How I Know:

The Perfect Truth

by Stephanie McLean

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    Doubts had set in. What was I going to do about school? About life? Even about the Church?


    Just a short time ago, I was really struggling to keep attending all my Church meetings. I’m sure almost everyone experiences the same sort of doubts I was having—about the gospel, about myself, about school. It was the time for year-12 students to start submitting the VTAC forms, our application to university. I was so confused! How, at the age of 16, was I supposed to decide what direction my entire life should take?

    Of course, the questions I had about where I was going began to spread to other areas—like the gospel. A close friend of mine, a recent convert, was having a great deal of trouble with her own testimony, and I was finding that I was unable to answer some of her questions. I began asking questions of my own. Some of them could be answered by seminary and Young Women teachers, but the answer to perhaps the most important question I would ever ask had to come from the Lord. I needed to know that the Church is true.

    All I could do was ask. I knew I was doing all the right things: I attended seminary every day, I read my scriptures and wrote in my journal each night, I hadn’t missed a Church meeting for years. So on a freezing June night, I closed my Book of Mormon and knelt to pray.

    “Please, Father,” I whispered. “I need to know that I’m doing the right thing, that all of this effort isn’t just in vain.”

    I had heard all the descriptions of the wonderful feelings that people experience when they ask in faith about the truthfulness of the gospel. I’d often thought them somewhat trite, almost predictable. But the warmth and the certainty that washed over me as my Father in Heaven answered my prayers was nothing that words could ever do justice to. I felt surrounded by a glow of love and peace, and within my soul I knew the perfect truth of the gospel principles I had taken for granted all my life. Now I know the Church is true.

    Photography by Matt Reier