“Individual testimonies are the foundation and strength of the Church,” said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve. “Our testimony provides a guiding light that leads to a commitment which directs our conduct and our way of life. Our testimony is true north on a spiritual compass. It is a moving force that cannot be seen but can truly be felt. It is a burning within that tells us what is right” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 20).

A testimony should be one of your most prized possessions. So, if you don’t feel like you have a testimony yet, gaining one should be a high priority. But how do you know if you have a testimony? What does it take to know that the gospel is true? And if you do have a personal testimony, why should you share it with others? These are some of the questions we asked Latter-day Saint youth from around the world. Their answers may help you understand how to gain a testimony and why you should share it.

How do you know if you have a testimony?

“I know I have a testimony because of the feelings I have. The gospel brings me so much peace, and I know that peace I have felt has been because the Church is true. I know I have a testimony because I have studied to know my Savior lives and loves me.”

Jennifer Heyman, 16
Chandler, Arizona

“I know I have a testimony of Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the Church because of the feelings I have after praying and asking. I have felt the Spirit so many times there is no way I could deny it.”

Jennie Harris, 16
Nauvoo, Illinois

“It’s hard to explain, but you will know within yourself. I know for me that my questions about whether the Church is true or not were answered with a warm feeling that made me feel very close to the Lord. Those feelings gave me the knowledge that the Church is true.”

Michael Day, 16
Leigh-on-Sea, England

How did you gain your testimony?

“I was able to gain my testimony by the help of two people—my father and my Heavenly Father. My earthly father got me to start attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and my Heavenly Father gave me the understanding and the facts about the true Church that I was always looking for. All this helped me have a strong testimony.”

Michael McLeman, 16
Isle-of-Lewis, Scotland

“I was lucky to be born into a Latter-day Saint family, which gave me a base for my testimony. But as I grew older, I decided that I had to know. So, I prayed and fasted. I listened to the teachings of the gospel and felt my Heavenly Father’s love surround me. I now know, without a doubt, that the gospel is true.”

Chrissy Starks, 17
Papillion, Nebraska

“I guess I gained a testimony of Christ when my great-grandmother wrote a letter to all our family from her deathbed. She wrote about how the most important and indispensable thing in our lives was our family. I thanked my Heavenly Father for the opportunity I have to see her after I leave this world. Since we were sealed as a family, I will see her again.”

Felipe Amorim, 17
São Paulo, Brazil

“I gained my testimony through prayer and studying the scriptures. Attending church and church activities has also helped my testimony grow. My testimony is especially strengthened when I share it with others.”

Lara Pessetto, 16
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“I learned about the power of the Holy Ghost at a youth conference. Ever since then, I have been able to feel a testimony growing inside of me—not fast, but slow and steady. When I have had the opportunity to bear my testimony, I have felt it grow even more.”

Spencer Simmons, 16
Jakarta, Indonesia

Why do you think it is important to share your testimony?

“I think it’s important to share my testimony because it helps other people improve theirs, and it helps me feel better about mine.”

Amanda Vance, 15
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England

“Sharing a testimony is important because when I share my testimony it grows even more. I think it also helps other people’s testimonies. When I watch other people who bear their testimonies, it helps mine grow.”

Chris Savage, 17
Valencia, California

“The joy that having a testimony brings is so immense it’s indescribable. It comforts me every day of my life. That joy gives me such a purpose in life. It is my gift to Heavenly Father to share that joy with His other children and to share the gift He gave to me—my testimony!”

Heather Bateman, 16
Boise, Idaho

“It is important to share your testimony because the truth should be known to all people, and sometimes the only way they will know is if I share it with them.”

Krystal Stone, 17
Kaiserslautern, Germany

“As members of the Lord’s Church we have the responsibility to share the gospel and be missionaries to bring the world His truth. I love sharing my beliefs and letting people feel the Spirit as I am an instrument in the Lord’s hands.”

Stephanie Sonksen, 17
Columbus, Ohio

Your Testimony—

“I know Jesus is the Christ and that He lived, suffered, and died for me so I can live in my Heavenly Father’s kingdom again. I know Jesus Christ was resurrected on the third day and that He lives now. I am grateful for everything Jesus and so many others have done for me.”

Trevor Nancollas, 16
Santiago, Chile

“I know that Christ lives and He suffered for each of us. I’m so grateful for Him. He is the only one who truly knows what we feel like when we are having a bad day or when we are in pain. He knows because He has gone through all of that and much more. Because of the Atonement we are able to repent of our sins and become clean again.”

Heidi Welling, 17
Columbus, Ohio

“I know this Church is true! I love this gospel. I don’t know where I would be without it. I love my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for the Atonement, and for Jesus Christ. He didn’t have to suffer and die for us, but He did because He loves us. And for that I am so grateful.”

Season Purcell, 16
Las Vegas, Nevada

“I have a testimony of prayer. I know if we ask God specific things He will answer us. I simply asked if I was a son of God. I got my answer so strongly when the Young Men sang the song ‘We’ll Bring the World His Truth’ and the words ‘We are as the army of Helaman’” (see Children’s Songbook, 172–73).

Daniel Nuño, 17
Modesto, California

“I know that Jesus is the Christ. I am so thankful for His sacrifice. I am also thankful for my brother who is showing me a good example by serving a mission. I can’t wait to follow in his footsteps and serve a mission. It will be wonderful to have an opportunity to share my testimony of Christ as a missionary for His Church.”

Andy Emory, 17
Santa Barbara, California

Photography by Craig Dimond and Matthew Baker