1. How did you gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon?

     
     

  2. Gaining Faith

    How do we gain a testimony? It seems like a simple question, but it gets muddled over time. Learning for ourselves and being converted to a principle takes diligent effort on our part. But by following these four P’s of testimony building, you can become converted to any doctrine of the gospel.

    1. Pore over the scriptures

    You need to study diligently the word of God if you are to gain a knowledge of it. Gaining a testimony is a spiritual experience, and you need to turn to the source of spiritual knowledge.

    Make use of the study helps, such as the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, or the Index. Even turn to Conference Addresses and LDS.org. Make use of the resources available to you, so that your mind will be filled with the doctrine.

    2. Ponder the message

    Know that you’ve acquired the information, you need to mull it over. Turn it into wisdom. Understand what you’ve read and ask yourself if it makes sense. Could you believe this principle? Do you understand its basics?

    "Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again," (3 Nephi 17:3)

    3. Apply the Principle

    Now that you know the what and the how, live it. The only way to know if you like a flavor of ice cream is to try it. The only way to know if you like a board game is to try it. It is only in the doing that we are able to gain a true testimony. Our memories fade and can be distorted. Actions hold greater power than thoughts.

    The Lord has made a promise with us, "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it,” (Malachi 3:10). He has challenged us to keep His commandments and see if the blessings don’t come.

    4. Pray About Your Experience

    And following your attempts to live the principle, pray about what you’ve learned, felt, and experienced. Open your heart up to our Heavenly Father and communicate with Him. Ask if these things aren’t true and He will testify to you through the power of the Holy Ghost.

    "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” (Moroni 10:3-4)

    I know that this process works, that as we pore over the scriptures, ponder their message, live the principle, and then pray about our experience, we will gain a testimony. It is only in the application of the doctrine that the key is turned, and the process becomes real to us.  

     
  3. mormonchannel:

    Searching for answers? Listen for them in general conference, coming up in one week. You can watch it live on our page!

     
     

  4. "It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to enliven us – not only to guide us but also to strengthen and heal us"
    — Elder David A. Bednar
     
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  6. To you future fathers out there: this is dedicated to you. And any actual fathers too. I guess you count as well.

     

  7. "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."
    — 1 Nephi 20:10
     

  8. How do I know when I’ve been forgiven?

    We all ask soul searching questions in our quest for truth. These questions of the soul can be answered with a study of The Book of Mormon. When asking “How do I know when I’ve been forgiven?” reference these scriptures:

    "And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

    And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them,” (Mosiah 4:2-3)

    "For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit. And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God," (Mosiah 27:24-26)

    "Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness," (Alma 7:14)

    "Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness," (Alma 41:10)

    "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven," (Moroni 6:8)

     
  9. "The Wise Men," Minerva Teichert

     

  10. "One should not roam through garbage"
    — Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis
     

  11. Characters within Harry Potter

    While some people may get offended if I called the Harry Potter series “fine literature,” I do find a lot of merit in its complexity. There are motifs carried out in the series, one of which is choice. We see similar characters, who had the opportunity to follow similar paths, but through their choices they proved themselves to be greater than the sum of their parts.

    "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities," -Albus Dumbledore

    Harry and Neville

    Lets start at the basics with one easily found foil of characters. Rowling herself makes this connection apparent in the later books. Both Harry and Neville were orphaned early in life. Both were born around the same time, and the prophecy could have applied to them. But look at how differently their paths began during their first couple of years at Hogwarts: Harry makes friends easily, has headstrong opinions and is devoted to doing what’s right. Neville on the other hand, is almost a comic relief with his bumbling behavior and forgetfulness.

    But what happens next? We watch each character grow and develop. They make choices and become better people, and grow closer together by the end of the series. During the battle of Hogwarts I would argue is Neville’s turning point, when we as readers see the final product and realize how far Neville has come. Did Neville bemoan his horrible luck and accept his fate as the butt of every joke? Of course not.

    "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them," (Ether 12:27)

    Harry and Voldemort

    Here is another blatant foil that Rowling herself addresses for our benefit. Harry grapples with the idea that he and Voldemort have a lot in common. The fifth book explores this connection with startling insights. But what drives Harry to become the hero of the series instead of an antihero? The answer is simply love.

    Dumbledore is quick to point out that Harry know love, which makes him infinitely more powerful than Voldemort. Why do you think that is? What about love can grant the hero power beyond the villain?

    "There are many attributes which are manifestations of love, such as kindness, patience, selflessness, understanding, and forgiveness. In all our associations, these and other such attributes will help make evident the love in our hearts,” (President Monson, Love—the Essence of the Gospel)

    Love is the motivating power in priesthood service. Without love for others, there would be no priesthood blessings. Without love for God there would be no faith to sponsor these acts.

    And on a more superficial level, love changes people. Your relationships that you form with others have the ability to transcend time. Look at the influence that Christ’s love has had on man kind. Or the love of Martin Luther King. Or Ghandi. Infamy may live on in textbooks, but love lives in the human heart and extends beyond your lifetime.

    Voldemort and Snape

    This foil jumped out at me while reading The Half-Blood Prince. Both characters come from mixed parentage, with a witch and Muggle for parents. Both struggle make friends at Hogwarts (Tom Riddle acquires followers, there’s a difference). Both are fascinated with the Dark Arts. And yet they end up as entirely different people, Snape is even willing to lay down his life for those he loves, an act abhorred by Voldemort.

    Once again the answer seems to be love. Severus loved Lily, so much that it drove him to become a double agent and fool such a blood thirsty individual like Voldemort. But digging deeper, what truly motivated Snape to become who he was? I personally have trouble accepting Snape’s redemption story; it feels too forced for Rowling to take a character so disgusting (reread the first few books to understand my distaste for Severus) and make his acts justifiable. Rather I propose that the real variable that changed Snape was Godly sorrow.

    "And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

    Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

    And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

    And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!” (Alma 36:17-20)

    Godly sorrow is more than just feeling guilt. It is an exquisite remorse, “the pains of a damned soul,” as Alma the younger describes it. This power changed the vilest of sinners into one of the greatest prophets in The Book of Mormon. And I think it was the same influence that changed Snape into the man he became.

    Agency, humility, love, and repentance are lessons we can learn from the characters in the Potter Universe. Lessons that can and will change our lives for the better.

     

  12. "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
    — Luke 24:36-39
     
  13. "I See the Son of Man Standing on the Right Hand of God," Walter Rane

     

  14. "We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift his children"
    — Elder Ronald A. Rasband
     

  15. How do prophets help me?

    We all ask soul searching questions in our quest for truth. These questions of the soul can be answered with a study of The Book of Mormon. When asking “How do prophets help me?” reference these scriptures:

    "And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year," (Helaman 11:23)