A New Approach

By Shauna Robinson

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    I decided it was time that I gained a testimony of my own.

    When I was in high school, I decided it was time that I gained a testimony of my own, instead of relying on the testimonies of my parents.

    I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. So one night as I was kneeling by my bed saying my prayers, I asked the Lord to let me know whether or not the gospel was true. Then I jumped into bed and went to sleep.

    The next day, and for the next few days after that, I did the very same thing. Needless to say, I was not gaining a testimony.

    I decided to try a different approach. Instead of just praying and jumping into bed, I would pray and then wait on my knees for the answer to come to me. It didn’t.

    Something had to be done. I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon. The people I had read about were constantly gaining testimonies. It just didn’t seem fair that I couldn’t get an answer. What was I doing wrong?

    Then one night I read Doctrine and Covenants 9:7: “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.” [D&C 9:7]

    I realized then that I had been going about gaining a testimony all wrong. Instead of just expecting it to be given to me, I needed to find one.

    I looked up all the cross-references I could find on the subject of testimonies, talked to my bishop about it, and talked to my parents and others.

    After studying and fasting, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me know the truth. My testimony started to grow.

    But I was wrong when I thought that my first prayer hadn’t been answered. Doctrine and Covenants 9:7 was what I had prayed for. Although it was not a testimony, it was telling me the way I could find one for myself.

    Photograph by Matt Reier; posed by model