Lately I have been thinking about my testimony more than usual.  Someone I knew growing up has a blog that I occasionally read.  She is a great writer and I have loved reading the different perspectives she has had on life.  Well, recently she left the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and more and more of her posts have been about why she left and why she doesn't believe the church is true anymore.  The more I read what she writes, the more I feel like the church IS true and I do have a testimony.  When I read her posts I feel down and awful inside.  I decided I needed to stop reading them because the things she was saying bothered me.  The one thing reading them did do is make me think of why I believe the church is true and made me remember experiences I have had and never written down that confirmed the truthfulness of the gospel to me.  I would like to share some of them:

When I was living in Hawaii, I was talking with a small group of people after a fireside.  I suddenly started to feel the spirit-almost like it was coming toward me.  A man approached us and the spirit was so strong I couldn't even talk.  He said hello and shook my hand as I stared at him with tears in my eyes, he said something to the group of us and went on his way.  When I could talk, I asked who he was and someone told me it was the mission president.  I felt the power of God with him and that experience testified of the power of the priesthood and leaders in our church.

Another experience I had was when I was living in Hawaii as well.  I had just finished my visiting teaching and was driving home and was overcome with Heavenly Father's love for me.  It was at a time I needed to feel loved and he poured that down on me.  I felt he was showing me this love because he was grateful I was doing my visiting teaching even though I was going through a rough time.  I cried the whole way home and thanked Him for his witness.

Another time, I was at a General Relief Society meeting and looking for some specific direction I needed in my life at the time.  I remember feeling disappointing after the last speaker sat down because I hadn't heard an answer to my prayers.  Then the closing song started and I couldn't sing because I was just bawling from being overcome with Heavenly Father's love.  I felt he cared for me and loved me and everything was going to be okay.

Another experience I had was when I went to Nauvoo one year and was going through the different buildings and houses that you can tour.  The spirit is very strong there and it is so peaceful and wonderful.  There was one particular house I went through-I am pretty sure it was The Mansion House Joseph and Emma lived in.  I felt a little off and peculiar as I was going through it and noticed a change in the spirit.  It's hard to describe.  It made me feel a little sad.  I mentioned this to someone and they told me it was owned by the reorganized church- not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It amazed me how I was able to feel that difference.

These are just some of the experiences I have had that have strengthened my testimony and helped build it.  There have been many other times I have felt the truthfulness of the gospel in my heart.  I know the church IS true and I feel like I can say that with a surety.  I know there are some things we may not understand about the church or that may seem wrong, but the way I feel when I have the spirit or am living life righteously can overcome that fear or doubt and give me the faith I need.  I love the feeling of the spirit.  I love how I feel when I hear the Prophet and his leaders speak.  It is a feeling of peace, clarity and strength.  I remember going on splits with the sister missionaries before I was married and the spirit was so strong, I didn't want to leave them.  I didn't want that feeling to leave.  I know Heavenly Father loves us and truly cares about us.  I know He and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and helped him restore the gospel on the earth again.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet who lived his life in the service of Heavenly Father.  I know Jesus Christ loves us and went through so much suffering for our sins so we can return to live with him again.  I know President Monson is a true prophet of God and the words he speaks are God's words and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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