I think some people wait for an experience to show them that they have a true testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ when really they have had a testimony all along and just didn’t realize it. I was one of those people.
I never questioned the truthfulness of the Church, but I hadn’t had that moment—that single experience—most Church members live their whole lives to have. I didn’t know what I expected: a bolt of lightning, an angel, or a near-death experience.
Fortunately it didn’t take something like almost dying to show me I had a testimony of this gospel. For me, it was just a moment of realization while reading my scriptures. I don’t recall the passage or the book, but I remember how I felt. It was the same feeling I got while singing a hymn, or speaking to my Heavenly Father in prayer, or sitting in sacrament meeting listening to the speakers. I had never thought much of that feeling before, but now it seemed it was the only thing that mattered. Again and again, the Spirit had borne witness to me of the truthfulness of the Church.
Now, the simple knowledge that I had of the gospel has become far more to me than just a religion I am a part of. It is everything. It is who I am and what I am. It affects every decision I make. I know I am a child of God. I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, came to earth to atone for all our sins. I know Joseph Smith spoke to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ face to face. I know this is the true gospel. I know it because I have felt it, and it is only through the Church that I can feel that gift of the Spirit.
No bolt of lightning, no heavenly angel, I just know.