This is the talk that I gave in church last Sunday.
Our theme for the year in Young Men’s and in Young Women’s is ‘Arise and Shine Forth!’ “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5). So for Girl’s Camp, we decided on the theme, “Finding your light”.
To me, finding your light means gaining a testimony in our Savior Jesus Christ and in his plan for us. He is the Light of the World. He is truly our light. When Lehi and his family left Jerusalem and headed for the promised land, this is what the Lord said to them. The Lord said to them, “And I will also be your alight in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the bpromised land; and ye shall cknow that it is by me that ye are led” (1 Nephi 17:13). Jesus Christ was their light in the wilderness. Just like Lehi’s family was headed to their promised land, so are we headed through the wilderness of this life to our promised land, which is back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. We live in a world full of darkness, confusion, and mixed messages. But instead of struggling in the dark, Jesus Christ can be our light in the wilderness.
People all over the world, of every creed and persuasion, search and struggle to know, ‘Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? And what is my relationship with Them. Where did we come from before we were born? What is the purpose of life? What happens after we die?’
Have you ever asked yourself those questions? Have you ever pondered about your purpose in this life? If not, life is short and you should start asking those questions today.
My husband and I work in the hospital and we see how fragile life is and how fast it can change. My husband works in the Emergency Department and see’s people who were on their way to work and then they ended up dying that day. We never know when we will meet God and it’s important for us to prepare ourselves now to meet God. It’s important for us to find the answers to those questions. It’s important for us to know the purpose of our lives and what our relationship is with God.
We can receive this light, these answers to our questions, through direct revelation from God. When we receive answers to our questions from God, that is called a testimony.
I’d like to talk about how to gain a testimony and how to find your light. Whether you have one, don’t have one or you had one but lost it, this message is for you. A testimony isn’t something that you get once and then you’re good. You have to continually nurture and renew your testimony or it will die.
President Uchdorf taught us how to gain or renew a testimony in four steps. It’s a very long quote but I love it. “First: Desire to believe. The Book of Mormon encourages us: “If [you] will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, … even if [you] can no more than desire to believe” (Alma 32:27). Some may say, “I cannot believe; I am not a religious person.” Just consider, God promises us divine help even if we have only a desire to believe, but it has to be a true and not a pretended desire. Second: Search the scriptures. Have questions; study them out; search in the scriptures for answers. Again, the Book of Mormon has good advice for us: “If [you] give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart” through diligent study of the word of God, the good seed “will begin to swell within your breasts” if you will not resist with unbelief. This good seed will “enlarge [your] soul” and “enlighten [your] understanding” (Alma 32:28). Third: Do the will of God; keep the commandments. It is not enough to enter into a scholarly debate if we want to know for ourselves that the kingdom of God has been restored upon the earth. Casual study is also not enough. We have to learn and then do God’s will. The Savior taught: “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:16–17; emphasis added). And He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Fourth: Ponder, fast, and pray. To receive knowledge from the Holy Ghost, we must ask Heavenly Father for it. We must trust that God loves us and that He will help us to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost.” (The Power of a Personal Testimony, Elder Uchdorf, Oct. 2006)
The Book of Mormon reminds us in Moroni 10:3-4, “When [you] … read these things, … remember how merciful the Lord [has] been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that [you] shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. Ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are … true; and if [you] … ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The prophet Alma said, “I testify unto you that I do know that these things … are true. And how do [you] suppose that I know of their surety? Behold, I have fasted and prayed … that I might know these things of myself. And … the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation” (Alma 5:45–46).
The Holy Ghost is so amazing to me. It is how Heavenly Father communicates with each one of us. God is the source of all truth. The Holy Ghost is how we can learn “PURE TRUTH”. With all of the religions and persuasions out there, there is so much confusion when it comes to spiritual things. As a missionary in Argentina, we’d talk to so many people who were really wanting to do God’s will and follow Jesus Christ. Many people in the world are seeking for truth but don’t know where to find it.
My all time favorite scripture is Jacob 4: 13, “For the aSpirit speaketh the btruth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really care, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us dplainly, for the salvation of our souls.”
I love the idea that scripture teaches about pure truth. We can learn God’s will for us and find answers to our questions through the Holy Ghost. He will teach us PURE TRUTH. Pure truth is only learned by going to the source of all truth, our Heavenly Father. He is the only accurate, perfect, uncorrupted source of truth that there is. I know that God still speaks to us, His children. I know that there is revelation today.
I have learned through the Holy Ghost and direct revelation from my Heavenly Father that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that Joseph Smith saw God, the Father and Jesus Christ and was called as a prophet to restore Christ’s church to the earth today. I learned that I can repent of all of my sins and be clean and pure. That the Book of Mormon is the word of God. That there are living prophets on the earth today. I learned through the Holy Ghost that God is my Father and that I am His daughter. I know that He loves me and will always be there for me in my life. I learned through the Holy Ghost that I was supposed to marry Matt. These are the most important things that I know. No one can take these things away from me. It’s a knowledge that I received directly from God, the source of all truth.
The scriptures teach us that we are responsible to “work out our own salvation before God” and to do that, we must find out God’s will for us through personal revelation and then do it. I invite you to ask questions and seek for truth. Not by reading what people say on blogs or on the Internet. Not truth from your friend or family member. Not from books or teachers. I invite you to seek for truth from the source of all truth, our Heavenly Father. I promise you that as you do, he will make the truth known to you by the power of the Holy Ghost and by the Power of the Holy Ghost, you can know the truth of all things. This truth that you learn from God will be a light in your life that will help you on your journey back to your Father in Heaven. I invite you to find your light, to find God’s will for you and then to do it, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.