How can I strengthen my testimony?

Gardens are the sacred setting to major events throughout the scriptures and in church history.  Think on the stories surrounding the Garden of Eden, Garden of Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, and Joseph in the Sacred Grove or garden of trees.  For a garden to grow properly it must first begin with healthy soil to support, sustain and nourish roots, in time producing fruitful plants and trees.  Liken this to gaining {or growing} a testimony.  What is a testimony and how can I strengthen my own?T E S T I M O N Y

Essential Parts of a Testimony:

  1. I know that God is Heavenly Father and He loves us.
  2. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer.
  3. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.
  4. He restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth and translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.
  5. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth today.
  6. I know that this Church is led by a living prophet who receives revelation.

One of my favorite quotes on testimony – “A testimony is a convincing knowledge given by revelation to a person who humbly seeks the truth.  It’s convincing power is so great that there can be no doubt left in the mind when the Holy Spirit has spoken.  It is the only way that a person can truly know that Jesus is the Christ and that His gospel is true.” – Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. (1957–66), 3:31.

1.  When developing a testimony, have patience and desire.  A garden takes time to bloom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Gardens don’t begin with blooms they begin with tiny seeds that take time to develop. For many of us, those seeds were planted when we were in Primary. As we grew, our testimonies did also. In time our testimonies led us to conversion. Maybe this hasn’t happened for some of us yet – the conversion process doesn’t come easily – we are here to be tried and tested. We must remember that challenges bring growth and growth brings joy. Just as a garden takes time to grow, patience is required in your life.

Richard G. Scott – “How captivating to watch a seed planted in fertile soil germinate, gather strength, and send forth a tiny, seemingly insignificant sprout. Patiently it begins to grow and develop its own character led by the genetic code the Lord has provided to guide it’s development. With care it surely will become what is destined to be: a lily, crowned with grace and beauty; a fragrant spearmint plant; a peach; an avocado; or a beautiful blossom with unique delicacy, hue, and fragrance. When did you last observe a rosebud form? Each day it develops new and impressive character, more promise of beauty until it becomes a majestic rose. You are one of the noblest of God’s creations. His intent is that your life be gloriously beautiful regardless of your circumstances as you are grateful and obedient, you can become all that God intends you to be.”

2. Nurture yourself.

Proper tools and daily tending to your garden are essential.  Cultivate your mind just as you cultivate your garden. Use the proper “tools” we have been blessed with to help your spiritual garden flourish.

Ponder the scriptures.  Nurture your spirit with truth. Read with a question in mind. What might I strengthen my testimony with today? All you need for personal revelation: Scriptures, the Holy Ghost, a pen and a piece of paper.  PONDER the scriptures – especially the Book of Mormon and the words of living prophets. Your daily pondering will strengthen, sustain and provide you with peace and happiness. The scriptures are key to understanding the plan of happiness. Be comforted by the words of the Lord. Learn from inspiring individuals who have made peace with their challenges and live with joy amid adversity.  Scripture study helps us discover the WHY of the gospel. Not just the WHAT and the HOW.  When you understand the why – you will want to follow!

Remember. An important part of gardening is REMEMBERING previous plantings – what thrived and what fruit or vegetable was most enjoyed by the family. The word Remember is used over 240 times in the Book of Mormon. We must remember challenges we have overcome and learned from in the past. We must remember the good that came out of those hard times. Was our testimony strengthened? The Holy Ghost can and will bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.

Serve others.  Service is key to enduring happiness. It is usually through another person that the Lord meets our needs. Joy and peace will come as we look and pray for opportunities to help another. Do not measure your service. Service is service – no matter how big or small. We are helping “pull weeds” from someone else’s spiritual garden.

Matthew 10:39 – “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

President Lorenzo Snow – “Look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to [her] and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated.”

3.  Pray always.  Be happy and hold fast to what you already know. 

Don’t wait for harvest season to reap the rewards. Take time to discover each day how beautiful your life can be.

 Elder Holland – “Hold the ground you have already won. Even if that ground is limited.” The size of your testimony isn’t the issue – it’s the faith and integrity you have. Don’t let your questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle. You have more of a testimony than you think you do. Doubt and devils take us from the path. You must fan the flame of faith.

4. Remember that the Lord loves you. 

If you persevere in prayer and faithful service, the Holy Ghost will be a constant companion. Many of us have felt that companionship. If you think back on that time, you will remember that there were changes in you. The temptation to do evil seemed to lessen. The desire to do good increased. Angels were unrestrained from your presence.

Teaching Suggestion:  Print off the following quote cards to learn more on developing and strengthening a testimony.  Be prayerful in selecting those that will be most beneficial to the individuals in your class.  Invite students to read, ponder and share their feelings and impressions on what they learn.  As they share, ask questions to help them think deeply.  Validate their remarks by reinforcing what they have shared with resources you’ve studied in your lesson preparation.  The Holy Ghost will help you recall these teachings.  Remember, when you ask inspired questions, answers expressed can be opportunities to bear and strengthen testimonies.  Elder Boyd K. Packer has taught that “a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!”

Strength - Testimonhy Quest - Testimony Quentin L. Cook - Testimony copy Monson 2 D&C - Testimony Eyring - Testimony Eyring 2 Fast and Testimony - Testimony Jeffrey R. Holland - Testimony John - Testimony Monson - Testimony Cook - Testimony 5 Parts - TestimonyPDF Files: Eyring 2 Eyring – Testimony D&C – Testimony Cook – Testimony 5 Parts – Testimony Strength – Testimonhy Quest – Testimony Quentin L. Cook – Testimony copy Monson 2 Monson – Testimony Let The Holy Spirit Guide John – Testimony Jeffrey R. Holland – Testimony Fast and Testimony – Testimony

Optional Scriptures on Testimony:

John 7:17, “I can gain a testimony by believing in Jesus Christ, asking in faith, and doing His will.”

Alma 32:27-34 (Desire)

D&C 8:2-5 (Testimony, Holy Ghost, Gift of.)

1 Nephi 15:11 (Ask in faith)

Alma 5:44-46 (Alma’s testimony)

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7 thoughts on “How can I strengthen my testimony?

  1. The botanical prints with the quotations from the apostles are simply beautiful!! They touched my heart! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing these beautiful quotes and enlightening insights. I have never made the connection that gardens are indeed the setting for revelation. Profound and Powerful!

    I just wanted to clarify that your favorite quote: “A testimony is a convincing knowledge given by revelation…” is from President Joseph Fielding Smith. President Eyring quotes President JFSmith in his April 2011 Conference Talk, “A Living Testimony”. I too love this quote and just wanted to make sure it got its proper credit. 🙂

    Thanks again!

  3. I love your ideas! I tried to download and print these cards but they were way too small. Can you tell me how to download them large enough for printing? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Marilyn, I’ve changed the formatting a bit in the post and that might solve the issue. Once each imaged is clicked on you can drag it right to your desktop. The images have high pixel counts and should come out very clear. I also added the PDF versions if you prefer using those. Hopefully this helps!

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