Questions and Answers


“I’ve prayed and studied the scriptures for a long time, but I never seem to get an answer to my questions. Why isn’t the Lord blessing me with a testimony?”

Some people describe dramatic, even miraculous, experiences through which they gained their testimonies. But more often a testimony comes gradually in a quiet way. If you haven’t received a powerful spiritual witness, don’t be discouraged. You’ve already taken the first step toward gaining a testimony by desiring to believe (see Alma 32:27). Your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to bless you with a testimony—but in His own time and in His own way (see D&C 88:68).

Not everyone receives a testimony in the same way. Some feel “a burning in the bosom” (see D&C 9:8). Others feel the Holy Ghost speak truths in their minds and hearts (see D&C 8:2). Your witness will also come through the still, small voice of the Spirit. Ask Heavenly Father to help you recognize these gentle promptings.

A powerful way to gain a testimony is to take opportunities to share the gospel with others. As you teach the truths of the gospel, the Spirit can bear witness to you, as well as to others, that what you say is true.

Continue to pray with faith and sincerity, waiting patiently for the Lord’s answer. As you keep the commandments, you will be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the source of testimony.

Pray Always

I understand what you are going through. I have struggled through difficult times in which my testimony has been shaken. The way I was able to get through it—and gain the strengthened testimony that I have today—was with constant scripture study and prayer. I read my scriptures every opportunity I got. I prayed morning and night, straining to feel the Spirit. Yet it all seemed to be in vain. But one day, when I got home from school, I knelt by my bed. I don’t know how long I prayed, but I did receive an answer. Just pray always. Study the scriptures. You will find the answer you’ve been looking for.

Christopher W., 15, Nevada, USA

Be Sincere

Heavenly Father knows your heart even before you ask; He is simply waiting for you to bring your questions before Him in sincere prayer. I have a personal testimony that He answers prayers. You might receive an immediate answer, or it might take a little longer, but I truly know He will answer. Be patient and continue in your faithfulness.

Sharon F., 20, Lagos, Nigeria

Listen to the Holy Ghost

Pray for guidance in seeking personal wisdom. Heavenly Father hears and answers all our prayers. Answers come through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Ask in faith, be humble, keep the commandments, partake of the sacrament worthily, take time to ponder the scriptures, and patiently seek God’s will.

Ana Mae R., 20, Davao Oriental, Philippines

Bear Your Testimony

Church leaders have taught that in addition to asking, we ought to share our testimonies of what we want to know, even though we have not yet received a firm answer. I prayed for a testimony many times and did not receive the witness I was seeking until I shared my testimony of the gospel and the Restoration. Even though I had not yet obtained a firm testimony, I received that clear, soft, powerful confirmation of the Holy Ghost. I know that if you share your testimony, the Lord will strengthen it.

Aura O., 18, Huila, Colombia

Fast and Pray

Prayer and fasting will prepare the spiritual soil in which your testimony will grow, and your testimony will be a strength and anchor to help you resist every trial and temptation. A testimony is achieved through consistency; our diligence helps us feel the truth. Many times we must fast as Alma did (see Alma 5:45–46). Your testimony may be small at first, but as you continue praying and searching the scriptures, you will begin to see the fruits of your faith.

Elder Zubieta, 20, Colombia Cali Mission

Seek Divine Revelation

As a new convert I had the opportunity to go to the temple to perform some baptisms for my ancestors. As I stood in the water to perform this sacred ordinance, I had a strong feeling that baptism for the dead is divine. Since then I have been able to build my testimony of baptisms for the dead. In my understanding, testimony is defined as divine revelation to the person of faith. To gain a testimony, we must pray, study our scriptures, and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. At the root of every testimony must be a righteous life; otherwise, the Spirit cannot bear witness of the work of the Lord in our day.

Mariam N., 19, Accra, Ghana

Never Give Up

Gaining a testimony may take time. There are many things you can do to gain an immovable testimony. Just never give up on asking Heavenly Father for answers to your prayers.

Wilben G., 18, Benguet, Philippines

Have Patience

Sometimes our prayers are not answered immediately. Answers may take time and will come according to the desires of one’s heart. One of the qualities of a Saint is patience. Continue to pray, study the scriptures, keep the commandments, and listen to the testimonies of others. Also pay strict attention to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The answer may come when you least expect it.

Chioma O., 15, Abia, Nigeria

Be Still

Heavenly Father is always willing to answer us; however, something within us can sometimes keep us from receiving the answers we seek. I think the best way to gain a testimony is to be still, spiritually as well as physically. That way, when we pray and read the scriptures, we will be ready to receive.

Monica N., 19, Lima, Peru

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

A Fervent Testimony

Elder Robert D. Hales

“We cannot merely ask in prayer for a testimony and expect it to be given immediately to us. …

“Search and ponder upon the truths you are learning about gospel principles. Think about them. Test them with further prayer. Relate them to what you know and feel. All the truths you will learn can eventually fit together into a fervent, undoubting testimony.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 20.

Next Question

“How can I tell if my trials are meant to help me become better or if they are Heavenly Father’s way of warning me that I am headed down the wrong path?”

Send your answer by July 15, 2010, to:

Liahona, Questions & Answers 7/10
50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024, USA

Responses may be edited for length or clarity.

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