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.