Monday, November 30, 2015

My Story by Christine Smith

My testimony has grown little by little over the course of my entire life.  I have had small experiences that have solidified my testimony in the Savior.  One experience in particular, however sticks out in my memory, and I will never forget the impact it had in my life.  I was a freshman in high school, and the Bishop asked everyone in the ward to read from the scriptures for thirty minutes every day for three months.  Thankfully, I really took this challenge to heart, and made it a personal goal of mine.  I even had a little calendar that I would mark off every day that I read.  I was faithful in reading every single day except one during those three months - the day I got my wisdom teeth pulled, and although I’m pretty sure Heavenly Father understood the pain I was in that day and gave me a pass on that one, I was disappointed I didn’t complete the challenge %100. But during those 90 days of studying my scriptures, I finished reading the Book of Mormon by myself for the first time.  I remember kneeling in prayer and taking Moroni’s challenge at the end: I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  That was the first time I had sincerely asked about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  I received my answer – my personal witness of its power.  After I got my positive confirmation, my testimony of everything else in the gospel was solidified as well.  If the Book of Mormon was true, that meant Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God, which meant we have a modern day prophet, and that all the teachings that come from him and the Apostles were true, which included the power and blessing of the temple, the priesthood, and all the covenants we make in the gospel – everything was true.
            Another experience came much later, just a few months after Harrison and I were married.  We were living in Utah and he had the opportunity to go to Airborne School in Georgia for three weeks.  Being newlyweds, and having hardly been apart, three weeks seemed like an eternity – I could barely talk about it without bursting into tears! But he left, and I stayed in Utah to work.  One weekend while he was gone, I drove up to Rexburg, ID to visit my sister and I took the opportunity to attend the newly built Rexburg temple.  I had only received my endowments a few months prior and had only been to the temple a handful of times, so I was always so nervous when I went.  But this time was different.  I remember sitting in the session and I had an overwhelming feeling of God’s love for me.  He knew who I was, and even though this trial of being apart from my husband may seem small to some, to me it was really hard.  I needed His comfort more than I realized, and I left the temple that day feeling more like a Daughter of God than ever before.  In the years since then, I have often reflected back on that profound moment when times have been hard.  Through many other Army schools Harrison has attended that took him away from home, during his deployment to Afghanistan, and when he missed the birth of our son, Fisher while he was at Ranger School.  During all those hard times, and many other times as well, I have turned to my Heavenly Father for the confirmation of His love and awareness of me, and I have only ever felt peace and comfort.
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It has shaped me into the person I am today, and has set the goals for the woman I hope to become.  My greatest hope in life is that my children will come to know of the truthfulness as well, and that their faith will help them endure all things.

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