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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Line upon line

I remember entering the Missionary Training Center and hearing various other missionaries talk about the moment they knew the truth of the gospel. You know, that moment when they were hit with the answers to their prayers. I almost felt silly, because I hadn't had one of THOSE moments. Although I had been taught from an early age and prayed regularly, I hadn't ever had a moment or experience when my testimony was solidified.

So, I decided I should get one of these experiences before I headed out to teach others about the gospel. I mean, how could I testify to them of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ if I had never had a confirming moment to refer to? Well, I knelt down to pray and my answer was, "You already know this." I felt silly for trying to dictate to the Lord how He should answer my prayers. Yet I was comforted to know that I DID know it, even though my testimony came line upon line and therefore wasn't as obvious to me as others' experiences were for them.

I heard a quote in Sunday School a few weeks ago that confirmed that even a prophet of God received his testimony this way. President Joseph F. Smith shared how he received his testimony:

“When I as a boy first started out in the ministry, I would frequently go out and ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until he made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did he have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit of the living God, he gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power he will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 7).

I am grateful for those little promptings I receive every day that sometimes I don't even recognize as promptings. I know I give myself a lot of credit for thoughts and ideas that are really inspiration. Anyway, I just enjoyed this quote and thought I'd share it. I hope I can press forward in such a way that my testimony continues to grow here a little and there a little until I also know from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.


the Rowleys said...

Thank you. I enjoyed reading this. I too had a similar experience, where I realized I need to KNOW, and my answer was "You know!" Line upon line, we all keep learning and growing. Isn't it wonderful!

Cylena said...

When I was 5 my answer didn't come, but that's because I didn't know how to read yet. When I was 17 my answer was that I already knew, but he wasn't mad at me for asking. I think it happens this way for most people who are around the gospel more or less from birth.