Why I Believe by Molly

1

October 27, 2013 by FHElessons

Are you loving this Why I Believe series as much as I am?  Today I am sharing an essay written by my lovely sister, Molly.

If you are new to this series, you can find Questions and Answers About Gaining a Testimony HERE.

You can find instructions for writing your own Why I Believe essay HERE.

And you can find all the essays in this series by clicking on “Why I Believe” in the menu at the top of the page.

If you would like to share your own Why I Believe story, please e-mail me at FHElessons@aol.com and include a picture of yourself if you can.

 

  Why I Believe Series - Molly's story

For much of my life, I heard the phrase, “bear your testimony,” over and over again, and I thought that a testimony was one thing or one set of beliefs. During recent years, I’ve come to understand that a testimony is something you feel strongly about, something that you’ve noticed over and over again to where you come to understand it better and where you build a belief in it, and/or something that you’ve seen so many times in your life that it becomes a knowledge. Usually, that “something” is spiritual or gospel-oriented in nature. So, you can have a “testimony” about innumerable things. You can have a testimony about one aspect of the gospel, for example, but not about another aspect. As I’ve worked to apply certain aspects of the gospel in my life and as I’ve experienced certain things, I’ve developed testimonies about those things. So, this is a record of my current “testimonies” as of this date in time and of their origins. I’m sure that as time passes, I will gain more testimonies.

My testimony of PRAYER and of my FATHER IN HEAVEN: Growing up, I think I tried to say my personal prayers and I participated in family prayers. Whenever I had a particular need, I’d pray and ask Heavenly Father for help. I remember an instance where my hamsters had escaped. There were several babies, and they were all free in the house, and I knew I needed to find them – and fast. I fervently asked Heavenly Father where I should look and then sat quiet for a moment. The thought came into my mind, “Look in the back of Missy’s closet.” As I opened her closet and looked around, to my astonishment, I found all of the missing hamsters! I’ve had countless experiences in life like this – even to the current time: experiences like trying for an hour to get Melissa’s sliver out, then, in faith, she prayed for help, and the thought came to her, “put tape on it.” We put some duct tape on it, waited for a few moments, and when we pulled it off, the sliver came with it. Most currently, we’ve been praying for our house, thinking we’d have to tear apart our home to check for rat chewed wires. We would have gone ahead with the massive destruction and $25,000 project if it hadn’t been for some promptings to wait and explore more options. Our prayers were answered finally yesterday, as we were informed that our wires tested safe and that we could change our circuit breakers to safer ones if we wanted to. No mess and $2500 is WAY better than what we would have done without Heavenly Father’s intervention!

I also remember sitting in seminary one day, and my teacher told us to close our eyes and picture ourselves getting home from school after a long, tiring day. We put down our backpack and walk down the hall to the room where Dad always is. When we walk in the room, Dad turns around in his chair, smiles, and invites us to come close. He gathers us in his arms and asks about our day. We tell him about the good things and the bad and then go on to tell him about all the things we’re thankful for. He wants to know about our needs and what he can do to help. Then, he gives us a big hug and tells us he loves us. Then, my seminary teacher said that this is a visual of how it is when we pray. I’ve used that visual so very many times to make my conversations with my Heavenly Father more “real” and more personal. It really helped to focus my prayers and help them to be more meaningful, as well as helped me to feel close to Father in Heaven and form a personal relationship with Him.

As I’ve made prayer a regular habit in the mornings, evenings, mealtimes, and especially as I’ve used it throughout my days to ask for guidance in all things, I’ve received comfort, guidance, peace, wisdom, and answers so many times and every time I take a moment to notice, that my testimony of prayer, of Heavenly Father’s hand in my life, of His mindfulness of me, of His love and desire to help, of His tender mercies,… is no longer a belief or rooted in faith. It has become a knowledge. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me, cares for me, answers my prayers, blesses me, is constant and consistent, has all wisdom, and will never abandon me.

Another thing that has been critical in creating this testimony began when I was listening to General Conference a few years ago. Pres. Eyring had told of how his family kept a Gratitude Journal where they would write down three ways that Heavenly Father had blessed their family that day. I began to do this and have been ever since. Also, my friend, Brook, suggested keeping a Prayer Journal where you write down what you pray for and then review it and write down the prayers that have been answered and how. Doing these two things together has undoubtedly shown me that Heavenly Father is an active, very real and very present part of my daily life. He ALWAYS answers my prayers, and so many times I don’t even take the time or mental thought to notice. He is there. He is helping. He answers me. He loves me. He knows me and my needs. He blesses me continually. He amazes me. I feel so humbled when I think of how patient He is with me and how much He loves me and how much He cares about me despite my mistakes and my unworthiness. I am so grateful!

TITHING: My parents always taught me to pay my tithing and took me to tithing settlement with the Bishop each December, so I could report that I was a full tithe payer. This helped me to develop the habit and gave me an understanding and a foundation. When I was newly married and very poor, I remember times when I would sit down to pay my bills, and I would cringe to pay my tithing, knowing that I didn’t have enough money, but, in faith, I always ended up writing the check and turning it in. It was hard and seemed a huge sacrifice. But I started to notice that Heavenly Father was blessing me in big ways and small ways, and in financial ways and in other ways because I was being faithful in this simple thing He asks of me. One specific experience I remember was when we were out of food and I had no money to go grocery shopping. I didn’t know what I could possibly make for dinner. I asked Heavenly Father what I could do. I sat quietly and thought. Then, the Holy Ghost reminded me of a funny wedding gift we had been given. It was a can of spaghetti sauce, a package of spaghetti, and some Italian salad dressing seasoning. I made a beautiful dinner and had leftovers to hold us over until we could go shopping. It seems silly, but I KNEW that Heavenly Father had provided for us because of our faithfulness in paying our tithing. Over that past 18 years, I’ve had so many times when I’ve noticed that, mathematically, the numbers should end up in the negative, but, somehow, there’s more money there than should be or that a random check comes in the mail right when I need it, or that I, for some strange reason, don’t have to pay a bill, or some other thing that makes everything okay financially. We’ve ALWAYS had our needs met, and I know so many blessings I’m sure we have that we don’t even realize because of our dedication to paying our tithing every single month. I can’t afford not to pay my tithing. I’m so grateful!

THE GOSPEL/THE THINGS JESUS TAUGHT: Throughout my life, I’ve noticed that the lives of those who try to live the principles of the gospel have different lives than those who don’t. Put simply, the gospel works. It’s been interesting to me to realize the parallel between all that I’ve learned in my profession as a Marriage and Family Therapist (things I’ve read and learned and taught about how to create healthy relationships and healthy people) and the principles of the gospel. Professionals have spent, and continue to spend, so many years of research only to find that what works are the exact same things that the Savior taught and that the scriptures and the gospel and the Church teaches us about right living. These things are absolute laws and truths that work. I know that as I do my best to follow the teachings of the gospel, apply what I’m learning in the scriptures, pattern myself after the Savior, and do what the Church asks of me, my life is good, meaningful, and has joy. It works. I’m so grateful!!

THE SCRIPTURES (especially the Book of Mormon): I began reading my scriptures nightly when I was in high school in seminary. I love reading the New Testament which has increased my knowledge of the Savior and His life. I’ve read the Book of Mormon over and over again. I don’t even know how many times I’ve read it, but it’s enough that I know most of the verses before I read them and the stories are super familiar. Over the years, I’ve learned so many things from the scriptures. Many answers to my prayers have come from those pages. I’ve been taught about life and how to live it, how to treat others, and how to be righteous. I absolutely feel a difference during my day if I miss reading for some reason. My days go more smoothly when I’m reading, and when I actually put forth more effort to study and contemplate, I gain even more. The Holy Ghost has, many times, provided a strong feeling of reassurance and peace, telling me that what I’m reading is true. I am blessed to have the scriptures and to have a confidence and a knowledge of their truth and surety. I’ve also gained a deep appreciation for all the many people throughout history who have written, carried, protected, moved, abridged, kept safe, found, translated, transcribed, printed, and made available the scriptures. I’m also so thankful for those who have fought for my freedom, so I can have them by my bed to be read whenever I want. They are a big part of my life and an unending blessing. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true. I’m so grateful!!

REVELATION, INSPIRATION, the ROLE OF THE HOLY GHOST IN MY LIFE:

My understanding of the Holy Ghost, His role in my life, and how He works with Heavenly Father and the Savior really came into view as I was preparing my Sunday School lesson for my 14-year-olds a few years ago. I took all the scripture references and made this table: (at the end of this article).

After studying these scriptures and seeing it laid out in this table, I really understood the Holy Ghost and how active of a role He plays in my life. I learned that I pray to Heavenly Father and I do it in the Savior’s name. I can access my Father in Heaven through my Savior. Father communicates to me through the Holy Ghost. All revelation and inspiration comes to me from my Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. One of the biggest blessings of my life came when I was eight and my dad baptized me and then used his priesthood power and authority to give me the most amazing gift: The gift to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. All of the jobs/abilities He can do and everything I can receive from Him are truly amazing and truly a gift. I KNOW that as I’m trying to do my best to live righteously, and even when I’m doing less than my best, He is there helping me and guiding me and protecting me… He is ever-present as long as I’m worthy. There is no companion I’d rather have by my side. I’m so grateful!!

MY SAVIOR: My testimony of my Savior is growing currently. I’ve always believe He lived and died and performed the atonement. I’ve always felt happy, as I’ve celebrated His birth and His resurrection. I’ve read about Him in the scriptures and learned about Him in church. And I’ve wondered how to access Him. I pray directly to my Heavenly Father and I receive guidance directly from the Holy Ghost, but I asked myself, “How do I gain direct access to my Savior?” Recently, I’ve been asking Heavenly Father to allow the Savior to help carry my burdens – like He did for the people of Alma. When they were in bondage to the Lamanites, the scriptures say that the Savior helped carry their burdens that even they could not feel them upon their backs. As I’ve done this, and as I’ve been enduring perhaps the hardest time of my life, I have distinctly felt my burdens lighten. There is an emotional and mental aspect of these burdens that weigh me down, and there’s also a physical weight that I feel on my shoulders, but as the Savior has lightened my burdens, I feel lighter emotionally, mentally, AND physically. Nothing has changed in my situation, but I feel so much better.

I’m coming to understand the healing power of His atonement, too. When we plead for healing through the atonement during prayer, we are healed emotionally, mentally, relationally, and/or physically. I don’t understand how the atonement works exactly or how it could do what it does, but I have noticed my heart and my mind and my body being blessed by the atonement, as I’ve asked Heavenly Father to allow the atonement to heal me and bless me. I’m so grateful!

OBEDIENCE: Something I didn’t realize until just recently as I was listening to a talk in church is this: The speaker said that the Savior performed the atonement partly because of His love and would have done it for just one of us. But, the main reason He did it was because of His great love for His Father and His desire and willingness to be obedient to all things that Father asked of Him. He would have liked to have “the cup to pass from Him”, but He didn’t want His own will. He wanted to do the will of the Father. He was obedient in all other things, too. Although I was born with a rebellious spirit, throughout my life I’ve also been blessed with a desire to be obedient. I’ve learned from countless experiences over the years that my obedience to my Father in Heaven, to my parents, to my grandparents, and to other trustworthy authority figures has steered me in safe paths and guided my life in good ways. I’m so grateful!!

JOSEPH SMITH AND THE RESTORATION: My testimony of the Restoration and Joseph Smith as a modern-day prophet is rooted securely in the feelings I’ve had as I’ve stood on the ground where he stood. I’ve physically been to places like the Sacred Grove, the Susquehanna River, the Whitney Storehouse, Carthage Jail, Liberty Jail, and other sites where the prophet stood and where he prayed, where he translated, and where he suffered, and there remains a reverence, and a strong feeling of truth in those places. I’ve been there, and I’ve experienced it, and it’s undeniable, and I’m so grateful!

As you can see, a testimony is built by trying something out, by doing it over and over again, by noticing the effects and the sources of those effects, and by being diligent in those things. I’m so thankful for parents who taught me right things, who set righteous examples to follow, and who gave me a sure foundation for building all aspects of my testimonies. I’m grateful for teachers, friends, grandparents, friends, sisters, speakers who have taught with the Spirit, and all those who have influenced my life for good. I’m grateful for my beliefs and my knowledge that give my life meaning, purpose, and joy. Mostly, I’m grateful to my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and the Holy Ghost for Their constant influence, help, patience, and love. I’m truly blessed!!! I’m so grateful!!!

{For a printable copy of Molly’s testimony that is just the right size to fit in the front cover of a Book of Mormon, click HERE.  After downloading, you can print as many copies as you want for handing out to your friends and family!}

Here is Molly’s chart about the Holy Ghost:

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Names

  • Comforter
  • Holy Ghost
  • Holy Spirit
  • Still Small Voice
  • Spirit (of God)
  • Light
  • Spirit of Truth

 

Scripture Ref:

  • John 14:26
  • John 15:26
  • John 16:13
  • 1 John 5:7
  • 2 Nephi 32:5
  • Moroni 10:5
  • D&C 6:23; 8:2; 11:12-13; 42:17; 75:27; 76:53; 84:46; 130:22

 

Jobs/Abilities

  • Strengthen me
  • Heal me
  • Protect me
  • Guide me
  • Testify of Savior
  • Witness
  • Spirit –influence omnipresent
  • Comfort me
  • Teach me all things
  • Being all things to my remembrance
  • Guide me into all truth
  • Show me things to come
  • A Member of the Godhead
  • Show me all things I should do
  • Tell me in my mind and in my heart
  • Lead me to do good
  • Help me to do justly
  • Help me to walk humbly
  • Help me to judge righteously
  • Knoweth all things
  • Beareth record of the Father and the Son
  • Giveth light to every man
  • Enlighteneth
  • No flesh or bones
  • Personage of Spirit
  • Able to dwell inside me

 

Receive

  • Instructions
  • Testimony of Christ
  • Access to Light of Christ
  • Answers to prayer
  • The Spirit – His influence
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Knowledge
  • Revelation
  • Remembrance
  • Blessings
  • Truth
  • Foresight
  • Less mistakes
  • Increased chance of being in right place at right time
  • Increased confidence
  • No regrets
  • Spiritual experience
  • Help others
  • Know the truth of all things
  • Witness – peace to mind
  • Miracles
  • Direction
  • Overcome by faith
  • Enlightenment
  • Intelligence

One thought on “Why I Believe by Molly

  1. corrine says:

    loved learning more about MOLLY! We miss you and Bruce and the whole family! Your testimony is awesome as always and i think you are one of the biggest examples of LOVING UNCONDITIONALLY i have ever seen ( goes for you too , Bruce)! WE miss all of our old ward friends but, i know that we all have different lives to lead and I’m glad they are Centered in Christ! Loves to you all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Join 1,946 other followers

Hi! I'm Laura. I started this blog to continue to teach FHE lessons to my children who are grown and living away from home. I also hope to serve my six sisters by preparing FHE lessons that they can use with their younger children, and I hope the lessons will be helpful to you as well! If you would like to contact me, please e-mail me at FHElessons@aol.com.

What is FHE?

FHE stands for Family Home Evening and is a night set aside each week (usually Monday) by families who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FHE is a chance for parents to teach lessons to their children about the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as other important topics. The lesson is frequently accompanied by a fun activity together as a family and a yummy treat.
%d bloggers like this: