Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Autumn's Testimony

I am so grateful for the blessings the gospel has brought into my life. Growing up, I had always had a testimony of the Savior and felt the spirit.  I felt as though I never had a big experience to share that really shaped my testimony until right before the summer of 2011.

I was sitting in stake conference when I had a strong prompting to move to Tempe. I had never before had such a specific, strong prompting that I couldn't deny. At the time I was working at a Salon and there was another location I could possibly move to. I knew I had to at least try, so the next week I talked to my supervisors to see if this was possible. They quickly let me know that there wasn't a great chance of the location change. I was confused and discouraged, until the very next week when there was an opening at that exact location! I moved to Tempe, and had the best experience in my ward and with my new roommates. I made many lifelong friends and my testimony grew so much from those few short months. Later that summer, I met Thomas and a little over a year later we were sealed in the Mesa Arizona temple.

I am so grateful I was taught at such a young age to recognize the spirit and to act on promptings. I know that the Savior knows each of us personally and knows what we need in our lives. I have a testimony of the gospel and the special love Heavenly Father has for each of us.

Testimony of Andrew Wilson

Growing up I have always know the church to be true. My beliefs were first founded on those of my parents and grandparents. When i was around ten years old I asked my dad why we were not Jewish, he explained how the Priesthood was lost and the importance of the restoration, it was then that I fully understood how important the Gospel was and the work Joseph Smith did. I hope that I can help create that moment in my own children's lives where they can come to the knowledge of truthfulness of the Gospel on their own. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints is the true church of our Lord and Savior. It was founded through the work of Joseph Smith and continues today through his living Prophets. I am so grateful to have family that shares these beliefs and encourages us to always be better. Love Drew

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Testimony - Katie Nicole Whited

I have never had a doubt the church wasn't true. I know it is. I know with every fiber of my being and have known ever since I was small. I guess being raised by my parents being strong members of the church and being around family and friends that share the same believe and love for our Heavenly Father and Savior make it easier to know from a young age.

I don't know when my true conversion is of when I knew for a fact that the gospel was true. But I will share a time of strong reassurance.

It was March 27, 2013. I remember this day very well. It was the day I left Levi. I was at my lowest point, scared to death, not knowing why all this had to be and why I had to go through such a horrible thing for the past 5 and a half years of my life and why did my three kids have to be dragged into it.

I remember Grandpa always saying, "Smith's never quit." (Hence, Smith's never get divorced) That night as I was kneeling down crying and praying  I remember being angry with my Heavenly Father. I remember asking why. WHY?! Why did I stay so long in such an abusive relationship, why did my kids have to be brought into it, why was I so scared, why do I have to be the one to go through all of this? I am was not a quitter but I could only do so much and I couldn't even safe my own marriage. I had quit something.

The next morning I woke up shocked that I actually didn't have a restless night's sleep with all that was going on. I know I had a dream about something but yet I had no recollection of what it was. What I did know is that I had a strong and clear understanding of why. I know that I had to go through all of that because of my 3 kids. I had to stop the abuse cycle through his line of the family even if it was with only 3 children. I knew that I would be the one to make that change as long as I stayed strong in the gospel, follow the council given by our prophets, apostles and other church leaders. Never again will I be angry with my Heavenly Father because I know that there is a plan for everyone of us. Whatever trial we are given He knows that we can get through it. He is molding us and preparing us for when we can be back home with Him.

I love the gospel more then anything in this world! Of all the uncertainties in this mortal existence, it is the one thing that will never change. It is my anchor, my rock, my light in the darkness, my hope. I love the word hope. Hope keeps me going.

In the dictionary, hope is defined as:

                     "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen".

Sometimes hope is all we can have. Even when we don't know what else to do, never ever ever lose hope.

My Testimony - Gayla Gardner Smith

As a child, my parents taught me about our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so  grateful to them for teaching me gospel truths that have blessed me throughout my life, and for their examples of living the gospel and serving others. I have some memories of early experiences with feeling the Spirit for myself.  As I listened to teachings about the Savior, heard music praising Him, and witnessed the sharing of testimonies in my ward, feelings of warmth, love, faith, and  joy were powerful to me!  Those feelings gave me the desire to try to do the things that my Savior would want me to do.  Several times as a young girl, I even felt a powerful pounding in my chest which gave me a desire to share my own testimony. 

Throughout my life I have been blessed with leaders and teachers that continued to teach and counsel me.  As I began to learn more about the scriptures and read them for myself, my gratitude for our Father in Heaven's Plan of Happiness also grew.  As I experimented upon the word, I prayed for confirmation that the Book of Mormon and the Church were true.  Though it didn't come immediately, the reassurance came.  I knew that the feelings that I had always had, were correct.  The Church was true!  I have continually learned that living a principle is the best way to confirm it's truthfulness.

Another great blessing that I received at a young age was finding a wonderful young man to love and marry that had also been taught by goodly parents.  I am indebted to them!  It took prayer and spiritual confirmation to give me the courage to marry and move away from my family at such a young age.  The blessing of motherhood has also greatly strengthened my testimony.  Watching my children, and now grandchildren, find happiness as they grab on to the gospel gives me added faith.

 I have had so many experiences that have confirmed my faith, that I could not begin to recount them.  I have felt the Lord's promptings as I have served in the Church. I have grown as I have tackled assignments and challenges that seemed too difficult.  I  have witnessed over and over His tender mercies and His answers to prayers in even the small things in our lives.  I know that living the gospel and keeping the commandments brings peace and joy in this life and the next. I feel so blessed that we have prayer, the scriptures, the Priesthood, the Temple, and a living prophet and apostles to help us.  Most of all, I am grateful to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior!  I am grateful for the atonement that makes it possible for each of us to be free from sin and death.   It is my greatest desire to be worthy to be with them one day with family all around! 

Gayla Gardner Smith

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Laurie's Testimony

The Church has always been the center of my life and I have always been challenged with missionary work and my parents always supported me with these challenges. One challenge came when I was in 6th or 7th grade when I was asked to invite someone to attend church with me after accepting an invitation to attend theirs. I attended a church of one of my friends and the services went okay but then we went to class. It was then that the teacher started to talk about how the Mormon’s were a cult and that they weren’t Christians. I started to cry but stood my ground when I told him  that I was a member of the church he was talking about and that it was not okay for him to belittle other faiths and I got up and walked out and called my father to come get me. The pastor of the church called my house and tried to apologize for what was said. I accepted his apology but from that day forward my testimony was stronger. Because of this incident I have tried to fill my life and teach my family about missionary service.
Watching my family grow has been such a blessing and a pleasure. I knew The Book of Mormon was true when I completed seminary because with having to study it, it made more sense and I knew it was true. There is no one story that I like more than another, I love them all.
Having a supportive family throughout difficult times in my life and continue to have their support has been such a blessing. My parents have been my anchor throughout my life and I would not be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for their love and support.
I bear my testimony that I know the Church is true and that Heavenly Father lives and Jesus is the Son of God and the Holy Ghost is my constant companion.

Jason's Testimony

I feel fortunate that from a young age I was blessed with a belief that the gospel was true. I don’t really remember a time in which I didn’t have a testimony. Now don’t get me wrong, my road—like most others’—has not been smooth. In fact, as temptations and trials swirled around me during my teenage years, my faith was tested, and I didn’t always pass every test. That said, even in my darkest hours of life, when faith was weak and hope seemed lost, I knew of the truthfulness of the restored gospel deep down in my soul. Perhaps it was that testimony—buried deep, but still there—that gave me courage in those times to press forward and rely on the Lord. Looking back, perhaps it was simply a miracle that I ever made it through with my faith restored and my testimony intact. That’s the most amazing thing about the Atonement of Jesus Christ—we can’t earn its blessings; they are freely given so long as we are willing to receive them.

My faith and testimony are a result not of anything special I have done, but rather because of the fortunate circumstances that the Lord saw fit to place me in. In all reality, my trials have been mostly self-inflicted, and pale in comparison to so many of those around me. For that, I feel blessed. I feel blessed to have been raised in a family with good parents who did their best to create an environment where I could feel the spirit and develop a testimony of my own. I will be forever grateful that from the day I was born, I have been literally surrounded by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and church leaders who love the Lord and have “worn out their lives” in His service. I’m proud of and thankful for my heritage. Those examples have helped me become the man I am, and will forever guide my efforts to someday become the man my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I’m grateful that the Lord guided me to my eternal companion Jodi, and has given me the opportunity to repeat the pattern of parenthood and service set by my parents and grandparents.

I know that God lives, and that He loves us. I know He sent his perfect Son to atone for us. I know that they—both the Father and the Son—appeared to Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that true happiness comes from doing our best to follow the Savior. This is what I have been taught all my life, and the Spirit has borne witness of the truthfulness of it countless times.

Kathleen's Testimony

I can’t point to a specific time in my life when I knew I had a testimony of the Church, but I can say without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a true church. I grew up going to church almost every Sunday.  I believe it was the social thing to do in the town of Bountiful, Utah.  You pretty much knew who was an active member and who was not. I could almost name every home and the last name of the family who lived in that home within the “ward boundaries”.  I remember as a young child being in church specifically fast and testimony meetings when others were sharing their testimony and a warm and comforting feeling would come upon me during these times.  These “warm and comforting” feelings have been present all through my life.  I struggle to put the words together to express my feelings.  I wish others could just see in my heart and understand the words I cannot find to express.  I know my life has been greatly blessed and a path divinely written just for me when I have been faithful and obedient to God’s plan. I have tried my entire life to be a good person and stay close and grounded to the church.  I know my Heavenly Father loves me and guides me here on this earth.  I have seen his hand throughout my life and the lives around me.  I can testify of times when the spirit has guided my direction in this life and prompted me or others to act upon these heaven sent messages of love.  I truly have been blessed in my life with those who have been put there for when I have needed it the most.  I know our Heavenly Father cares and loves each one of us individually.  He Knows us……He knows our needs and desires……He knows our hearts and He knows each challenge we face every day of our lives.  Our Father in Heaven loves us very much and desires for each of us to succeed in having a happy life.  We just need to be doing the things in our lives that He desires of us every day and He will be with us and carry us through our hardships and burdens.  I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and paid the ultimate price for me and all the dumb things I mess up on.  I am truly striving to be the person I know He wants me to be.  I am so thankful for the loving guidance the Church has had throughout my life.  I have truly been blessed in my life.  I know this Church is sooo true! It is God’s plan for each one of us and if we embrace it with all our heart, mind and soul we will find the happiness we need in this life and the life to come! I am truly blessed and loved!

Kathleen Smith
December 6, 2015