What is a testimony? How does it come about and what does it
mean to the bearer? In 1Cor 12:3 the Apostle Paul, teaching of the
gifts of the Spirit said “…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but
by the Holy Ghost.” John the Baptist gave a perfect testimony to the
Jews and priests:
“And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:32)
It is also true, I believe, that a young boy named Joseph Smith asked his Heavenly Father to direct him to the correct
church one fateful day in 1820, and that as a result of his ensuing
testimony he endured from that time forward naught but hardship,
persecution and eventually murder, finally sealing with his own
blood his testimony of what he heard and saw that day in the grove
near his father’s farm.
Like a court witness who gives affirmation of fact, a testimony is
actual evidence of an event. It does not come simply, in most cases. If
it is a spiritual affirmation, it comes by the power of the Holy Ghost
to one who has dutifully studied, prayed and perhaps fasted in faith
to know for certain some great point of eternal truth. The Holy Ghost
(or Holy Spirit) then gives its revelation. But this sacred prompting
must be received as truth when revealed, for that holy messenger
of the Lord will not linger with unbelievers. Those who deny what
they have felt or who look to intellectualize or criticize it will find the
prompting slipping away and their inspiration lost in confusion.
A testimony, then, is a witness of things which are true, constituting
a knowledge that cannot be denied by the believer, who feels
the impressions made by the Holy Ghost become indelible upon his
enlightened soul. How many mortals have willingly given their lives
because they could not deny the knowledge so convincingly given them by the Holy Ghost?
According to the information given on the lds.org site,
“A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a livingprophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel. “
It will do you good to study those articles put forth on the church website regarding the value, authenticity and search for living testimonies of Christ, of the LDS church, our prophet Thomas S. Monson, and all that is associated with the church.
Marlena Tanya Muchnick