Archive for the ‘testimony’ Tag

What Is Belief?

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:9, John 14:15, John 3:16, 20-21

Many times in the scriptures it says that those who believe in Jesus Christ will gain salvation.  In 2 Nephi 2:9 it says:

They that believe in him shall be saved.

Another often quoted scripture is John 3:16 which states:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This leads to the question, what does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?  The scriptures also has some things to say about what a person who believes in Christ would be like.  Further on in John chapter 3 it says:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The wording here is a little confusing, but I’m pretty sure this is saying that if you love the light and truth, and thus believe in the gospel, you are also doing truth.  If you are not doing truth, then you’re not going to love the truth. This is clearer in John 14:15:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

In my life, as my testimony grows stronger my behavior becomes more in line with the Savior’s teachings.  When my testimony (or belief) grows weaker, then my behavior also laxes.  From my experience behavior and belief are inextricably connected, and they are constantly affecting each other in an upward or downward cycle.

Today I am going to talk to my husband about what he thinks it means to believe in the Savior.  I’m pretty sure that he will have some insights to share, especially from his mission.

What do you think belief looks like?  How do you know if you really believe in the Savior?

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Inasmuch as Ye Shall Keep My Commandments Ye Shall Prosper

Reading: 1 Nephi 2:16-24

I’m sorry for not writing this week.  It actually hasn’t been because of moving, but because I’ve been watching a little boy in the mornings for someone in our ward.  It is during my baby’s morning nap, which is when I usually write in the blog.  Since my time is occupied I’ve had trouble making time for this, although I could definitely have tried harder. 🙂

In the second half of the second chapter of Nephi we learn the defining difference between Nephi and his brothers Laman and Lemuel.  In verse 16 we read:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

The difference between Nephi and his brothers Laman and Lemeul was that he sought out God on his own.  Laman and Lemuel never sought out God, but expected things to be handed to them… and even when they were visited by angels they later denied the divinity of what they saw.

To me, this seems a profound reminder that if I am to grow in the gospel it is up to me to seek God out.  God would love to hand me a testimony, just like any loving parent would, but it is not something that can be handed over.  It is only when I make the effort that I will truly grow.

This also helped me to realize that when I am teaching my own child(ren) there is nothing I can do to force them to live the gospel.  All I can do is set an example, and humbly invite them to seek out their own testimonies.  If I try to push them into it I may just push them away, but if I invite them to come on their own then they will truly know the gospel.

Today I am going to write my testimony in my journal.  If there are areas that I feel I could grow then I will do what I can to seek out the answers.  And, it will be there in the future for my own children to see and learn from.

What do you do to seek out God for answers to your own problems?

Through Small and Simple Things

Reading: “Testimony as a Process,” Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Seventy, October 2008 General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session

I’m sorry for missing the past few days.  We went to Colorado to find a place to move into in December.  We found a lovely place and are excited to move in a few weeks.

In the scriptures we sometimes read about great conversion experiences, such as Alma the Younger’s visit with the angel, or Paul’s visitation by Christ.  So, sometimes there is an idea that a conversion experience should be big and momentous.  However, Elder Godoy encourages us not to think this way, but rather rely on the smaller experiences with the Spirit.

In order to gain a testimony we should be continually living the gospel.  Elder Godoy says:

Today, after many years as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I might not be able to remember most of the experiences that have shaped my testimony. Still, all of these experiences have left their mark and contributed to my testimony of the restored Church. Today, I have an absolute certainty of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I cannot think of any single great experience in my life that converted me to the gospel.  I can think of several experiences that were special and spiritual, but I feel more that they came after the testimony rather than caused my testimony.  Indeed, my testimony is a product of many small experiences that are happening all the time.

Reflecting on this also made me realize that when I rely on the bigger experiences for my testimony, it is a bad thing over time.  My testimony and love of the gospel is much, much stronger when I am actively trying to help it grow.  When I relax I may be okay for a short time but I can feel myself weaken.

Today I am going to plan a FHE lesson.  We have been doing pretty well the past few weeks in doing something for FHE, but have been lax in really coming up with a lesson.  An FHE lesson is a great way to help your testimony grow as a family.

How do you keep your testimony burning bright?