Rejoicing in the Gospel


Latter-day Saints from around the world share their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Exercising the Priesthood

“My mum fell seriously ill one morning, and I was home alone with her. Her condition got worse. My dear mother was suffering. Her tears and screams were too much for me to bear.

“Our neighbors came rushing into our house. They suggested that I should take her to the hospital, but none of them could help me. My stake president and bishop were not at home. I was completely confused.

“Deep within me I pondered in my heart what to do. I asked my Heavenly Father to deliver me out of this situation. Just then my mum called me and asked, ‘Have you been ordained to the higher priesthood?’

“I answered, ‘Yes.’

“‘Then bless me,’ she said.

“I was very surprised, because when the missionaries taught her about the priesthood, she didn’t believe it was true. Now I was the only one around commissioned of Jesus Christ to act on behalf of God. I examined myself and found myself worthy to perform such a great task. I excused myself for a while and offered a short prayer to my Heavenly Father to heal my mother.

“After my prayer I felt something within me. Immediately I knew that it was the power of God. I returned and gently helped my mother sit up. I laid my hands on her head and blessed her. Soon after the ordinance she fell asleep. She slept about eight hours. I never heard any screams or moans from her again.

“How great was my joy when my mum woke up. I inquired of her condition. She replied, ‘I am very well, my son. I thought the priesthood was not real, but when I was suffering and prayed for help, I suddenly realized that the priesthood was true. So I asked for a blessing, and I was able to sleep.’”Amos Kwame Tofah, Ghana

Changing Attitudes

“Following the Savior makes me happy. It has changed my attitude and my family’s attitude toward other people. We’re more polite and courteous to everyone. We’re more outgoing and friendly.”Sunil Massey, India

Helping Raise Seven Children

“Six years ago my wife, Sachiko, died from cancer. Others worried that our family of seven children might fall apart without a mother, but that is the way the world thinks. We knew there is great strength in the gospel, so we continued to have family home evening and family prayer and scripture study. These have been very helpful in strengthening our family bonds.

“Because we had the gospel in our home, our children knew where their mother was. The gospel blessed their lives, and they felt that they needed to share those blessings with others. The children have gone on missions, one after another.”Masahiro Yonamine, Japan

Risking a Career

“While interviewing for my present position as a senior vice president of a large international company, I told my direct manager of my religious beliefs about drinking. I said that I would not be able to accept the job if abstaining from drinking would be problematic in fulfilling my responsibilities.

“At the time, social drinking was very important in the corporate culture and considered good stress therapy. It was commonly understood that social drinking was a part of a successful career. My manager, though disappointed that I would not be able to join him in many executive social circles, offered me the position, with respect for my beliefs.

“Since I joined the company, the corporate culture has changed so that abstaining from drinking is rarely a problem anymore. My firm testimony is that I will be ahead in my life, including my career, when I follow the values of Jesus Christ.”Yong-In S. Shin, South Korea

Coming unto Christ

“The biggest change in my life since joining the Church is how I act toward people. I’m not cynical anymore. I’m kinder, more loving. I share. I don’t feel any evil feelings toward anyone. It’s just so simple. Live life and enjoy it because you’ve got Christ in your life.

“I rejoice in the gospel because it’s healing to my soul. And I know Christ lives today.”Darlla Lauer, Utah

Finding Answers to Life’s Questions

“We rejoice in the gospel because it gives answers to life’s questions. After we went through the pain of two miscarriages, holding our little daughter has almost been more than the heart could take without bursting. The priesthood has given us hope to see the fruits after the trial of our faith.

“The Church offers the keys to success in a young family like ours through the material we are given on how to raise righteous children. Where else could we find that type of guidance? The gospel has given us an eternal perspective of life and death, of sickness and health, and of love everlasting.”Jeffrey and Analili Burrows, Guatemala

Being Together Forever

“One day two missionaries got into my taxi,” says Garry Guanilo of Peru. “They asked me if I knew that families could be eternal. That question really had an impact on me. And they spoke to me about the Prophet Joseph Smith. I went home and told my wife, María, about it. We invited the missionaries to our home. During the first lesson, they sang ‘Families Can Be Together Forever’ ” (Hymns, no. 300).

María adds, “Since our baptism, we are progressing in many ways. It’s like a staircase—we keep climbing higher and higher, and less important things are dropping out of our lives.”

Garry continues, “I want to marry my wife for eternity in the temple and to have our daughters sealed to us. We had no idea this world existed!”Garry and María Guanilo, Peru

Finding Courage in a Hymn

“I received a crucial testimony in February 1945, when I was 13. We found ourselves between the battlefronts in World War II and came into a life-threatening predicament with four other families. About 15 soldiers aimed their rifles at us, intending to kill us. In this dangerous situation my mother placed herself between the weapons and us five children. She said, ‘Children, hold each other’s hands.’ Then she sang the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ (Hymns, no. 166)!

“Today, after 60 years, I still hear this hymn in my spirit. At that moment I prayed to my Heavenly Father and made a covenant with Him that if He would preserve my life, I would keep His commandments and laws. This promise has given me the strength to turn from worldly things and align my life with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”Erich Stank, Germany

Learning the Doctrine

“I love learning the doctrines of the gospel. I enjoy singing the hymns because hymns teach doctrine. I want to serve a mission, and I am a home teacher. I go with my father, and with the Lord’s help we have helped activate two families.”Franklin M. Konduah, Ghana

[illustration] Detail from The Second Coming, by Grant Romney Clawson

[photos] Photographs courtesy of the authors, except as noted

[photo] Amos Kwame Tofah

[photo] Sunil Massey family

[photo] Masahiro Yonamine family

[photo] Darlla Lauer

[photo] Jeffrey and Analili Burrows family

[photo] Garry and María Guanilo family (photograph by Marvin K. Gardner)

[photo] Erich Stank

[photo] Franklin M. Konduah