Wednesday, July 6, 2016
I am on a Testimony though roll.
Here is a brief section from the Byu Devotional that struck a deep chord with me also.
I will be sharing more of his thoughts as I find the time to sit down and reflect on them.
His first thought was entitiled:
The Great Danger
“A few years ago one of my colleagues came to my office to tell me some sad news about a mutual friend. He told me that our friend had chosen to leave the Church because he no longer believed it was true. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My friend was a strong member of the Church, a returned missionary, a well-educated person from a good family, and someone who had served in positions of responsibility in the Church. And he was throwing away something that used to be precious to him. I was surprised by how hard I took the news. I was shocked and saddened, and my mind kept returning to my friend and his family. I wondered how this could have happened. How was it possible that someone who at one point had a bright testimony of the gospel and had shared it with others was leaving the Church because that testimony was gone?
In my mind it was a tragedy, and it affected me deeply. I am sure some of you have been deeply affected as someone close to you has lost their way and their faith. This is the danger that I worry about: losing one’s testimony, whether through a crisis of faith or through a slow, subtle decline. Closely related to it is the danger of “just getting by” with a testimony that is inadequate or incomplete. I know that each of you will undoubtedly face challenges to your testimony and the danger is very real.
Although I view what happened to my friend and to others like him as a tragedy, this experience has resulted in one positive outcome for me. It has made me think about my own testimony and reexamine what I believe. I have looked carefully at what I am doing to keep and strengthen my testimony, and I have made changes. The result has been great. As I have done these things that I know I must do to gain the kind of testimony that I want, I have felt the Savior’s love for me, and my testimony of Him and of the restored gospel has grown. My knowledge is still imperfect and incomplete, but it has been exciting to feel it grow from something that was good into something that is much better.
…I also want to direct my comments to those whose testimonies are not as strong as they should be or want them to be; to those who struggle with doubt or wonder about certain doctrines; to those whose questions prevent them from being able to declare with confidence that they now the Church is true; to those who go through the motions of Church membership for family of cultural reasons but haven’t felt the warmth of a testimony for some time; and to those who maybe their belief and faith slowly drifting away and want to have them back. My thoughts today are also for those people who, like me, want their testimony to be stronger and want to avoid the danger of letting it die…”
(Mark B Colton: Never Give up on your Testimony of the Gospel )
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I was visiting a ward in Burley Idaho where a Sister stood and started talking about Testimonies and her words struck a chord deep inside me.
Later that evening I watched a Byu Devotional where the speaker entitled his comments,
"Never give up on your testimony of the Gospel."
His thoughts started new thoughts in my mind.
For over a month I have been thinking about the words shared with me from two different sources and have been unable to find an answer to why.
This past Sunday I changed my schedule so I could attend my home branch in hopes my thoughts on Testimony would start coming together.
Later that day I found myself researching the thoughts the Sister had shared from President Spencer W Kimball.
I then found myself going to my topical guide looking for scriptures that spoke about Testimonies two verses jumped right out me.
One from the Book of Mormon and the other from Doctrine and Covenants.
One thought that both talks addressed was
"You have to fight for a testimony!"
I believe those words struck me because there are days when I am slothful with my Testimony and assume it will always be there.
A thought that jumped out me was a comment made by President Kimball,
"Some of our good people get so terrified at triteness that they try to steer around and away from their testimonies by getting out on the fringes.
Don't you ever worry about triteness in testimony. When the President of the Church bears his testimony, he says,
'I know that Joseph Smith was called of God, a divine representative.
I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
You see, the same thing every one of your says.
That is a testimony. It never gets old, never gets old!
Tell the Lord frequently how much you love him."
When I first started back to school I made a friend who is such an inspiration to me.
We were talking one day and she told me how much she admired me because each and every day I bore my testimony to all around me.
I was surprised and asked her how I was bearing my testimony to those all around me. I can still see her smile as she responded, "Each and every day I have seen you share with someone who needed to know that they were a Divine Child of a loving Heavenly Father.
Faces started running through my mind and I found myself overcome with emotion as the Spirit bore witness to the insightful insight my friend had shared with me.
That was many years ago.
I find myself wondering if I am still sharing that message.
President Kimball then asked a series of questions, "Do you love the work? really?
Are you happy in you work? Do you love the Lord?
Are you glad that you are a member of the Church?
I can honestly and excitedly answer "YES, YES, YES, YES and great big YES!!
I truly love the work I have been called to do, and I love my Lord and Savior with all my heart, mind and soul and I do love being a member of the church because it has brought so much peace and joy into my life.
For now I am going to close so you can read President Kimball's remarks and see what speaks to you.
I have decided this Testimony journey is going to be longer than just one blog post but since that dear sister was sharing President Kimball's words which first started my reflection I thought it approriate that I should start with him too.
My next post will be some thoughts on
"Never give up on your Testimony of the Gospel."
Not sure if I will be able to tie in the scriptures that jumped out at me or if that too will be for another day.
Like President Kimball and the Latter-Day brethren, I know that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God and I know He loves each and everyone of us in such a special way.
I agree whole hearetdly with these words found in D&C 76:22-23: