The Value of a Testimony

“The Value of a Testimony,” Friend, June 1991, inside front cover

The Value of a Testimony

(Adapted from an October 1990 general conference address. See Ensign, November 1990, pages 26–27.)

When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:32).

One beautiful night in April 1972, Elders McIntire and Richards knocked on my door. At that time my wife and I were searching for answers to many questions that confused and troubled us.

The powerful testimonies of those two representatives of the Lord deeply touched our souls. A marvelous new feeling filled our hearts. We received our answers.

Our first visit to church helped our testimonies grow because of the Spirit there and the love those people showed us. Their messages and testimonies confirmed that we had found the true Church.

We attended the meetings with respect and reverence, but we postponed baptism because we feared a negative reaction from our families.

During that time, the district of Rio de Janeíro held its quarterly conference. A strong spirit filled the hall. Brother Val Carter, a counselor to the mission president, spoke, declaring his complete dependence on Christ for salvation and exaltation.

A miracle occurred in that moment. The Holy Ghost reconfirmed the truthfulness of the gospel, and our fears vanished. On July 2, 1972, my wife and I and our eldest son, Marcus, entered the fold through the gates of baptism.

Since then, our families and friends have come to respect the Church. My sister Ivette and some of our best friends have accepted baptism.

What made these miracles possible? The testimonies of faithful Saints upon which I was temporarily dependent. They prepared my mind and heart to receive a full confirmation of the Holy Ghost.

A testimony is not a work that is ever completed and concluded. It is a process of continuous development. Nourishing and strengthening our testimonies is essential to our spiritual survival.

Painting by Marilee Campbell: The Reapers