“Questions & Answers: How Can I Know the Church Is True?” New Era, Jan. 2015, 42–43
We all need to build our faith and testimony for ourselves in order to grow spiritually. In Alma 32, Alma gives us the pattern for this lifelong process of building faith and testimony, and modern-day Church leaders encourage us to find the truth for ourselves. Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis of the Seventy has said, “In the kingdom of God, the search for truth is appreciated, encouraged, and in no way repressed or feared” (“If Ye Lack Wisdom,” Ensign, May 2014, 108), meaning that it’s OK if you feel like you’re still working on your testimony (just like everyone else).
Young women from a stake in Utah, USA, recently shared several important ideas on how to know the truth: “If you choose to keep believing, even for another day, it will be enough to keep you going until your testimony is stronger,” says Eden B., 15. And Keslie T., 17, says, “The best way to know something is to put forth effort and study the subject. We’re given so many tools to learn about the gospel, and the more you study it, the more your testimony will grow.” Maddy R., 14, adds, “Heavenly Father loves us, and prayer is a direct way of communication with Him. Pray often and go to God with any questions. He will always answer.”
As these young women experienced, gaining and maintaining a testimony is a lifelong process that requires faith, scripture study, and putting gospel principles into practice. If you don’t feel completely confident about your testimony, don’t worry. Just keep working on it, be patient, and rely on what you know to be true. And you might consider watching this great story about a young man who was worried that he did not know the Church is true but only believed it. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “I told him how very proud I was of him for the honesty of his quest” (see lds.org/go/believeNE1).
We often get caught up trying to look for definitive proof for answers we seek. However, if we look at the history of prophets looking for revelation, they always took the first step in their faith by asking Heavenly Father what to believe with an honest intent. Being able to “prove” the Church to be true would defeat the purpose of having faith in the first place. When we exercise our faith, we can gradually gain a personal witness of its truthfulness. We must take the first step.
Hunter J., 17, Arizona, USA
Start out by doing things with hope, such as reading your scriptures, praying every day, and going to all three meetings every Sunday. In doing these things, you will feel the Lord’s Spirit with you, testifying of the truth. As you continue to do these things, your knowledge of the gospel and the Lord’s plan for you will expand and grow.
Ryker J., 16, Utah, USA
Gain a testimony of the priesthood, the Book of Mormon, and the prophets. These are things that set The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apart from other religions. When you feel the Spirit confirm that these things are true, write down your feelings and thoughts. In times of doubt, remember the Spirit you have felt. Remember the power of the priesthood you have experienced. When doubts come into my mind, I say to myself, “I have a testimony!” Then the Spirit confirms to me again that my testimony is true.
Erin J., 18, Kansas, USA
To know the Church is true, you have to live like you believe. Live the gospel standards, read scriptures with real intent to learn, and pray sincerely—these are some great ways to know of the truthfulness of this gospel. Heavenly Father loves you and wants to give you the answer.
Danielle A., 18, Utah, USA
In order to know the Church is true, I needed to completely open my heart to the voice of the Spirit and have faith. I have to allow the Spirit to help me understand my Young Women values, apply the Atonement in my life, and build my testimony of this gospel. Then I have to have faith that the things the Holy Ghost is allowing me to feel are true.
Kaiya C., 17, Hawaii, USA
There are different ways to know that the Church is true. One way is to do the Lord’s work, such as paying tithing, and you will have a sure feeling in your heart that it is the truth. Another example is by asking in prayer. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” This scripture tells us that if there is something we do not know, we can ask Him in prayer. I know that this is the true Church and that others can know the same.
Logan B., 12, Georgia, USA