“Ethan’s Testimony,” Liahona, April 2016, 68–69
Ethan sat in sharing time and looked on as his best friend, Sam, bore his testimony. His friend Sarah was waiting her turn. Sam talked about a service project he did. He said he had a testimony of service. Sarah bore her testimony about families. Ethan’s teacher also bore his testimony. He talked about temple work. All of them testified that the Church is true. It seemed like everyone except Ethan had a testimony.
“What do I have a testimony of?” Ethan wondered.
He thought back a few years to when he and his friends were baptized. His Primary teacher, Sister Calder, had given a talk on the Holy Ghost.
“The Holy Ghost can give you a burning feeling in your heart. He can help you know what is true,” she’d said. “And that’s how you get a testimony of what you believe.”
Ethan tried to do what was right so he could feel the Holy Ghost. He read the scriptures and prayed. But he had never had that burning feeling people talked about. Did that mean he didn’t have a testimony?
This question stuck in Ethan’s head all the next day. He was still thinking about it when he and Sam were skateboarding after school. He wondered how he could ask Sam about it.
“Hey, Sam,” Ethan finally asked, “were you scared when you bore your testimony yesterday?”
Sam hopped off his board and walked to the grass. “Not really,” he said, sitting down. “I’ve shared my testimony at family night before.”
Ethan joined him and set his skateboard on his lap. “But how did you know you had a testimony?”
“Well, I prayed and I felt good about it.”
Ethan slowly nodded and spun a wheel with his hand. Somehow he wanted to feel that way too.
That night, when the house was dark and quiet, Ethan knelt by his bed to pray.
“Heavenly Father,” he said, “please help me have a testimony. Help me know that the Church is true. That Joseph Smith was a prophet. And that the Book of Mormon is true.”
In the middle of his prayer, Ethan stopped. He thought for a minute. Then he asked himself, “Well, do I know anything yet?”
And then a quiet, peaceful feeling came over him. It wasn’t a powerful burning feeling. But Ethan knew, that was the Holy Ghost.
A thought came into Ethan’s mind: “I know that I know.” And as he thought about it, he realized he had felt this peaceful feeling before.
Whenever he read the Book of Mormon, it felt good and right. Now he knew that feeling was the Holy Ghost testifying to him. When he went to church and it felt good and right to be there, that was the Holy Ghost too. He had already been getting a testimony!
He didn’t need to know everything right now. But he did know that the Holy Ghost was real and could help him keep building his testimony.
Ethan began to pray again. But this time it was to say thank you.