining a testimony Mosiah 26:3Alma 12:11What does it mean to harden your heart?From the index: Contention ; Doubt ; Hate ; Pride ; Rebel ; Resist ; Soften ; Stiffnecked ; Stubbornness ; Unbelief ; Wicked ;
6 Quest for a testimonyThe quest for a testimony begins with a righteous, sincere desire. Your Heavenly Father will bless you according to the righteous desires of your heart and your efforts to do His will. Speaking to a group of people who did not yet have testimonies of the gospel, Alma taught: (Alma 32:27-29 next slide)
7 How do I start? Alma 32:27-29 27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words. 28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts...
8 We must study for ourselves before we ask!... 7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. 8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. 9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
9 The Power of the Holy Ghost Testimony comes through the quiet influence of the Holy Ghost. The results of a testimony can be miraculous and life changing, but the gift of testimony usually comes as a quiet assurance, without spectacular displays of God’s power. Even Alma, who had been visited by an angel and had seen God sitting on His throne, needed to fast and pray so he could receive a testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost (see Alma 5:45–46; 36:8, 22).
10 We need the Holy GhostIf we seek a testimony through study, prayer, and living the gospel, the Holy Ghost will help us know for ourselves that the gospel is true.John 7:17“Its convincing power is so great that there can be no doubt left in the mind when the Spirit has spoken. It is the only way that a person can truly know that Jesus is the Christ and that his gospel is true.” (Joseph Fielding Smith)
11 I don’t know very much!Sometimes learning about the gospel can seem hard, especially when you talk with people who have been studying the gospel for decades. Does that mean you don’t have a testimony just because you don’t know as much as another person? Of course not! Gaining a testimony of all the principles of the gospel at once is impossible. A testimony is meant to grow “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30) throughout your life. But there is a place you can start to build your testimony....
12 Foundation of a testimony The foundation of a testimony is: 1) Heavenly Father lives and loves us 2) Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement 3) Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel 4) We are led by a living prophet today; and 5) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth.
13 Your testimony will grow over time Your testimony is like a tree that grows over time. It first grows with a few main branches, and then it develops from there.
14 How will my testimony grow? Your testimony will grow gradually through your experiences. No one receives a complete testimony all at once. Your testimony will grow stronger through your experiences. It will expand as you show your willingness to serve in the Church, wherever you are called. It will increase as you make decisions to keep the commandments. As you lift and strengthen others, you will see that your testimony continues to develop. As you pray and fast, study the scriptures, attend Church meetings, and hear others share their testimonies, you will be blessed with moments of inspiration that will bolster your testimony. Such moments will come throughout your life as you strive to live the gospel.
15 Live it, Be truly converted True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles. It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.(“Be Ye Converted” Bonnie Oscarson)
16 Share your testimonyYour testimony will increase as you share it. Do not wait for your testimony to be fully developed before you share it. Part of a testimony’s development comes when it is shared. In fact, you will find that when you give what you have of your testimony, it will be returned to you—with increase.
17 Having obtained a testimony, you have a duty to nurture it throughout your life. Your happiness in this life and throughout eternity depends largely on whether you are “valiant in the testimony of Jesus” (True to the Faith)
18 Nurture your testimony Testimony requires the nurturing by the prayer of faith, the hungering for the word of God in the scriptures, and the obedience to the truth. (Henry B. Eyring)
19 Don’t become overwhelmed Some people may occasionally feel overwhelmed because they think they need to have a strong testimony of every gospel principle right now. Or they may think they don’t have a testimony just because they don’t understand everything about the gospel.
20 Start small...You don’t need to know everything about the gospel to have a testimony. Start with a few key doctrines and branch out from there.