Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mormon Testimonies

These testimonies come from Mormon.org, and from several other online forums.  Sources will be listed with each testimony.


From Mormon.org:

"In mid-August of 1969, I humbly knelt in the shadows behind my barracks and prayed. I told God that I had read the book that Latter-day Saints say is from Him. I admitted that there were some good things in it and that I wanted to know if it was true.
I closed my prayer in the Savior’s name. No sooner had I done so than I received the most powerful witness that I have ever experienced. It was not the answer I was seeking. But I had asked, and now I knew. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true church on the earth! I knew it; I dared not deny it."

-Kent Hansen's Testimony


"I was in serious trouble I remember kneeling and praying specifically for deliverance and almost instantly my prayers were answered I was able to go home back to my family. In this same prayer I asked for guidance to know what my next step would be and in a few days it was answered when the missionaries came to my door. As I sat there listening I knew My Heavenly Father had sent them. I was sure that I was to become a Mormon."

-Valentin's Testimony


"The gospel has been in my family for many generations. ...from the age of 18 to 25 I didn't go to church...  [Instead] of feeling happy, I felt sad and unfulfilled inside. Though I had everything, I felt I had nothing. Strange but true. These feelings pointed me back to church. I will always remember the first day I walked back through the chapel doors. Though I was scared and didn't know anyone, the sense of being home again was overwhelming. For the first time, in a very long time, I felt happy in my soul. From that day I decided to live my life in a way that fully supported my soul."

-Leilani's Testimony


"My search for Truth was ON. Working in Israel I found myself holding a Bible looking to the sky asking God to help me in my search for peace and relief from torment and if, there was a Truth, please would he help me find it, that was, if He existed or cared enough. I testify, that in a split second I felt like every single word of that book penetrated every single molecule of my being. How could this happen? And what happened? The Holy Ghost happened I later learned! I had been given a spiritual witness of Jesus Christ. I was excited, humbled, yet confused.  ...After sincerely praying for forgiveness and guidance, that very day a member of the Church started at work and later introduced me to the Missionaries. The same Holy Ghost testified to me that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God! Thanks Lord for everything. Carpe Diem!"

-Mike T.'s Testimony


"I was devastated at the age of 14 when I lost my dad...  I had to know if what I had been taught about God's kingdom and an eternal family were really true. I wanted to know if I was going to be able to live with my dad and family forever. I knew that in order to receive my testimony I needed to do my part...  I will never forget putting Moroni's challenge to the test. At 17 I read the Book of Mormon. But not only did I read it I thought about it's beautiful teachings of the Savior. I then prayed sincerely to my Heavenly Father. I asked him for that confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true. I will never forget the sweet, humbling answer that came. I knew my Heavenly Father loved me and I knew that Yes I can live with my family forever.  ...I have a Savior. Forgiveness is real, it's tangible. It' for everyone!  ...My testimony is real. It's mine, I have forged it out of the fire. It makes me really happy!!"

-Clark's Testimony


"When I'm reading the scriptures or listening to a talk in church, the warm feeling inside lets me know I'm following Him. I know Heavenly Father loves us as much now as He loved those in times of old. Having a living prophet on the earth today is a very important aspect of this church. I know President Monson tells us the things that Heavenly Father wants us to know and do. It just makes so much sense to me! Also, the gift of the Holy Ghost, that we receive at baptism is the greatest gift I could ever have. The Holy Ghost is a constant companion and guide to me as long as I am worthy...  I know this is His church and I know it because I feel it deep inside. It is affirmed each time I hug my children, say a prayer or hear one of His servants teach a correct principle."

-Sherri's Testimony


"One summer (1972), I met a few Mormons for the first time, and nagged them with all my religious questions . One of them gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon, and showed me the promise there that God would reveal the truth about anything to someone who sincerely and diligently inquired of Him (pg. 529, Moroni 10:4-6). I went out alone into the woods and prayed, expecting God to tell me that the book was false. Instead, my mind was filled with a feeling of peace such as I had only had glimmerings of before, and with what I can only describe as light. That is why I became a Mormon. My many spiritual experiences since then are why I am a Mormon today."

-Mark Koltco-Rivera's Testimony 


"I hoped that the gospel message was accurate and felt anxious to find out for myself whether I could safely build my life on its principles. I was baptized and confirmed in faith at eight years old, on which occasion I felt the Holy Spirit without fully understanding what I was experiencing. Despite not receiving a clear and immediate answer to my prayers, I earnestly tried to please God by the way I lived and frequently prayed and fasted for guidance on the questions most central to my quest for truth. One winter evening at the age of fourteen, whilst reading the scriptures privately in my bedroom, I was suddenly and unexpectedly filled with an intense feeling of God's pure love and a sense of his transcending power. In that instant I knew by revelation from God through the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Holy Bible is a true record of Christ's mortal ministry in the Old World and the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith from ancient records of God's work in the Americas."

-Matthew's Testimony


"On the 6th of January 1989 two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints knocked on my door...  I had never heard of this church before. We spoke for about an hour and they gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and asked me to read it and pray to know if it was true...  They left, and as soon as they had I started to read from the Book of Mormon. As I read I felt whole and fulfilled and I knew that the Book of Mormon was the word of God and that it was the missing piece of the jigsaw that I had been looking for. I had found the true Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. But I wanted to do as the missionaries had asked and so I knelt and prayed and asked God in the name of His Son if the Book of Mormon was true and I received a powerful witness from that it is the word of God. I prayed that the missionaries would come back and they did the next day. I was baptized on the 26th January 1989 and it has been the best decision I have ever made in my life."

-Ken's Testimony


"When I was a college student, I had visited the United States and had spent a couple days in Utah. I was impressed with the Mormons and felt something very peaceful there. Then, three years later, the Mormon missionaries knocked on my door. I welcomed them in and began to listen to their message. But I told them that until I knew for sure that what they were teaching me was true, I wasn’t going to join their church. They had given me a Book of Mormon, but I just left it on the table and didn’t open it. Then one day, I saw it sitting there and thought, 'I need to read it.' So I started to study it. This began a journey for me of seeking to know for myself if Jesus Christ really lived. One night, I knelt down to pray for an answer to this question. I told myself I wouldn’t stop praying until I had an answer. I prayed all night long, which was something I had never done before. And then the answer came. It’s difficult to describe. It was an overwhelming feeling of peace and of light. Everything was clear. And I knew that Jesus lived and that this was his church, and I couldn’t deny it. The next day I told the missionaries that I knew that Jesus lived and that what they were teaching me was true. I was baptized soon after that. I am a Mormon because I came to know that it was truly the church of Jesus Christ."

-Cécile's Testimony


"When I first ran into the missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I didn't want the Book of Mormon to be true cause I have the Bible.  And I remember just reading it one day.  You know, to my surprise, it was true, it was the word of God, and I knew that because I prayed about it.  And I found out it was true because I received, you know, the same feelings I felt when I read the Bible and when I thought about the Savior and when I felt close to the Savior.  And so that's, you know, that's how I found out it was true.  It gave me these powerful feelings that Jesus Christ was the Savior of the world, and every time I read it I feel closer to the Savior."

-A Mormon Testimony, transcribed from video


I personally recorded this from a chat with Mormon missionaries on mormon.org.

"I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but when I was about 14 I was curious and really questioning if the things I was learning my whole life were true.  So I knew what I needed to do to know if the LDS church was true.  I started from the very beginning of the Book of Mormon and read the whole thing, and after a couple weeks of reading I prayed to God.  I prayed with more sincerity and more willingness than I ever have before, and at that moment I felt God's love and I was confirmed by the Holy Ghost that this was the true church.
...Ever since that experience I have never doubted the things of the church.
...I asked God in prayer if the things from the Book of Mormon and the things I was learning in church were true, and the feelings and through the spirit I can not deny that I knew at that time the church was true.
...It was a very spiritual and sacred experience for me, so it is personal, but without getting too personal the feeling of love and peace that I felt was indescribable, and I was able to truly feel that God was with me.
...Everyone feels the Spirit of God in different ways because everyone is different.  I usually receive answers through the feelings or impressions that I get, but some people hear it or see them too.  It depends on the person."

-from a personal online chat with Mormon missionaries


From City-Data forum discussion, "Spiritual 'Knowing' through Revelation"

"Usually it's just powerful feelings, sometimes you have actual images come into your mind. I know that God is there and I know it so thoroughly and complete that I cannot begin to describe it. I wouldn't know it any better if God actually appeared to me right this second and introduced himself.
What is the experience like? Overwhelming. Overpowering. It is as though you reached out expecting a cup of water and got an ocean instead. Everyone tends to describe it differently and the sensation may not be the exactly the same for everyone. But to me it is usually like a pleasant but intense warmth -- like a fire, but it's painless and feels good. Sometimes it's a sudden thing, almost like electricity. Sometimes it is almost unnoticeable. In all cases, words fail to accurately do it justice."

-from City-Data user godofthunder9010, post 8


These testimonies come from BlackLDS.org.

"There were two Pentecostal churches were I was stationed. ...I got on my knees and asked God which church should I attend. Now I don’t liken myself to Joseph Smith, but I heard the voice of the Lord say to me 'don’t attend either one. When you get back to the state, I will lead you to the church you need to attend'. As you can imagine, when I told the pastor what Father had said to me I was accused of being lead by devil.
...I met the missionaries. As we sat they told me the story of Joseph Smith. As they talked to me about his experience, the spirit was confirming that this is the church that I was told I would be lead to.
Christ lead me to his true Church. I bear witness to the truthfulness of this Church and the Gospel in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen"

-Wain Myers' Testimony


"They told me of Joseph Smith Jr. My soul exploded, and I went into a daze with shock. I knew what they taught was true. Then to top it off, they told me I didn’t have to believe it just because they said it. They told me I can get my own witness from God. I had never heard a preacher say that before! ...In the spirit, my Elder, Elder Sheridan, asked me to get baptized. I said yes.
I have come to realize the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly Christ’s church. Jesus Christ is the head of this church.  ...I know he lives and invites us to live as he lives, in glory. I know that Joseph Smith Jr. saw what he saw. He did, as I live; I know he saw God the Father, and Jesus Christ his Son. And the Glory of God was ’round him, and the Holy Spirit quickened him to endure Their presence."

-Rodric Johnson's Testimony


A young man prays to know if the Book of Mormon is true.  This is from the Blog, "Normons".

"I remembered reading Alma 32, which was the kick that started my search. On a whim, I picked up one of the many Books of Mormon I had collected by then and flipped right to it. As I started to read the same chapter I had read countless times over the previous months, I began to feel something that to this day I can’t describe. I dropped the Book of Mormon on the table and paced. I kept asking myself the same question as if my mind was a broken record: 'Is this it? Is this it?' After several minutes of asking myself a question I already knew the answer to, I got down on my knees and prayed. I don’t remember what I said in my prayer, but I will never deny the feeling that I had reached out and touched the very face of God. And, in turn, our Heavenly Father touched my heart with a feeling of love and hope that was undeniable and stunningly beautiful.
It was an answer more obvious than anything I had ever experienced. I’d sooner accept 2+2=5 as truth than deny the answer I received on my knees."

-"Why I joined the church I was sure was a fraud", by Jake Parsons


A Mormon babycenter.com forum user overcomes doubt:

"[My husband] found some books that were written by a church member that were a detailed history of the early church. I can't remember the name of them (it's been almost 20 years) but they were accurate and historical.
Anyway, my husband was so upset by what he read that he decided the church wasn't true, Joseph Smith was not a prophet and the Book of Mormon was a fake.
...So I read those books, every last page, and there came that nauseous feeling I'd felt about polygamy. The books talked about everything from the Danites, to the early implementation of polygamy, to a bunch of odd prophesies and experiences that many early church leaders had. I felt shattered. I was so weighed down and sickened I could hardly stand it.
All I could think to do was pray. And then the peace came. It just flooded me. There was no doubt in my mind that while what I read was accurate, it wasn't as black and white as I wanted it to be. I realized that the early church was a confusing time. ...Anyway, as I pondered and prayed, I realized that my testimony is based on gospel principles that I have lived. I prayed about the Book of Mormon and I know it is true. I feel the spirit confirm it to me whenever I start to have doubts. Because I know it is true, Joseph Smith must be a prophet of God."

-from user MilliePill


A young man who previously left the Mormon church is reconverted on a youth Pioneer Trek.  I transcribed this from the original video.

"And I walk out to this valley, and it's just this long, beautiful valley with just these trees everywhere, and I sit down on this rock.  And, I remember I wrote in my journal about how it was hot.  It was muddy, it was dirty.  But, I wanted to somehow write and, I wanted to read the Book of Mormon.  So I remember I opened up the Book of Mormon to a random page and opened up to Mosiah 4:30.  And, in that verse, it talks about all these things we need to do.  And then, at the very end, it says, 'And now, oh, man, remember and perish not.'  And, I remember looking at that and just being like, I don't want to perish.  And when I closed the Book of Mormon, I just had this thought.  I call it the atheist prayer, which is, 'God, I don't know if you exist, but if you do, help me to know if this book is true.'  And I just remember I held up the book.  And there was this big, tall evergreen, this beautiful valley which led to this gorgeous sunset, and then, this book.  And, as I held it out, it just seemed to click.  Everything just fit together.  And it was such a powerful moment for me, when I felt the love the entire universe was just channeled into that one valley- just rushed, rushed, rushed, and then burst into my heart.  And, I knew, I knew the Book of Mormon was true.  And no matter what I've gone through, no matter how hard things have been, no matter how challenging, no matter the frustrations, no matter the doubts or the questions, I will never be able to doubt that that was God answering my prayer."

-from YouTube user Prepare to Serve!


These testimonies come from the website, Mormon Scholars Testify.

"Our Gods’ powers have been demonstrated to me in vivid ways. I know with certainty that I have Heavenly Parents, and the most righteous, loving, and creative of their sons is called their Beloved Son, actually my Spirit Brother—a concept that shocks the Evangelicals and that they try to twist against the Church. Our Gods all labor in their concern for every person born on this earth, and a multitude of other earths, some just beginning and some highly glorified worlds without number, unknown to us yet. The Gods I worship know who I am and what my needs are, both before and after my prayers of gratitude for guidance (or frantic desires for help and comfort!). And their blessings to me have been 'heaped up and running over,' in the prophetic words of my patriarchal blessing, given to me when I was fourteen."

-Carma Rose de Jong Anderson's Testimony


"I always thought there was a God. I felt the presence of spiritual beings...  I noticed as a youth that if I sat near the front of the chapel in church meetings that I felt a special warmth that I did not feel if I sat out in the overflow area where most kids wanted to sit.
...I remember the first missionary testimony meeting I attended...  I recall saying something weak like, 'I hope the Church and the Book of Mormon are true.'  ...At another missionary testimony meeting a couple of months later, I found myself saying, and believing it, that I 'knew' the Church and the Book of Mormon were true and that Jesus Christ was my savior. I can’t put my finger on exactly when I gained this conviction. It just came, and has never wavered since then.
...Like many recently returned missionaries, I had a hard time getting back into the dating and social scene after the mission. I wondered if anyone loved me. In this state of heightened emotional sensitivity, I remember looking out the window and seeing clouds swirling around the top of nearby Mt. Timpanogos after a brief summer shower, and I had a strong feeling I should go outside into his large and private back yard (which I had fenced). The sight of the mountains, near dusk with the setting sun making them aflame with various shades of red, overwhelmed me. I began to pray vocally and asked my Heavenly Father, simply, if He loved me. At that moment I felt as if my body was being filled with a hot liquid, beginning in my toes and moving slowly upwards. When it got to my head I began to cry and spontaneously started to sing the LDS hymn 'Oh, My Father'...
I had no doubt that my Heavenly Parents loved me more than I could comprehend, and all I really wanted in life was to return to live with them someday."

-Walter L. Ames' Testimony


"As important as the intellectual side of my testimony is, it is experiences with the Spirit that sustain me.
There are times I feel, as Lehi did, that I am a 'visionary man' (1 Nephi 5). I felt the Spirit strongly as I gave the opening prayer in the first discussion with the missionaries.
...I have had similar experiences when I have blessed my children or laid my hands on the heads of others to give blessings of comfort and counsel or to administer in times of sickness. Thoughts and feelings have come to me that I knew I did not and could not have formulated myself. They had to come from a higher source."

-R. Jerome Anderson's Testimony


"I was making a binary decision: either continue on that path or go home. To make that decision, I needed to know whether the gospel was true. I knew that if I gained that knowledge, I could do what needed to be done even if it was difficult or embarrassing. But I also knew that without it, I probably couldn’t.
I had felt what I understood to be the influence of the Holy Ghost at various times in my childhood and adolescence, and I think that I already had a fairly good understanding of the difference between emotional and spiritual feelings, so I was pretty well prepared to ask the question that I asked on my knees one evening at bedtime...  I knelt down and made a very simple and straightforward prayer. It was along these lines: 'Heavenly Father, if you are there, and if what I’m about to do is in fact what’s right and required of me, please let me know now. Because I have to know; otherwise I’m going to go home and pick up my life where it left off.'
I received an answer to my prayer. It came promptly, and it came powerfully enough that there was no question in my mind as to its origin or its message. It was clear to me that it originated outside of myself. Although I was not a very spiritually mature person, I had already learned from experience to recognize the difference between the somatic, chemicals-in-the-stomach sensations of emotion and the fundamentally different feelings that came from the Holy Ghost. What I felt was spiritual, and the message was clear: God told me that he was there, that he loved me, and that I should continue on the path on which I had set out.
...When my companions and I taught doctrine and bore testimony, I felt my soul vibrate in response as the Holy Ghost bore witness to the truthfulness of what we said, and I watched the eyes of those we taught as they felt the same thing. Seeing others, who came to these discussions without the baggage of a lifelong grounding in Mormonism, feel something that was very obviously much the same as what I was feeling deepened my conviction that what we were teaching was real and true and that what I was feeling came from something external to my own mind."

-Rick Anderson's Testimony


"[As Church Historian] I was able to examine over a period of several years the most intimate records of the Church—records that are replete with faith-promoting incidents that served to strengthen my belief in the divinity of the latter-day work. Particularly meaningful to me was my private knowledge of the divine circumstances that led up to the announcement by the First Presidency that the priesthood might be conferred on all worthy males without regard to race or color. Although now released from the position of Church Historian, I am still devoted to carrying out responsibilities which I trust continue to help build the Kingdom of God on earth. Many satisfying spiritual experiences, as well as my continued study of the Saints and their leaders throughout our history, have intellectually and emotionally validated my decision to serve the faith that I committed myself to many years ago, and that I believe to be based on true principles."

-Testimony of Leonard Arrington, official LDS Church Historian


"I read the Book of Mormon through for the first time. I studied the Bible, read the book Jesus the Christ and I prayed. The assurance of the truth that I was seeking did come to me, but it did not come in a single spectacular event as I had earnestly hoped for, nor did it come in a single instance that I can identify. Rather it grew as I learned, and with that learning I obtained a spiritual assurance that what I was learning was true. This process of receiving a spiritual witness of the truth has continued regularly throughout my life as I have studied, pondered and prayed."

-Douglas M. Chabries' Testimony


"I had been reading the Book of Mormon, and found it incredibly inspiring and true.
...I had the realization that I needed to baptized.  ...And while I was very excited to be baptized, I didn’t feel all that different until the following day when I was confirmed. During my confirmation I felt so soft and so utterly malleable in my heart, but in a good way. When I learned later that it was because I was receiving the Holy Ghost at that moment, I understood why."

-Janis Nuckolls' Testimony


"I decided to read the Book of Mormon again. While reading 1 Nephi chapter 17, where Nephi, building a ship to transport Lehi’s family to the land of promise, relates the account of the faith of the Israelites to his brothers, I felt an overwhelming personal witness about the truth of the Book of Mormon. It was a feeling that lasted not just a few hours, or a day, but days. I have studied the historical, cultural, and linguistic background of the Book of Mormon; I am currently working with a group that is studying proper names in the Book of Mormon, all of which have powerfully enhanced for me my sense of the probability of the Book of Mormon’s historical authenticity, but it has been cast in the shade by the witness that I had received of the Book of Mormon as a young man."

-Stephen D. Ricks' Testimony


Another conversion story:

"Something stirred inside of me. I had a deep yearning to know the TRUTH. What was I doing with my life? Why had I gone through so much? What was the meaning of it all?
...Then, all of a sudden, a thick warm blanket of pure love and light enveloped me from head to toe. To describe this experience with mere mortal words cannot do it justice. The feeling was like having all of the best times of my life wrapped into one joyous, happy moment. The feeling was like having every birthday party, Christmastime and colourful dream coming true – all at once – multiplied by infinity. My heart burned within me. It was so familiar. Someone or Something not of this world knew exactly who I was, and loved me with a love that is indescribable. I began to ball like a baby and wept with sheer joy. I then began to weep with sadness, realizing that the life I had been living was not what I was put on this earth to do. I felt encouraged to continue seeking, searching and I would find the answers I was so desperately yearning for. I experienced peace in my heart, comforting me and urging me to continue to the Light – to continue to fight for good. That moment changed me forever. I know that what I felt and experienced was real and true. I also know that God knew it, and I could not deny it – neither dared I! From that day on I... learned more about the different denominations and doctrines... Where was that feeling that I had previously experienced – that burning within my heart that had filled me full of hope, faith, love and light? I was starting to get frustrated.
November 13, 2001... I answered the door...
Two missionaries from The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints stood before me...
I immediately went upstairs and began to read. I... knew in my heart that I had to pray to God to know if this was what I had been searching for.
...I learned about the Holy Ghost. Who is the Holy Ghost and what does He feel like? He is a Personage of Spirit – the third member of the Godhead. He testifies and bears record of God the Father and Jesus Christ. He reveals all truth. He can cause a warm burning within our chest and heart – like purifying fire. He can cause sudden strokes of ideas and quicken our understanding about scripture and doctrine. He can fill us full of hope, faith, love, peace and light – all of the things I had felt that day driving home!! The Holy Ghost is also a still, small Voice. If we are too preoccupied or distracted, we can drown out that Voice. After a couple of meetings, the Elders then asked me to pray aloud for the first time. I had never done that before! Nervously, I bowed my head and crossed my arms. I began to pray to my Heavenly Father. And you know what? My chest burned within me! I felt pure warmth and peace. I had received a witness from the Holy Ghost! I had found what I was looking for!"

-Testimony of Dustin Lee Burnham

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