98970_000_002(Adapted from an April 1998 general conference address. See the Ensign, May 1998, pages 69–71.)This is the testimony … which we give of him: That he lives! (D&C 76:22).
Personal testimony is a wonderful thing, a gift from God to man. It is a conviction, a quiet inward certainty of the reality of the living God, of the divinity of His Beloved Son, of the restoration of Their work in this time. It demands that we do what He has asked us to do.
Let me tell you a story that I heard recently in Mexico.
Thirty years ago, David Castañeda; his wife, Tomasa; and their children lived on a dry, little, run-down ranch near Torreón. They owned thirty chickens, two pigs, and one thin horse. They walked in poverty. Then the missionaries called on them. Sister Castañeda said, “The elders took the blinders from our eyes and brought light into our lives. We knew nothing of Jesus Christ. We knew nothing of God until they came.”
The elders taught them, and they were eventually baptized. They moved into the little town of Bermejillo. They started in the junk business, buying wrecked automobiles. They gradually built a prosperous business. With simple faith they paid their tithing. They put their trust in the Lord. They lived the gospel. They served wherever they were called to serve. Four of their sons and three of their daughters filled missions. They have been made fun of for their obedience to gospel principles. Their answer is a testimony of the power of the Lord in their lives.
Some two hundred of their family and friends have joined the Church due to their influence. The children, now grown, and the parents take turns going to Mexico City each month to work in the temple. They stand as a living testimony of the great power of this work of the Lord to lift and change people.