“Forgotten Books, Remembered Testimony,” New Era, April 2017
One year I had a goal to improve my spiritual learning. I would bring Church books, pamphlets, manuals, and scriptures everywhere, including to school, as I hungered for the words of God. But my efforts slowed when I became busy studying for an upcoming quiz.
One day our teacher led a discussion in which she asked all the non-Catholic students in the room to stand. I was the only Latter-day Saint in the class. Six other students also stood.
Then we were questioned: What church do you belong to? Who was the founder? How was your church established?
I was the last to answer. I was nervous when I realized I hadn’t brought my Church books, but I tried to remember the things I had studied. A Bible verse came to mind:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).
I stood in front of the class with boldness and forgot my fears. I stated that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I shared the story of a young boy, Joseph Smith, who saw God. I felt a burning in my bosom, and tears fell from my eyes. I shared that the Church had been organized on April 6, 1830, and I testified that a prophet of God had been called and the priesthood restored. I testified that I knew all this was true.
The many hours of gospel study had been worth it. It had helped me defend my faith and share the gospel. I was proud when, several weeks later, four of my classmates joined me at church.
That experience taught me the importance of a testimony. At first I wondered why the Lord hadn’t prompted me to bring my books that day. They would have helped me perfectly answer the questions being asked. But then I realized that we need not memorize everything about the Church or rely on references—we should study, live, and share the gospel, relying on the Holy Ghost. I may not have had my books, but I had my testimony.