What Church leaders shared on how to keep a testimony

During the October 2022 general conference, Church President Russell M. Nelson made a request to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that he had earlier shared with young adults of the Church in May.

“I urged you then—and I implore you now—to take charge of your own testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel,” he said in his Sunday morning address from the conference center pulpit.

“Work for it. Nurture it to grow. Feed it the truth. Do not pollute it with the false philosophies of unbelieving men and women.

“As you make it your top priority to continually strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ, watch for miracles to happen in your life,” he promised.

The Prophet was one of many Church leaders who, over the weekend of October 1-2, encouraged Latter-day Saints to gain, grow, and keep their testimonies.

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President Russell M. Nelson gestures with his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, at his side during the Sunday morning session of the 192nd biannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on October 2, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

During his Saturday afternoon address, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, reiterated President Nelson’s appeal to heed his own testimony.

The living prophet teaches people how to become more spiritually independent, President Ballard commented and quoted another invitation from President Nelson to increase one’s ability to receive personal revelation. “In the days to come it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and abiding influence of the Holy Spirit.”

On Sunday afternoon, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the need for individuals to gain their own testimonies. He related how Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, then both Apostles, had the responsibility of overseeing the evacuation of the persecuted Missouri Saints while Joseph Smith was imprisoned in Liberty Jail.

In later years Heber taught: “To meet the difficulties that are to come, it will be necessary for you to come to know the truth of this work for yourself. The difficulties will be such that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or testimony will fall. If you don’t have the testimony, live right and call on the Lord and don’t stop until you have it. … If you don’t have it, you won’t pass; therefore seek the testimony of Jesus and hold fast lest you stumble and fall when the time of trial comes.”

Elder Cook explained, “Each of us needs a personal testimony of God’s work and the pioneering role of Jesus Christ.”

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Sister Hope Gross takes notes in the Conference Center during the Saturday evening session of the 192nd Biannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, October 1, 2022 in Salt Lake City.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Similarly, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke Saturday night about how Latter-day Saints will not be able to survive spiritually as evil increases in the world if they turn to the roots of their faith not strengthen Jesus Christ.

How can individuals deepen and strengthen their commitment to the Savior? he asked.

“First, we can delve deeper into the life of Jesus, His teachings, His majesty, His power, and His atonement.”

Second, “We make covenants with him.”

Making and keeping covenants deepens the heart of the Savior’s love, he said.

Third, “In this sacred quest we wholeheartedly cherish, protect, defend, and cherish the gift of the Holy Ghost. … It is a priceless gift.”

Elder Andersen promised, “As you allow your love for the Savior and His love for you to sink deep into your heart, I promise you will have increased confidence, peace, and joy as you face the challenges of life.”

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Missionaries greet participants in the Saturday morning session of the 192nd biannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 1, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked the audience to ponder four questions about nurturing and bearing testimony:

  1. “Do I know and understand what a testimony is?
  2. “Do I know how to bear my testimony?
  3. “What are the obstacles in bearing my testimony?
  4. “How do I keep my testimony?”

“Every time you testify loudly or through your actions show your determination to follow Jesus Christ, you are inviting others to ‘come unto Christ,’” he said.

Elder Stevenson said there are endless opportunities for sharing in the digital universe. “Your tweets, direct messages, and posts will fulfill a higher, more sacred purpose when you also use social media to share how the gospel of Jesus Christ is shaping your life.”

A testimony must be maintained with a great deal of care, he noted. Foster a testimony through the word of God, prayer, obedience to the commandments, and participation in temple and family history work.

“I promise that as you better understand what a testimony is and as you share it, you will overcome obstacles of uncertainty and fear that will enable you to cherish and keep that most precious possession, your testimony. “

Experiences such as FSY conferences, camps, sacrament meetings, and missions can burnish testimonies, noted JM President Steven J. Lund, “leading us through arcs of growth and spiritual discovery to places of relative peace. But what must we do to stay there and continue to ‘press forward with steadfastness in Christ’ (2 Nephi 31:20) rather than slipping back?” he asked.

“We must keep doing the things that got us there in the first place, like praying often, drinking the scriptures, and serving sincerely.”

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The Conference Center and Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City at sunset during the Saturday evening session of the 192nd Biannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, October 1, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Kevin W. Pearson, a General Authority Seventy, shared the parable of the 10 virgins and asked about the five foolish virgins whose testimony lamps went out. “Why would they not carry a vessel of spiritual oil? Did you just hesitate? Were they perhaps too casual because it was uncomfortable or seemed unnecessary? Whatever the reason, they were deceived about the crucial role of Christ. This was Satan’s basic deception from the beginning and the reason their lamps of testimony eventually went out for want of spiritual oil.”

This parable is a metaphor for our day, Elder Pearson said. “Many forsake the Savior and their covenants long before they forsake His Church.”

One of the strongest spiritual influences for a child is the example of a loving parent or grandparent. “Conscious parents teach their children faith in the Lord Jesus Christ so that they too may know from what source they can hope for forgiveness of their sins” and carry their own lamps of testimony filled with spiritual oil,” Elder Pearson said.

Elder of the General Authority Seventy, Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt, taught that great spiritual strength comes from small and simple things—like daily prayer, repentance, scripture study—while Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, another General Authority Seventy, testified that that fasting gives spiritual strength and prepares people to withstand the trials of this life.

Participants will attend the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. in Salt Lake City.

Participants will attend the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. in Salt Lake City.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

There is virtue or power in the words of prophets, ancient or modern, said Elder Mark D. Eddy, because their words are the words of the Lord. “My dear friends, acceptance of this eternal truth is critical to our spiritual survival in the latter days, when, as prophesied, ‘there will be a famine in the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but after hearing the Words of the Lord’ (Amos 8:11),” said the General Authority Seventy.

In her first general conference address since her call last April, Sister Tracy Y. Browning of the Primary presidency recalled how curious people were about why she did what she did after joining the Church. These questions helped her “put on a pair of spiritual lenses” to clarify, focus, and strengthen her testimony.

“What was the source of my statement? I performed only “external accomplishments” without allowing those practices associated with God’s laws to “strengthen.” [my] Faith in Christ” or understanding that Jesus Christ is the only source of power in my obedience? Through the rigorous effort of looking to and for Jesus Christ in my every thought and deed, my eyes were enlightened and my understanding quickened to recognize that Jesus Christ was calling me to ‘come unto Him,'” she said .

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