Questions and Answers


Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

“How can I strengthen my testimony to make sure I stay strong in the gospel?”

Liahona

  • Truly commit to study and ponder the scriptures.

  • Make sure you are worthy to have the Holy Ghost with you at all times.

  • Make sure you repent humbly even for little sins.

  • Think about what your testimony is based on.

  • Bear your testimony often.

Your testimony will be strengthened when the Holy Ghost testifies to you of spiritual truths. Here are a few ways to invite the Spirit into your life:

First, have effective daily scripture study. Instead of forcing your eyes open for 15 minutes to quickly read your scriptures each night, really feast upon the words of Christ. As you study and ponder, your understanding will deepen, and you will feel the Holy Ghost, which will strengthen your testimony.

Make sure you are worthy to have the Spirit with you. Being worthy allows the Spirit to prompt you to act in ways that will be pleasing to Heavenly Father. You will also be able to feel the Spirit comforting you and assuring you that the gospel is true and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. Taking the sacrament worthily each week will help you have the Spirit with you.

Don’t overlook your sins, even the small ones. For instance, don’t lie; try not to be critical of people; tell your brother or sister you are sorry for yelling. Sin pulls you away from the Lord’s Spirit. Get in the habit of thinking about your thoughts and actions and, when needed, sincerely repenting.

Take some time to evaluate your testimony. Do you have a firm personal testimony of the Savior, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon? Or do you go to church because that’s where your friends are? Remember that the Church’s mission is to bring people to Jesus Christ. Build your testimony upon the rock of Christ, “a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

Finally, confirm to yourself what you know by sharing your beliefs with someone else. As prompted by the Spirit, bear your testimony, whether in testimony meeting, to your friends or family, or to people you meet. As you do, your testimony will be strengthened, and you will truly desire to stay strong in the gospel. Even the strongest testimonies will weaken if they are not put to use.

However, remember that having a testimony is not enough to keep you from straying. It was only after the Lamanites gained a testimony and were converted unto the Lord that they “never did fall away” (Alma 23:6). The scriptures remind us to pray always and be careful not to fall into temptation (see D&C 20:32–34). Don’t be discouraged if the process of developing your testimony and strengthening your conversion is slow. As you rely on the power of the Holy Ghost, a firm conviction will come.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Anything that does not draw us closer to God takes us away from Him. We have no middle ground, no foggy gray area where we can sin a little without suffering spiritual decline. That is why we must repent and come to Christ daily on submissive knees so that we can prevent our bonfires of testimony from being snuffed out by sin.” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 34.

Readers

I received my testimony through scripture study and constant prayer. That is not where it all ended. I keep studying and praying and fasting. That gives me a fresh understanding of the gospel and keeps me in the strait and narrow path. I believe that with fresh understanding comes a stronger belief. The more you come to understand the gospel, the more you obey God’s commandments and stay true to the gospel. Beatrice C., 21, Zimbabwe

I think there is no better way to strengthen your testimony than to realize first that you need the gospel in your life. Examples of other members who testify that the Church is true help greatly as well. In addition, you can talk with your friends from your branch or ward about the gospel and what it means to them. If you do at least these things and ask Heavenly Father in your daily prayers with a real desire to increase your faith, then He will answer you. He will give you the confidence and joy that come with accepting the gospel as an everlasting source of wisdom and happiness. Maxim K., 22, Ukraine

Doing Duty to God or Personal Progress is one way to strengthen your testimony. Always attend Church meetings and Mutual, and always bear your testimony. Listen to your parents and Church leaders. Then you will feel the Spirit and know you are on the right track. Earlson N., 20, Luzon, Philippines

As you are gaining a testimony and once you already have one, keep a scripture journal. Record your spiritual experiences. Record lessons or impressions you get from talks in church. Record anything that is special to you spiritually, even if at the time it seems insignificant. When you are doubting or in a spiritual slump, every experience you have written down will help lift you back up to where you want to be and help you have the Spirit to guide you. Meagen J., 17, Virginia, USA

I can strengthen my testimony and become strong against the enemy by praying, daily reading the scriptures, keeping the commandments of God, and always being grateful to Him. When I keep the commandments, I feel strong against the enemy, and I remember all the good experiences I have had in this gospel. Thus, my testimony increases and becomes unshakable against evil, and it becomes impossible for me to leave this true gospel of Christ. We should always remember to nurture our faith as a small plant, which with our care, grows and becomes strong. Bárbara M., 16, São Paulo, Brazil

Your testimony will get stronger gradually with the experiences you have. People rarely receive a testimony overnight. Your testimony will grow as you are willing to serve in the Church, keep the commandments, pray, fast, study the scriptures, attend Church meetings, and listen to others express their testimonies. If you do this, you will be blessed with moments of inspiration that will strengthen your own testimony. Also, don’t hesitate to share it with others. Elder Alberto Aquino, 21, Guatemala Guatemala City South Mission

At times I have doubted, but thanks to the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Ghost, I have strengthened my testimony that we really are all children of God. Satan will work hard to get you to doubt your testimony. Pray with all your heart to overcome those thoughts and also to help you remember when He has helped you before. He is always there to listen and help. Saryn S., 17, Utah, USA

Next Question

“Every time I pray I say the same things. What can I do to make my prayers less repetitive and more meaningful?”

SEND YOUR ANSWER, along with your full name, birth date, ward and stake (or branch and district), and photograph (including your parent’s written permission to print the photo and response) to:

Liahona, Questions and Answers 1/08
50 E. North Temple St. Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Please respond by January 15, 2008.

Photograph by John Luke, posed by models