A story is told about a life insurance agent who neglected to secure life insurance for his own family. He died in a car accident, and to the surprise of all who knew him, left his family uninsured. He had helped other families realize the security that life insurance provides, but left his family to endure crushing debt, heartache, and questions.
As followers of Christ we can have the security that a vibrant testimony provides. But like the insurance agent we can neglect the weightier matters of the gospel to our spiritual undoing. President Monson addressing this concern said:
Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.
We can rely on the faith and testimony of others only so long. Eventually we must have our own strong and deeply placed foundation, or we will be unable to withstand the storms of life, which will come. “How Firm a Foundation,” Ensign, Nov 2006.
I urge all those who read these words to make sure you’re not making the same kind of mistake the life insurance agent made. He neglected to obtain something that was readily available to him.
Each of us needs to have “our own strong and deeply placed foundation” of testimony. The Lord has provided the means to acquire such a testimony, but we need to put forth the effort. There is no better foundation to our testimony than one based on the Book of Mormon.
It is my personal opinion that some members of the church have a Sunday School knowledge of the the Book of Mormon, but have neglected to obtain a “strong and deeply placed” testimony that comes by power of the Holy Ghost.
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our faith. It is another testament of Jesus Christ, and contains the fullness of the gospel. Those who follow the teachings contained therein will talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, and will know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
Those who have obtained such a testimony by pleading with the Lord for one will be prepared for the storms of life. Read again the requirements and the promise belonging to the Book of Mormon:
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. Moroni 10:4
A cultural, academic, or institutional testimony is a man made testimony, it is not the same as a Holy Ghost-testimony. Having an authentic Holy-Ghost-testimony of the Book of Mormon is a supernal gift! I hope every member of the church will do whatever it takes to gain one. If it requires repentance, fasting and prayer, or confession then I hope you will be willing to make the sacrifice. I would not stop calling on the Lord for such a blessing. It is the right of every church member to have this blessing.
Some members might find it worthwhile to work with their Bishop as they pursue a testimony. Invest whatever it takes.
When a church member possesses a God given testimony of the Book of Mormon, the anti-Mormon crowd lose another possible convert. In this age of the internet, too many church members are having their undernourished testimonies crack and crumble when they encounter information about church history and doctrine that is new to them.
Click here for information about recognizing a testimony of the Book of Mormon written by those who have received one.