“Bearing Testimony to the Bishop,” New Era, June 2009, 45
I smoothed my skirt and took a deep breath. It sounded like the meeting on the other side of the door was coming to an end. The bishop stood in the doorway and shook hands as people filed out. He turned to me as I sat in a chair outside of his office, and he smiled broadly.
“Come on in, Erica,” he said with his hand extended.
I stood and shook his hand, suddenly feeling older than 12 years old.
Bishop Morris was a kind man whose love you could always feel. I felt more at ease as soon as I saw him. I told myself to quit being nervous, to remember that interviews with the bishop are regular occurrences once you are in Young Women. Still, I just didn’t know what to expect.
Soon the bishop had me talking about my family, school, and friends. He asked about my goals. And then we talked about testimony.
He asked me to share what I believed with him.
Suddenly my nervousness returned. I had only shared my testimony once before. So I gripped the chair handles and started with the first thing that came to mind—Joseph Smith. I told Bishop Morris that I believed Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I said I believed that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I expressed my belief in this book, my gratitude for my family, and my admiration of our current prophet.
Before I knew it I had tears in my eyes. Goosebumps began to spread from my toes upward as I started talking about the Savior. I told the bishop that maybe I didn’t know a lot yet but that I did know that Jesus Christ lived and died for me.
Until this moment, I hadn’t recognized my own testimony. I read my scriptures and said my prayers, and I knew I had felt the Spirit, but I didn’t know I had a testimony of my own. When I finally bore testimony, I knew.