Monday, December 7, 2015

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

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