I was born a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I went to my meetings every Sunday and tried to keep the commandments. I went to seminary all four years and did as much missionary work as I could. But it wasn’t until I went away to college that I decided I really wanted to gain a testimony of my own.
I had already read the Book of Mormon several times, both with my family and on my own. Every time I read it, I would pray to know if the words I received were true. I never felt like I received a firm answer to those prayers, and over time I grew more and more discouraged. I was afraid that not receiving that witness meant that the Church wasn’t true.
But I was determined to try again. I began reading the Book of Mormon again, studying and pondering it as I had never done before. Near the end of the fall semester at college, I finished the Book of Mormon. I sat on my bed and thought a lot about how I should go about asking again. Tears flowed down my cheeks as the fear of not being answered crept over me. I prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him how I was on my own now and needed a witness that the Book of Mormon was true. At the end of my prayer I waited and waited, but once again, no answer came. I felt a deep weakening in my heart, and I cried because once again my prayers seemed to have failed.
The next morning I attended my religion class. My teacher began to talk about prayer. In the course of his lecture he said, “Don’t ask the Lord a question you already know the answer to.” I immediately felt the Spirit, and three words entered my mind, “You already know.” I realized that I already knew that the Church and the Book of Mormon were true. My mind filled with thoughts of how I knew it was true. I thought about the joy the gospel had brought into my life. I thought of the peace and happiness that I always felt when I was living the commandments. I thought of the many times I had felt the Spirit.
Now if I get discouraged as I work to build a testimony of my own, I remember the joy the gospel has brought me throughout my life. I remember the times I have felt the Spirit. And I don’t discount the subtle reassurances I have felt of the gospel’s truth.