As the time for me to serve a mission approached, I decided that I really needed to know for myself whether or not the Church was true. During this time, I had many discussions about religion with a close friend. Woody is an atheist and is very good at expressing his views in a logical and reasonable way. He is an intelligent person and someone I look up to, so I value and respect his opinions.
Before I met Woody I thought I had a strong testimony, but soon I wasn’t so sure. Woody’s views of atheism became more and more reasonable to me. Fortunately, there was always something in the back of my mind that wouldn’t let me give myself over completely to Woody’s way of thinking.
Finally one night just before my 19th birthday, after a lot of thought and prayer, I knelt down and asked Heavenly Father if the Church was true. I didn’t seem to receive any answer. I started wondering how I was really supposed to know. I had always been taught that the answers to our questions can be found in the scriptures, so I looked up the word know in the Topical Guide. The guide led me to Alma 5:46, where Alma explains that before he found the truth he had to fast and pray for many days—and he was a prophet of God! I read more and found that I couldn’t just fast and pray, but that I also needed to live in a way that would allow me to feel the Spirit.
Fast Sunday came, and I decided to fast for the ability to recognize the Spirit’s promptings. In that fast and testimony meeting, I received my answer. As I listened to the testimonies, a feeling flowed over my body and filled my soul with joy. I knew I had received my answer that the Church was true. When I got home, I went to my room, sat down on my bed, and thought to myself, “It is true! I really got an answer.” I received the same feeling again, a confirmation from the Holy Ghost. I knew the gospel was true! I never wanted that feeling to go away.
From then on, I knew that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I also knew he wanted me to serve a mission so I could share my knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ with others.