Last night, I had to write a brief testimony for the Young Women Evening of Excellence. I assumed it would be a quick five minute task that starts with "I believe..." or "I know that ..." or "I am grateful for..." but as i started to write, my thoughts turned to not wanting to mis-lead the young women. What does that mean-- mis-lead the young women?
I started to worry that maybe I didn't have a testimony. I worried that I would be lying to the girls about what I knew, thought, believed. I am no different than many of the women I know in the church in that I have periods of doubt and times when I just don't know if I believe in it all. I had just recently attended the temple after a long sabbatical, and it wasn't the same for me. It felt awkward and I experienced doubt-a first for me. I left with the resolve that I would continue to go back and the awkwardness is just a result of my lack of preparation.
After many attempts at trying to write something that would say it all, I gave up. I asked myself (often those conversations involve my Father in Heaven) how I gained a testimony in the first place. Though it wasn't a powerful, revelatory experience, there it was in plain speak; simple and something that I could be sure wasn't misleading the girls.
Here's what I came up with:
Years ago I asked my Father in Heaven about the words I read in the Book of Mormon. I asked him about the missionaries and the work they do. I asked him about the restoration and the Church. Within minutes he made it know to my heart and mind that what the missionaries were teaching me was true. As the years have passed, He has continue to make the truth know to me through mt prayers, gospel study, service and daily life that the church I belong to is the place I should be.
Oh how easy it is to forget the basics and how difficult it is to go back to them.