Friday, February 25, 2011

My Personal Testimony

How do I even begin to put down on paper my testimony? It has been an overwhelming task for me to try to extract the deepest emotions of my soul, capture those emotions and put them into words and then on to paper. Yet I know there will come a day I will no longer be here to give voice to my testimony so I feel compelled to leave a written record declaring what I KNOW to be true.

I was born in the covenant to goodly parents who were always examples of true Latter-Day Saints. I can never remember a time I didn’t believe. I always have felt the love of my Heavenly Father. But like all of us I knew my journey was not complete until I sought to not only believe, but to know for myself that the gospel, in all its truth and glory, had been restored to the earth.

It was during my young adult years that I truly begin to diligently search to “know” for myself. As I continued to seek, to ponder and pray, Father, in his goodness, gave me the answers I sought. Those answers came through personal revelation as I read His scriptures, through the power of music that testified truths to my soul, and through sacred experiences that allowed me to literally feel the arms of His love encircle me.

Life has continued to bring me the experiences necessary to re-affirm and re-testify to what I know to be true. Over the years my testimony has embedded itself into every part of my being. I truly believe there is no part of me where the gospel does not reside. If, somehow, it was taken out of my body, I would cease to be! It is what gives me life and breath. It is what holds me in place. It is truly the anchor to my soul.

I can testify that we have a Father who resides in Heaven. He is the creator of our souls. As our loving Father, he knows us by name. He knows our capacities, our personalities, our heart’s desires. He loves ME!!! His sole purpose is to make it possible for each one of us to return back to Him. Like any parent, He doesn’t want to lose any of His children so He provided a way, a way that cost Him dearly. He provided his only begotten son to be the sacrifice that would pay the price that all of us could return. Oh what love and devotion can I forget? Never!

With all my heart and soul I can testify that I KNOW Christ lives and is my personal Savior, that He is my advocate with the Father. I have felt His divine love over and over again. I completely rely on His mercy and His grace. It has literally been that power that has allowed me to move forward through the difficult times of my life. My greatest heat’s desire is to one day kneel at His feet and cover them with my tears as I express my endless love and gratitude for his sacrifice that enables my family to be together forever with Him. Oh I love Jesus.

It was my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon that opened my heart to gaining a witness that Joseph Smith was the restorer of truth in these latter days. I have come to truly love Joseph. The older I get the more I can see and understand the miracle of what Joseph accomplished and what he was asked to endure. I’m eternally grateful for his courage, his commitment, his desire to always do the Father’s will and for the final sacrifice of his life. I’m eternally grateful for the restoration of the truths of Christ’s gospel, the Book of Mormon that is literally my anchor, and for the restoration of the authority of the Priesthood and the blessings of the temple. Joseph Smith is my hero.

I can never read the Book of Mormon and not kiss its cover when I finish reading it; such is my love and gratitude for the Book of Mormon. It is my own personal Urim and Thummim. It lights my way. It answers my prayers. It gives me eyes to “see”. I have found my Savior in its pages. It gives me the courage to be “steadfast and immovable”. It provides courage for my soul. It is simply my most priceless possession.

Finally I can testify, with all my heart and soul, that the gospel of Jesus Christ HAS been restored through a modern day prophet, Joseph Smith. It has continuously been led by prophets called of God. I testify that Thomas S. Monson was raised up for that very purpose. He is a mighty living prophet of God and mouth piece on earth. I testify that all truth, covenants and ordinances required to return back to God, with our families, are found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I stand as a witness and declare, through the power and assurance given to me by the Holy Ghost, that it is all true. I KNOW it. What assurance this sweet sentence gives!

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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