September 25, 2013 by FHElessons
Have you heard about my new Why I Believe series? This is a series of essays by regular, everyday people like you and me. In each essay, one of these people will tell us why he (or she) believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ, what experiences he has had that led to his conversion, and how the gospel has helped him in his life. I am super excited about it!
To find all the essays in this series, click on “Why I Believe” in the top menu. To read my own Why I Believe story as well as the instructions on how to write your own story, click HERE. To read Questions and Answers About Gaining a Testimony click HERE.
Here is Brian’s essay. I hope you love it as much as I do!
My patriarchal blessing states the following:
In all things it will be important for you to know for a certainty that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, sent to be the Savior of this world, and that He presides in the Church today. By your careful study of the scriptures, by regular prayers night and morning, this testimony will distill upon you and be a great force in your life for good, and will bring you more joy than anything else you can achieve in this mortal estate.
I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ because I have followed that counsel to carefully study the scriptures daily and pray regularly. As a result, I know that Jesus is the Christ, and more importantly, over time, I have come to know Him. He is the source of all our blessings, our lives, our happiness, and our redemption from pain, suffering, punishment, and death. He represents all that is good and just in the universe. We may have testimonies of many things, but without a testimony, first and foremost of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we have nothing. This testimony has come to me as I have studied both ancient and modern scripture as well as the words of living prophets and apostles. Because of it, I also know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.
I have often thought of the words of my patriarchal blessing that my testimony would “distill” upon me. In the distillation process, water is purified by being boiled. As it is boiled, the steam rises and condenses on a cool, curved surface. Using a curved surface causes the condensed water to drip into another clean container which catches the now distilled water. I think it is this process of transfer from one vessel to another, one drip at a time, that the patriarch was referring to when he gave me my patriarchal blessing. By consistent gospel study and prayer, my testimony would drop-by-drop distill upon me from the Holy Ghost until it became a sure testimony; one that is now mine.
Over the course of more than 25 years now, I have studied the scriptures every day with less than five exceptions. I have never missed a day praying. Several years ago, I began to write on 3”x5” note cards the things I was being taught. I now have more than ten thousand of these note cards. Most represent small promptings that have come as I have read and pondered. Each represents a little piece of my testimony. Each is a drop that over time has become a sure witness, an ocean, that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, and that He presides in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints today.
It is this testimony of Jesus which resides inside of me (see Alma 6:8 and Alma 7:13) that allows me to believe, and in fact know with certainty, that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. I am a witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. I know this because the Holy Ghost over thousands of experiences has born witness to me of that fact. Eventually, more grand and marvelous spiritual experiences have come. But it is the still, small voice heard and obeyed each day that has made all the difference. It has become for me “a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life” (D&C 63:23). When the more powerful experiences came, they only confirmed what I already knew.
You too can know as I know that Jesus is the Christ, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His one true Church on the earth, and that Thomas S. Monson is His living prophet today, if you will also study the scriptures and pray each day and then apply the things you learn in your lives. While we all want powerful spiritual experiences, testimonies are not built on marvelous visions and manifestations. Laman and Lemuel saw an angel. But without the consistency of studying and applying the gospel in their lives, they quickly forgot how they felt when the angel visited them and even that he had come at all (1 Nephi 7:10). They also forgot the other great things that God had done for them (1 Nephi 7:11). It is through small daily, drip-by-drip transfers of knowledge from the Holy Ghost to each of us that testimonies are built and maintained:
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28:30; see also D&C 98:12; Deuteronomy 32:2; and D&C 121:45).
I testify to you that this is true, for I have done it and know that this promise of the Lord is sure.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
For a printable version of this essay that is just the right size to paste into the front of a Book of Mormon, click HERE.