That Pesky Testimony


The other night I was in the midst of testifying to a young couple of the reality of the plan of salvation as revealed in these the latter-days. They took turns asking thought-provoking questions regarding the afterlife. We searched the scriptures together to find the answers. We talked of the temporary state of those that go to rest in paradise and others who go to spirit prison. The wife asked, “How are the people taught in spirit prison?” We turned to the first epistle of Peter to verify that such a doctrine was found in the New Testament.  I saw their eyes get wide and the questions came flowing. They are diligently seeking! They want to learn more. After a lengthy discussion on the subject, the husband frowned a bit and said, “Well, after we die it would be easy for someone to accept Jesus Christ because we will know for sure that we live on”. I assured him that those who have lived a wicked life and have rebelled against God, will not have some “automatic” change of heart, simply because they know that life goes on. A change of “form” or “body” is not a change of “heart” which is needed in order to qualify for celestial glory.

We then went on to talk about the “bodies” of glory as testified by Paul that are bestowed on all those at the resurrection; one of the sun, the moon and the stars. They had searching looks trying to understand conceptually the different degrees of glory. I told them, “It may be difficult to understand but having reached my age, I better understand the difference of the “glories” of a body. Ask me which body I would want for eternity, the body I had when I was twenty-five years old or the one I presently have and I would give a resounding request for my 25-year old self. Who wouldn’t? The difference in the abilities of those bodies is enormous.

As I bore my testimony, my heart leaped, my blood raced, I sat on the edge of my seat. I saw two people who were true “searchers” of truth. I wanted for them all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them. But why should I care? I really don’t know them at all. We’ll probably not become good friends. They have more than likely crossed my path for a short time. I don’t know the total answer of why I care so much. I guess it is something that comes from having a testimony! It was described as such by President Hinckley years ago when he said:

“This thing which we call testimony is the great strength of the Church. It is the wellspring of faith and activity. It is difficult to explain. It is difficult to quantify. It is an elusive and mysterious thing, and yet it is as real and powerful as any force on the earth. The Lord described it when He spoke to Nicodemus and said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). This thing which we call testimony is difficult to define, but its fruits are plainly evident. It is the Holy Spirit testifying through us…This is the quiet, encouraging voice which sustains without pause those who walk in faith down to the last days of their lives. It is a mysterious and wonderful thing, a gift from God to man” (“Testimony”)

The programs of the church are wonderful. The fellowship found there warms the soul. But it is the doctrines of salvation that inspire and uplift the soul. It is the testimony of “those” things that compels us to action and lifts us to greater heights than seems possible. That is the “swelling” we feel deep in our soul each time we testify of such things. It is that pesky “testimony” that keeps turning our heart towards God and towards others without thought of reward. It is an unbelieavable blessing to have a testimony of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, and of his restored gospel brought forth in these the last days.  Let us take the time to nurture and feed that “pesky” testimony, lest we lose it and find our souls empty of the fire that warms and inspires our souls.



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