“I was expecting to prove or disprove the Church intellectually,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, 33
By April 1971, more than a year had elapsed since I started actively studying about the Church. Although I had read the Book of Mormon and had found, as Alma says, that the word was delicious to me, I was still very far from having a testimony.
I had been searching essentially my own way, rather than the Lord’s, expecting to prove or disprove the Church intellectually. I had done a little praying and fasting and was working on the Word of Wisdom, yet I needed something more.
During a brief vacation trip in California, I drove through the hometown of the missionary who had taught me while I had resided in Boston. I visited with his family for several hours, and I felt moved, when we were alone, to ask the missionary for a blessing.
I received the blessing and returned to my room filled with the Spirit. I felt confident that upon opening the Book of Mormon I would find some scripture particularly helpful to me in my struggle to determine which church was true.
You can imagine how I felt when I started to read in 2 Nephi, chapter 32:
“Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
“For behold, again I say unto you that if you will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
“And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.” (2 Ne. 3:4–5, 8.)
These words struck my heart. They seemed directed right at me. I needed to be told about entering in by the way of the Lord; about receiving the Holy Ghost; and especially about the necessity of prayer. I pondered this message considerably and did my best to apply the principle. Some time later I received my testimony from the Spirit. This passage from Nephi set me on the right path.