Brothers and Sisters I consider talks given at General Conference to be both the mind and will of God and always counsel my stake that they be taken as scripture even for the edification of the saints in these the latter days.
It is in this spirit that I would like to discuss the General Conference talk entitled *‘Testimony’ given by Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy a few years ago in which we learned that ‘the real strength of an individual is to be found in his testimony and in living it.’
If you are not feeling strong as an individual, if you are struggling with a sense of self worth, if you feel less than those of us who have and are living according to our testimonies I plead with you to take the necessary steps to increase your testimony that you may emulate more fully your leaders and their example.
In his talk Elder Didier gave us certain keys necessary to gaining the revelation required to obtain a testimony. I consider these keys to be absolutely essential and would ask that you ponder each of them prayerfully. In key number 2 we are expressly warned “Do not look at reason, logic, or the philosophies of men and theories of the world.”
I cannot emphasize enough how important avoiding reason and logic are in gaining a solid and unbreakable testimony of the Church. Those who gain a belief or testimony through reason and logic can just as easily lose that testimony through the very same process. This has happened to many individuals who have built their testimonies on the sandy surface of reason.
Please pay special attention to the correct way to gain a testimony as given in this ensign article; it is almost identical to how I gained my unshakeable testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon:
**“At the age of 22, I realized I had never read the Book of Mormon,” Tom remembers. “I knew the Lord had given me a second chance, and I became determined to find out His plan for me. My dad bought me a large Book of Mormon, cut off the binding, and put it in a three-ring binder. Assisted by my mother, I read from January to September, and then I decided to take
’s challenge. I expected an immediate response, but nothing happened. Finally, after several prayers, my heart began pounding, and I realized that I had known it was true all along.” Moroni
It is important for all (and especially our youth) to realize that in that moment of silence when you are praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true if you notice that your heart rate increases this is to be taken as a sign from God that the book is true and that you have known it all along. Had Tom not known how to interpret his feelings correctly he may have erroneously thought that the Lord had not answered his prayer.
Skeptics who are well known for using reason and logic may say that this is a completely ridiculous way to know truth and that heart beats have nothing to do with God communicating to us, but we know they are wrong. If your heart beats faster than normal when praying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon you may know of a surety not only that the book is true, but also that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson is his authorized servant today and (if you are in my stake) that President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster has been ordained to watch over the flocks in this part of the Lords vineyard in these the latter days.
It is important to understand that Tom’s testimony is much less likely to falter than others because he gained it not through reason and logic but through direct revelation from the Lord as an answer to prayer. Those who lose their testimonies and try to bring people like Tom down to their level don’t seem to understand that their efforts are wasted, for you cannot reason a person out of a position they arrived at without reason in the first place.
Brothers and Sisters you have a testimony. You would not be reading this humble blog by a faithful Stake President were it not so. Don’t you ever doubt it, no matter what anybody tells you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.