BEARING YOUR TESTIMONY
“Question: “Will you kindly tell me what is a testimony of the gospel, and what must one do to obtain one?”
Sometimes when I pray for the Mormons the only thing I pray is for the Holy Spirit to reveal that it is okay to be an individual and have personal experiences with the Lord that doesn’t include the Church or one of the prophets. This is how Joseph F. Smith defined a testimony:
“…In relation to the gospel, a testimony is a revelation to the individual who earnestly seeks one by prayer, study, and faith. It is the impression or speaking of the Holy Ghost to the soul in a convincing, positive manner. It is something which is far more penetrating than impressions from any other source, but it cannot fully be described.”
After this he quotes Moroni 10:4-5 that says if you ask with a sincere heart the Lord will reveal truth to you with a sign of a “burning in the bosom”. And then the prophet says;
“However it should be kept in mind that the person seeking for this knowledge will not have the privilege of repeated manifestations. He is not entitled to the continual guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Lord will reveal the truth once; then when this testimony has been given, the person should accept the truth and receive the gospel by baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1472 says this about testimonies;
“The essence of a testimony is a personal inward assurance of Jesus Christ’s divinity, and it provides the fundamental basis for a Christian life. One becomes a disciple of Christ in the fullest spiritual sense only when a personal testimony of Jesus is received…To have such a testimony is to be conscious that God has borne witness within one’s soul by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ (D&C 46:13).”
This almost sounds “Christian” doesn’t it? If you were to see just that part of their definition you’d be wondering why there’s a problem. That is why I included “rest of the story”.
As I was participating in a debate with a stake president recently, someone asked him if he knew for sure that he was saved. After a very pregnant pause, he answered “Oh, now you’re testing my humility. I would hope that I’m doing all right, I mean I certainly do try hard but I am hoping that I have another thirty or so years to try and perfect it.”
After he said that he let out a big breath and continued on to say he believes the Church is true, he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet of God as is Gordon Hinckley, he also knows that nothing would come between him and the Church. My heart breaks for the man who sat in that chair with his shoulders slumping over and looking very tired.
Make sure you’re generous with your time when sharing your testimony with the Mormons and ex-Mormons! Hearing that someone actually has a personal relationship with God and His Son Jesus is an eye opener for many lost in the dark of Mormonism.
Lesson Plan for Chapter 17
1. Using an English dictionary describe the word “testimony”.
2. What is necessary to “gain a testimony” according to the LDS Church? What about Christianity? ________________________________________
3. What did Jesus say in John 14:23 and how does this disagree with the LDS prophet’s answer? _________________________________________
4. What is necessary to truly become a disciple of Christ? See Romans 10:9. _______________________________________________
© 2012 Life After Ministries, Inc.
Link for Chapter 18:
Chapter 18. The Authority and Priesthood Issue