In my opinion, there are many kinds of testimonies held by church members. But at some point church members need to acquire a testimony in the Lord’s way. This is done by calling on the Lord in prayer, even mighty prayer, to acquire a true and living testimony of the Book of Mormon as described in the following verses:
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall 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.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Moroni 10:4-5
When a member of the church receives this kind of testimony it will survive all the challenges of mortality. Including all the challenges associated with church history.
Since participating in the Bloggernacle (for nearly two years) there has been a steady stream of church members posting and commenting about their dwindling or loss of testimony. Some of them, referring to their study of church history, say they now know too much, and then explain their particular difficulty with their testimony.
As I’ve studied their explanations and reasoning I’m of the opinion that one of the following conditions is at the heart of the challenge their experiencing:
1. They’ve never really had a true and living testimony of the Book of Mormon–they’ve lived on “borrowed light”
2. They’ve allowed their testimony to grow anemic through sin or neglect
Living on Borrowed Light-A Testimony on Loan
President Joseph F. Smith said:
“One fault to be avoided by the Saints, young and old, is the tendency to live on borrowed light [and] to permit … the light within them to be reflected, rather than original” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 87).
Who knows how many members of the church are in this situation. It’s probable that there are many. These members have never paid the price to acquire a testimony of the Book of Mormon and are easy prey for the doctrines of men.
The following questions might be helpful in determining the source of your testimony:
Have you read the Book of Mormon? Yes/No
After reading, studying, and praying about the Book of Mormon did you ask the God the Father if it’s true, with real intent, and a sincere heart with faith in Christ? Yes/No
Did you obtain an answer through the Holy Ghost about the Book of Mormon? Yes/No
Have you ever fasted and prayed about the Book of Mormon? Yes/No
What do you think? Can a true and living testimony be obtained by a person who answers no to these questions?
A true and living testimony needs to be based on something. We’ve been taught by the prophets that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. The prophets have also taught us how to acquire an authentic testimony. An authentic testimony will not be overcome by the trials and difficulties of life, including the challenges posed by church history.
Many church members have acquired an authentic testimony. An authentic testimony comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. Following are a few examples:
Rhodes Scholar boldly seeks for a testimony of the Book of Mormon—click here
Missionary puts Moroni’s promise to the test—click here