What If

    “What If,” New Era, Aug. 1995, 43

    How I Know:

    What If

    What if everything I had been taught was untrue? I began to dewspair until I realized I had adked the wrong question.

    All my life I had been taught that the Church was true. When I decided to gain a testimony of my own, I thought that I needed to approach things from a different angle than that of my teachers and friends. So I asked: What if the gospel is not true? What if my well-meaning friends and parents are misled? What if the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction? What if there is no living prophet today and families aren’t forever?

    As such questions filled my mind, darkness clouded my thoughts. I felt as if doors were closing inside me and for a whole day I wandered around in a depressed stupor of thought, thinking and acting unkindly towards others.

    The next morning I came to myself and realized that I was obviously getting nowhere. Then I remembered a seminary lesson I’d had on prayer. I knew that in Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–9 there were some guidelines on getting answers. [D&C 9:7–9] As I read these verses, I could see that I had asked the wrong question. When I studied my questions out in my mind and in my heart, I sincerely believed the things I had been taught were true. So I prayed again, this time asking if my beliefs were right: Was I really a child of God? Was there a celestial kingdom? Was the priesthood the power of God?

    Light poured into my soul replacing darkness. The Spirit confirmed that my belief was not in vain. I felt as if doors were being flung open and I could see things more clearly.

    I gained a desire to serve and share my testimony. The Lord had heard and answered my sincere prayer. Now I knew for myself that what I had believed all along was really true.

    Photography by John Luke