The Roots of a Testimony


(Adapted from an October 1988 general conference address. See Ensign, November 1988, pages 25–27.)
The testimony of Christ was confirmed in you (1 Cor. 1:6).

A testimony is a declaration of faith. In bearing testimony, some say, “I know,” and some say, “I believe.” Others say, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). How do we gain faith? I offer three principles:

1. Rooted in Christ

First, our testimonies must be rooted in Christ. He is the source of our greatest strength and comfort. I testify that He lives! I know His presence and have heard His voice in my mind and in my heart.

2. Desire

Faith begins with a desire to know if the gospel is true. To desire is to want or long for something. Alma stated, “Awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe” (Alma 32:27).

3. The Gospel Experiment

To gain a testimony, we must conduct a spiritual experiment. Jesus explained, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). In other words, as you try to live the gospel, you can know that it is true.

The three principles, then, are to be rooted in Christ, to have a desire to know, and to do the things God has commanded.

I know that this gospel is true, that Christ lives, and that this Church is led by a living prophet.

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Greer