My testimony didn’t come to me by way of a great revelation or by some overpowering, indescribable feeling. I always thought I would have to experience one of those things to know the Church was true.
I was struggling with my testimony between my eighth- and ninth-grade years. My parents had always taught me the right things, and I had been riding on their testimonies. At this time, doubts started to accumulate in my mind, and questions I couldn’t answer found their way to the surface.
Hanging around friends who didn’t obey the commandments made it harder for me to find the truth. As I struggled through the year, I lost the sense of who I was and what was important. I was aggravated all the time. I only wanted to be around my friends. My life was plagued with wrong decisions and their consequences. I was praying and reading my scriptures, but I didn’t seem to be getting an answer when I asked if the Church was true.
I don’t know exactly what happened to me, but I finally realized my lifestyle was not good. An awful sense of guilt rushed through me as I realized how many people were affected by my actions. However, I couldn’t seem to get away from my friends. When I hit high school, things didn’t get much better.
Taking seminary was one of the best things I could have done. It helped me see what I was doing, and that I was getting nowhere in life. I still desperately wanted to find out if the Church was really true.
Later in the year, I became best friends with a girl in my ward. My friend played a major part in helping me find myself. Over the summer we went to Especially for Youth and girls’ camp. I began really seeking the truth instead of expecting it to be handed to me on a silver platter. I was able to share my testimony with friends at EFY. Ordinarily I wasn’t the strong one. I didn’t even know I had it in me. It was then I knew I had known all along the truthfulness of the Church.
Friends can either make or break you, and I found that out. I merely had to find myself and start living the principles Heavenly Father had laid out for me to follow.
So it wasn’t some big, shocking conviction, it was merely a look inside myself and a calm assurance that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church. My life is so much better because I made the decision to follow the Lord.
In recent years, my testimony has only strengthened. I have come to rely on the Lord for everything. There are still trials ahead, but I know I can face them if I have faith and trust in the Lord.