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Gaining a Testimony


Joe

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Hello Joe,

I'm a convert who had a rather distinct and powerful witness during my conversion, but I found that day to day I still had to "gain a testimony" of so many things in the Gospel.  Knowing God lives, and that Jesus Christ is my Savior led to those other things but line by line, precept by precept.  

It is important for you to know that having a personal Pentecost moment is not required for faithfulness in the Gospel.  In fact our Doctrine and Covenants describes differences in how the Holy Ghost may give us our gifts.

D&C 46:13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

 14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

Relax and know that as you continue in faith you will be guided, in God's own time, in God's way.  Think on the Savior's words to Thomas.

Remember even the beloved Apostle Thomas needed to witness for himself.

John 20:26 ¶And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Eventually all will have the opportunity to see the Savior with their own eyes and proclaim "my Lord and my God."  Until then continue to be faithful and obedient to the Gospel principles, do your best, and the blessing you seek will be realized in time.

 

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A bit of an oversimplification.  But when we do know some things it helps to share them, and grow our understanding in the teaching of them.  

I know I easily fall into the trap of wanting lightening to strike when I should have listened carefully for the still small voice prompting me all along.

I never like the extreme position of "fake it until you make it" or the opposite "you must be sinning if you haven't gained a testimony".  Neither is helpful or honest.

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Kevin, thanks for your comforting words. The scriptures talk a lot about faith and how it's important, but at the same time there is pressure in the church to know. Some members may be left to think there is something wrong with them when they can't honestly say that they know. I am one of those.

In my younger years I thought I knew it was true and often stated I did, however, as I grew older I realized I didn't truly know anything. Ironically, I have been a much more faithful and diligent saith since that realization. It has driven me to do whatever it takes to know Him. Yet, after many years of trying I am still left with faith and hope. No knowledge.

Must I go through my whole life without the confirmation I seek? I'm prepared to do so, but I am hoping I don't have to. 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Just start bearing your testimony, isn't that what one leader said, it's in the bearing of the testimony.  ;)

I have never understood that counsel. I have a theory that a testimony is best gained by walking with the Lord, doing His work. Perhaps that is what Elder Packer meant, because I think the best way we bare our testimonies are through action. That is what I am trying to do.

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1 minute ago, Joe said:

I have never understood that counsel. I have a theory that a testimony is best gained by walking with the Lord, doing His work. Perhaps that is what Elder Packer meant, because I think the best way we bare our testimonies are through action. That is what I am trying to do.

Yes, I was saying that in jest.  I always thought my testimony was bullet proof.  Boy, was I wrong.  I also think that, by having a non bullet proof testimony gives one just enough doubt that increase having faith.  Because those with no doubts seem to have no need for faith. 

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17 minutes ago, Joe said:

Kevin, thanks for your comforting words. The scriptures talk a lot about faith and how it's important, but at the same time there is pressure in the church to know. Some members may be left to think there is something wrong with them when they can't honestly say that they know. I am one of those.

In my younger years I thought I knew it was true and often stated I did, however, as I grew older I realized I didn't truly know anything. Ironically, I have been a much more faithful and diligent saith since that realization. It has driven me to do whatever it takes to know Him. Yet, after many years of trying I am still left with faith and hope. No knowledge.

Must I go through my whole life without the confirmation I seek? I'm prepared to do so, but I am hoping I don't have to. 

I hope you receive the answer you are looking for, or at least one that gives you security in your knowledge.  However don't overlook the blessings you are receiving for your obedience.  I was guilty of looking for all my answers to be the big event like my original conversion, and overlooking many small miracles in my life that are now the more solid foundation of my testimony.  

Your answers from the Holy Spirit will be unique to you- just as any conversation with a person is different for you than anyone else.  It may be a greater understanding, an opening of the mind, a feeling of peace, and yes sometimes a burning in the bosom.  But it may be none of those and something unique to you.  Or it may be something you currently experience and don't recognize because you are looking for one of those other experiences.

I commend you for your continuing to seek, and Christ as shown to Thomas does bless those who have not seen, yet continue to believe.

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1 hour ago, Joe said:

Kevin, thanks for your comforting words. The scriptures talk a lot about faith and how it's important, but at the same time there is pressure in the church to know. Some members may be left to think there is something wrong with them when they can't honestly say that they know. I am one of those. 

In my younger years I thought I knew it was true and often stated I did, however, as I grew older I realized I didn't truly know anything. Ironically, I have been a much more faithful and diligent saith since that realization. It has driven me to do whatever it takes to know Him. Yet, after many years of trying I am still left with faith and hope. No knowledge.

Must I go through my whole life without the confirmation I seek? I'm prepared to do so, but I am hoping I don't have to. 

Joe, it seems some clarification is needed.  I will not say anything you don't know, but I hope to be more precise in how the Church teaches and what others think is taught, but is more a cultural thing rather than a principle of the gospel.  

The first principles of the gospel begin with Faith.  We have no instruction of "knowing", this is a cultural aspect of the Church and not a teaching per se.  The scriptures teach us to have a hope that grows into faith.  

One can summarize discipleship is the pursuit of emulating, of becoming, the example of our Savior.  The 2 Peter 1:10 encourages us to having our calling of election made sure.  The Church teaches that to obtain one's calling of election is to know Jesus Christ.  I suppose that this encouragement could be teaching people to "know" Jesus, but I think that is an exaggeration.  It avoids the emphasis on hope and faith.  Does this make sense to you?

I find many individual members that grow up in the Church will conclude they do not have a testimony; they alledge that they have never felt the Spirit confirm the truth of any teaching of the Church.  I think it is possible that they have grown up with the Spirit and never really understood or gained an understanding of being exposed to the Holy Spirit and when he is not present in our lives.  This is worth profound contemplation and discussion between you and the Lord and a review of your own life.  

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The question comes to mind: what would you accept as a witness?  

I've had conversations with some ostensibly LDS posters here, long time members, who have complained that they haven't gotten any kind of revelation or spiritual manifestation that they could accept as unequivocal.  It's like they can't accept anything less dramatic than a full-blown vision, like some kind of Sacred Grove experience.  Anything else is just too doubtful for them.  Everything else can be explained away as a coincidence, a wish-fulfillment, or something entirely mundane and worldly.

Well, I have never had any kind of vision, but I've had enough spiritual manifestations in my life, that I find it very difficult to deny that God has been watching over me and guiding me.  It's not like I have a glowing trail going ahead of me.  But there has been is a quiet guide, a still, small voice, not every day, nor every month, but when I have sought, I have found.  And sometimes the Lord has just opened up pathways in the knowledge that I would follow them.

The problem with a desire to see unequivocal visions is that God never seems to work that way except on very unusual occasions.  I can give you some good reasons for this, but it doesn't matter.  Just accept it.  It's very scriptural, though.

In a sermon given in pre-Nauvoo Commerce, Illinois, Joseph Smith is recorded as having said:

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“A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”

The skeptic LDS among us may feel pure intelligence flowing into them, perhaps, but they instantly dismiss it as having come from their subconscious, or perhaps they heard it on the radio.  The thought they get doesn't have a "Made in Heaven" label sewn onto it, so they disregard the source and assume it was something just floating on the wind.  And by rejecting the source, they reject the further light and knowledge they might have expected to receive, had they recognized the true source of inspiration.

It's standing right in front of you!  It is the principle of "line upon line; precept upon precept".  If you reject the initial inspiration, you won't get anything greater -- for that is something reserved to those who have allowed themselves to be guided by the Spirit, and who have obeyed the lesser light they have received.

And remember this important principle: God doesn't shout at us.

It came to pass that the prophet Isaiah was hiding alone in the wilderness of Judea when the voice of the Lord came to him and asked what he was doing? He replied that he was distraught that many of his fellow prophets had been killed, many altars to the Most High God had been thrown down, and Jezebel, King Ahab's pagan wife, had sent out soldiers to find him and kill him.  The Lord's response was instructive:

1 Kings 19:11,12 - 

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11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

The thing to note here in these two passages is that the most reliable and sublime revelation of the Spirit is that still, small, voice.  But while Isaiah has to make do with that still, small, voice, the skeptic LDS insist upon a major studio quality, Imax 3D presentation, in Technicolor,  That's a lot of privilege to expect, when some of these people can't bear to hear that the Church has a policy asking children of same-sex marriages to wait until 18 to be baptized; who wear ashes and sackcloth because the Church used its non-tithing funds to finance the City Creek Mall; who moan and complain because three new apostles are called, and none of them is a minority, or person of color.  They may have read James 1:5, but have completely glossed over James 1:6 & 7:

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5 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.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

 

What can you expect if you ask of God, yet waver in faith by judging His Church by the standards of the World?  By evil-speaking of the Lord's anointed? By not having the humility to accept that you yourself might not know the mind and will of the Lord, and consider your own wisdom to be superior?

It was while I was on my mission, in the Language Training Mission in Provo in 1972, that I had the most dramatic spiritual experience I have ever had.  It was not an IMax 3D presentation, but it left an incredible impression on me.  Note that I already had a testimony of the Church, of the Book of Mormon, and of Jesus Christ the Savior of Mankind.  But I was after something more, something that had been intimated in my Patriarchal Blessing, and I wanted to know more about it.  It was important to me, and so for about a week I spent a good hour per night on my knees long after lights out praying quietly in an empty classroom on the same floor as my district's bedrooms.  I got no answer, but I could feel that the Lord was definitely listening to me, and had an answer to my prayer.  He was waiting for something, but I couldn't tell what it was.

Finally, I made an appointment to speak to one of the brethren who helped to lead the German-speaking Zone.  I explained to him what it was I was trying to get from the Lord, and what I was doing to get it.  His answer surprised me: "The reason you're not getting an answer is because you're breaking the mission rules that you agreed to follow." I was stunned.  Me?  Break rules?  No way!  I asked him what rules he was talking about, and again I got a surprise.  The rule I had been breaking was that after lights out we were supposed to stay in bed and sleep, except if we needed to answer a call of nature.  My going into that classroom after lights out, even for doing something good, such as praying, was the reason I wasn't getting an answer.

Now, I ask you, what would be your reaction to this if it had happened to you?  Well, I instantly defended myself, saying that I needed privacy to pray personally, and when else was I supposed to get it?  But he wouldn't let me justify myself.  He made the very important point that if the Lord gave me an answer under the circumstances when I was breaking the rules, the Lord would be effectively teaching me that it was OK to break the rules, as long as I could come up with a likely justification.  OK, I said, but how could I pray under the circumstances of having to always be with my companion during the day?  He told me that I didn't need to be with my companion at all times when I was in the building (Amanda Knight Hall), just when I was out of the building.  And that there were times and places when there weren't any classes or meetings going on, when I could find a vacant room, lock it, and take as much time as I needed to talk to the Lord.  He went on to tell me that he felt impressed to promise me that if I did what he told me, that I would get my answer.  I agreed to do as he said.

I decided to wait for Fast Sunday, which was coming up in a few days, and I fasted for the purpose of putting my question to the Lord.  So it was, that after Fast and Testimony meeting I located a empty classroom on the first floor of the building and I locked the door for privacy.  Waiting for Fast Sunday turned out to be a particularly good idea, for as a result of that I was basically what I call "swimming in the Spirit".  It was therefore in a grand feeling of near-euphoria, joy, and overall good feeling that I began my prayer.  I don't remember the words I used to ask for what I wanted to know.  But I remember to this day the words that came in answer to my question.  I did not hear a heavenly voice.  I did not have an interview with an angel.  No blinding light.  No earthquake, nor wind.  But words were given to me, and I spoke them as they came to me.  It wasn't a long communication, in fact I can count the words.  There were 12 of them.  I won't say what they were, as they are rather sacred to me, but if I did they probably wouldn't mean much to you.  They were the kind of words that the skeptic would quickly explain away.  They were even words that someone might question with a dismissive "Is that all?"  But they were words that told me that the Lord was going to guide and direct me according to HIs will, in His own time, and according to my faithfulness.  They weren't my words.  They were His.  They came from outside me.  I cannot deny this.

But before this ever happened, I was obedient.  Before this happened, I had wrenched my life away from my own pursuits in order to pursue His purposes.  I had continued in faithfulness, despite my own fears and self-doubts.  I had demonstrated that despite everything, I was on His side.

Another thing about the experiences I had in the Language Training Mission was this same brother who had counseled me to keep the mission rules before I sought blessings from the Lord, gave some wise counsel to us Elders and Sisters in a talk he delivered one Sunday.  He said that he was well aware that there were some of us there who still had not received a testimony of the truthfulness of the Church, or of the Book of Mormon, or of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.  He made it clear that the Lord definitely wanted us to receive such a testimony, but that the Lord wasn't just going to hand it out like penny candy.  He said that such a valuable thing had to be gotten through diligent effort, but especially faith, and unwavering faith at that.  Well, that wasn't a surprise to me (nor to anyone else I'm sure), but the surprising thing he said was that if the Lord seemed to be slow to give you a testimony you needed to get tough and demand one.  He said that if the Lord were withholding a testimony from him, as a full-time missionary, he would feel no timidity in getting firm with Heavenly Father over the matter.  "Here I am, Father, training to go out and testify to your other children about Jesus Christ and the Restoration of all things, but you haven't given me assurance that what I am going to teach them is true.  I'm working hard to get ready to do your will, and I deserve to know that it is your will.  You gave Saul of Tarsus a great vision, and he was fighting against you!  Well, I'm fighting for you, and so it seems only fair that I get at least a little of what your enemy Saul got!"  

He made it quite clear that if the Lord was withholding a testimony from you, then He expected you to dig even deeper and harder for it.  Does this sound strange to you?  Well, if it does, I invite you open the Book of Mormon, and read the Book of Enos.  It's only 27 verses long.  

Enos was out hunting and while doing so has been pondering what he had been taught by his father about God and forgiveness of sin.  

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4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

 5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

 6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

 

Enos devoted many hours to prayer before he got his answer.  

The only remaining question is this: how much are you willing to do to get an answer?  Are you willing to give up your doubts and quibbles, and expectations that you know better than the Lord?  If you are not willing to work and have faith, then perhaps you have not yet earned the right to an answer.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

I find many individual members that grow up in the Church will conclude they do not have a testimony; they alledge that they have never felt the Spirit confirm the truth of any teaching of the Church.  I think it is possible that they have grown up with the Spirit and never really understood or gained an understanding of being exposed to the Holy Spirit and when he is not present in our lives.  This is worth profound contemplation and discussion between you and the Lord and a review of your own life.  

I agree, but I think there are many members of the Church who grew up with a testimony that they do not recognize as one.

I am a convert, and though there were a number of experiences I had with the Spirit, for some reason I thought I had not gotten an answer to the question "Is the Book of Mormon true?"  In fact, up until two or three months before I put in my papers I had never read the Book of Mormon through from cover to cover.  I decided that I needed to do so before I went on my mission.  How could I ask my investigators to read the Book of Mormon if I myself had not yet done so?  

Of course, I had probably read every word in the book over time, piecemeal.  But never from cover to cover.  So off I went.  I don't remember how long it took, but I remember very clearly the day I finished it.  Okay, I thought, now I will ask the Lord if the Book of Mormon is true.  So I got down on my knees and prayed. And I prayed.  And prayed some more.  Is this book true?  Well?  Come on, I want an answer!  Is it true?

Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  

I remember what I felt like.  All that effort reading it all the way through, and praying and praying for an answer, only to get nothing.  I was highly annoyed. Why won't Heavenly Father tell me that the Book of Mormon is true?  I didn't normally go away from prayer feeling disappointed and annoyed, but I did this time.  Finally, it was time to go to work for the day, so off I went.  I spent the entire shift feeling grumpy and ill-done by.  I tried praying again before I went to bed that night, but still got no answer.  Not even an inkling of an answer.  

I'd love to tell you that I got a really good visionary dream that night, but it didn't happen.  What did happen over the next few day was a gradual dawning realization that I was asking the Lord for something that I already had, and had in spades.  I already knew it was true, and here I was pretending to the Lord that I didn't know it, just so I could punch a ticket.  Nowadays I believe I knew the book was true even before I cracked it open the first time to read in it.  On the first day I ever met a Mormon, the guy that introduced me to the Church told me about the Book of Mormon, and gave me a superficial overview of what it contained and what it was about.  Please know that I could be as skeptical as the next person, and even at age 14 I knew to disbelieve stuff that was clearly ****-eyed. But not this.  He told me about the book, and I believed it.  Somehow it sounded Right.  I can't explain it, but I never doubted that it was true, not even from the beginning.  It took me years to recognize that it was the Spirit that was guiding me on this.  

While I was doing my cover-to-cover due diligence, in due course I came upon the story of Alma and Amulek trying to teach the gospel in Ammonihah, and getting persecuted for doing so, though they brought many to the knowledge of the gospel.  These two were arrested and forced to watch as many of those who had been converted by their preaching were burned to death by fire.  Amulek was horrified by what was happening, and wanted to do something about it. It is in the 14th chapter of Alma, verses 9 - 11: 

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9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.

 10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

 11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

 

As I read verse 11, where it says "...for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory..." I broke down in tears and sobbing.  I knew this thing had happened.  It was no fairy tale I was reading.  These people had suffered death by fire for their belief, and these two missionaries had been forced to watch it being done.  Over time, I had had other "little" witnesses of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as I had read in it.  But I guess I could say that this was the "capper".

It was no wonder I had gotten no answer to my "question" about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  I already knew it was true, and more to the point, Father knew I knew it.  In asking Him my question, therefore, I was being rather disingenuous. If Father had answered me, He would have been just as disingenuous.  He is not disingenuous.  Like Enos said, He is a God of Truth, and cannot lie.

Over the years I have read more and more in the Book of Mormon, and while I know more about the book and what's in it, I don't know now any better about its truthfulness than I discovered I knew back in 1972.

A question for anyone who thinks he or she doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon: examine yourself to see if you perhaps haven't been as observant about your testimony of the Book of Mormon as you should have been.

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A mission president told my relatives (senior missionaries) that he always asked his new missionaries about experiences when they felt the Spirit.  Converts usually had several to rattle off.  Life-long members, often had trouble coming up with even one.  The problem wasn't that they weren't feeling the Spirit, rather they just didn't recognize it because it had always been a part of their lives.

 

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On 12/5/2015, 1:29:54, Stargazer said:

The question comes to mind: what would you accept as a witness?  

I have asked myself that same question many times. We know from the scriptures and church history that heavenly manifestations do solidify a testimony. So I am confident that even if an angel or Jesus himself visited me, I could still have doubts that those experiences were real. 

I think that no manifestation is adequate for someone with a hard heart. I think that may be my problem - My heart is not sufficiently broken. Even though I do what I'm supposed to, I am not who I am supposed to be. 

I've done everything I can do - I cannot change my heart. Only God can I suppose. 

If I someday become someone I could have never become on my own, that will be the greatest testimony to me that their is a God and that I am on the right path. At least, that's my current working theory. 

Thanks everyone for all your helpful words. 

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4 minutes ago, Joe said:

I have asked myself that same question many times. We know from the scriptures and church history that heavenly manifestations do solidify a testimony. So I am confident that even if an angel or Jesus himself visited me, I could still have doubts that those experiences were real. 

Sorry, I meant to says that heavenly manifestations do NOT solidify a testimony.

Is there a way to edit posts?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if God doesn't quite care the mode of religion we believe in as long as it gets you to follow Christ's pattern of living.  So if the church does that, by all means it's true for you.  

You may be right Tacenda. That reminds me of Richard Bushman's account of him praying to know if the church is true. I remember him saying that his answer was, "The church is right" (paraphrasing). If you wish to hear it from the horse's mouth, you can listen to his interview on Mormon Stories. 

I could certainly say the church has been good for me and my family. I have become a good person from its influence. That said, I feel I am unequal ground from those in the church that believe it is exclusively true. 

 

 

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2015 at 11:12 AM, Joe said:

I have asked myself that same question many times. We know from the scriptures and church history that heavenly manifestations do solidify a testimony. So I am confident that even if an angel or Jesus himself visited me, I could still have doubts that those experiences were real. 

I think that no manifestation is adequate for someone with a hard heart. I think that may be my problem - My heart is not sufficiently broken. Even though I do what I'm supposed to, I am not who I am supposed to be. 

I've done everything I can do - I cannot change my heart. Only God can I suppose. 

If I someday become someone I could have never become on my own, that will be the greatest testimony to me that their is a God and that I am on the right path. At least, that's my current working theory. 

Thanks everyone for all your helpful words. 

 

Well then.  It seems very clear to me at least that you need to pray to ask God to open your heart.  He DOES have the key.  But I think that He waits for us to be willing to have it opened.

As Alma said in Alma 32:27

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But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

You won't get it by being wishy-washy, btw.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2015 at 8:20 AM, Tacenda said:

I wonder if God doesn't quite care the mode of religion we believe in as long as it gets you to follow Christ's pattern of living.  So if the church does that, by all means it's true for you.  

Oh, I think he definitely cares.  Sometimes, however, a particular person might serve the Lord's purposes outside the Church than in it.  Consider Alexander Doniphan.  He was the church's lawyer during the Missouri period, and though a non-member held the Church and its leaders in great esteem.  During the Mormon War in Missouri, he was appointed Brigadier General of militia and participated reluctantly in the operations against church members.  After Joseph Smith and some other LDS leaders were captured and had been convicted in a kangaroo court of "treason" against Missouri, he was ordered by his commanding general to execute them.   General Doniphan famously refused to obey the order, stating

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“It is cold blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning, at 8 o’clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God.”

This intimidated his commander sufficiently that Joseph and Co. were only placed into Liberty Jail, and were eventually allowed to escape.

Had Doniphan been a member of the Church, he wouldn't have been able to be anywhere near as serviceable to the Lord's work. 

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