Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lesson Recap: Testimony

Taught by Devon Linn

A testimony is a personal conviction of gospel truths, based on knowledge revealed by the Holy Ghost.

Most Church members have a testimony of some principle of the gospel, and on this foundation a more complete testimony can be built. It may be related to a one-time event or memory, or the piling up of hundreds of small impressions and experiences that provide the foundation.

A testimony motivates us to live righteously, and righteous living causes a testimony to grow. A testimony of the Savior and his gospel is essential to our exaltation.

Elder Faust teaches us about the importance of bearing testimony:
All my life I have tried not to hide who I am and what I believe in. I cannot recall a single instance when it hurt my career or I lost valued friends by humbly acknowledging that I was a member of this Church.

There are four absolutes about which it is always appropriate for us to testify:

The first is that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior, the Mediator and Redeemer of the world.

The second is that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and reestablished the Church of Christ upon the earth with its keys and authority.

The third is that all of the Presidents of the Church since Joseph Smith have been successors in that power and authority.

The fourth is that President Gordon B. Hinckley [now President Monson] is the only prophet of God upon the earth, holding all of the keys, powers, and authorities of the Church in the earth today.

As one of the special witnesses of the Lord, I desire to declare my testimony to you. I am grateful that I have always had a testimony of the gospel.

I cannot remember when I did not believe. I have not always understood everything and do not claim to do so now, but through thousands and thousands of spiritual confirmations throughout my life, including my calling to the holy apostleship, I can declare my testimony to you that Jesus is the Christ. With every fiber and cell of my being, I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer. I testify that Joseph Smith was the greatest prophet who ever lived upon the earth and of great importance to the Savior in the work of God on the earth. I know this to be true.
A process
Elder Godoy, of the Seventy reminds us that gaining a testimony is a process:
A testimony, for some people, may come through a single and irrefutable event. But for others, it may come through a process of experiences that, perhaps not as remarkable but when combined, testify in an indisputable way that what we have learned and lived is true.
Today, after many years as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I might not be able to remember most of the experiences that have shaped my testimony.

Still, all of these experiences have left their mark and contributed to my testimony of the restored Church. Today, I have an absolute certainty of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The remainder of our lesson today was left for sisters to bear testimony of some particular principle of the gospel, and when and how we knew it was true.

Charity spoke of a sure knowledge of the eternal family and that God has a plan for each of us and our families and we need to trust that plan.

Christine told of a time when she diligently sought to know Joseph Smith and more about him as a man and a prophet, and it strengthened her testimony of him.

Madelyn had a time when she was down and struggling and feeling unworthy, but turned to the Savior for comfort. She realized that the choice to accept the Atonement is ours.

Jill remembered a time when friends reaching out to her helped her return to the church and helped her testimony grow and strengthen as she relearned the truths of the gospel. She cherishes those friendships.

Sister Layman (a visitor) told of a time when she was little and the Holy Ghost inspired her to be awake and in the right place to help her mother when she had an allergic reaction to medicine.

Sister Sasser shared her testimony and love for the gospel. [She will be transferred this week and we so appreciated hearing from her one more time. We wish her luck in the remainder of her mission.]

Sisters, whatever your testimony is, wherever you are in your progress toward God and having a conviction of the truth, you can know that He is there, that he cares and that he wants to give you the gift of testimony. He wants you to build your testimony and to bear your testimony.

Thanks to Devon for the lesson and for setting the stage for us to share our testimonies today.


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1 comment:

  1. Wow Ellen, I think that recap was better than my actual lesson! Of course the best part is always hearing testimonies born -- I wish we could hear them every week!


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