When I was in high school, I decided it was time I gained a testimony of my own instead of relying on those of my parents.
I wasn’t quite sure how to go about gaining a testimony, 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 I did the very same thing and for the next few days after that. 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 in there were constantly gaining testimonies. It just didn’t seem fair that I couldn’t get an answer. What was I doing wrong?
I was reading one night in Doctrine and Covenants 9:7 where it says, “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. Section 9, verse 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.