Tuesday, April 8, 2008

when i knew i knew...

We just concluded another wonderful general conference. I really love conference weekend...and this particular weekend was no exception. I felt like so many of the messages communicated directly to my heart.
Ronald A. Rasband - presidency of the Seventy, spoke of our life's experiences, and how they shape our character and build the foundation of who we are. He stated that our personal life experiences become building blocks for our testimonies and add to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Think of special experiences you have been blessed with in your life, he challenged, that have given you conviction and joy in your heart.

Remember when you first knew that Joseph Smith was God's prophet of the restoration?



Yes. I do remember when I first knew that Joseph Smith was God's prophet of the restoration. From a small child I have known of Joseph Smith. My parents taught me about him. I learned about him in primary and other church settings. I had read about his experiences in the pages proceeding the Book of Mormon. Ever since I can even remember, I knew that Joseph Smith was God's prophet of the restoration. However, there is a moment, a precise and exact moment, in which I knew I knew that He really was God's prophet of the restoration. I was serving as a missionary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I cannot recall in which area I was serving, nor whom I was serving with...but the little house that we had been welcomed into, and the small table that we were sitting around, will forever remain etched in my memory. We were teaching the first discussion and it was my turn to introduce Joseph Smith (something I had done countless times before). I remember as I began reciting his experience, the one which we refer to as the First Vision, my heart began to burn within me. I struggled to get through it because the tears were clouding my vision, and the lump in my throat obstructed the passage for my words to make their glorious escape. The Spirit was stronger than I had ever before felt it, and it was then that I really knew - without a shadow of doubt - what I thought I had known all along. That Joseph Smith did indeed see the Savior at the right hand of God, and that he was/is indeed God's prophet of the restoration!

Remember when you accepted Moroni's challenge, Elder Rasband inquires, and knew that the Book of Mormon was indeed another testament of Jesus Christ?



Yes. I do remember when I knew that the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ. Once again, the Book of Mormon was very familiar to me as a child. Before I was old enough to read, my faithful parents read to me from the pages of the Book of Mormon. We had family scripture study most mornings before school, and I can remember how that very act welcomed a power in our home...a very real, and beautiful, and peaceful power. A power that was noticeably absent the mornings we forwent our study. I always knew that the Book of Mormon was true. That all the prophets and the accounts therein were true. But I will never forget the moment, the precise and exact moment, in which I knew I knew of it's truthfulness. I was a teenager. I can't remember what grade I was in, or which house we were living in, but the witness I received, and the peace that enveloped me, will forever remain etched in my memory. I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon for the very first time, all on my own. Although I believed that the Book was true, I felt impressed to accept Moroni's challenge. On my knees I went and fervently asked my Heavenly Father to reveal it's truthfulness to me. And He did. And it was real. And in that very moment I knew - without a shadow of doubt - what I thought I had known all along. That the Book of Mormon was/is indeed another testament of Jesus Christ!

Elder Rasband posed the final question...Remember when you received an answer to fervent prayer and realized that your Heavenly Father knows and loves you personally?



Yes. I have had countless experiences in which the Lord has answered my plea, and at which point I have known - without a shadow of doubt - that he knows me and loves me personally!

Finally, I wish to share yet another personal experience that has become a building block for my testimony, and which has also added to my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.



After President Hinckley passed away, I knew that President Monson, being the senior apostle, was going to be our next prophet. I watched the press conference just after the announcement was made, and knew that He was the prophet, and that he was called of God. I have grown up watching President Monson, looking forward to his talks at conference, and being inspired by his stories and countless life experiences. (In fact, in one of my very earliest journal entries, I recorded a poem that President Monson shared during one of the sessions of General Conference. I will never forget that poem, as it has had an impact on me throughout my life.) As with the aforementioned facets of my testimony, there was a moment, an exact and precise moment, in which I knew I knew that President Thomas S. Monson was indeed a prophet called and chosen of God. It was during the Saturday morning session of conference, April 5th, 2008. President Uchtdorf was handling the business of the sacred and memorable solemn assembly, in which the members worldwide, voted to sustain the officers of the church. I watched President Monson. I saw his face. His eyes. I could tell how humbled he was as he watched each quorum and each group stand to sustain him as the prophet. I was deeply moved. I was then invited to stand (being a member of the relief society), and cast my own personal sustaining vote; and that (right there in my own living room) is precisely when the spirit confirmed to my heart, my mind, my whole soul...when I knew - without a shadow of doubt - what I thought I had known all along. President Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet, his living oracle on the earth today!

I'm grateful for my parents who taught me, from a very young age, so many important gospel truths. I'm grateful for their immovable faith and unwavering testimonies, which testimonies I borrowed for a time. I'm grateful to the Spirit of the Lord, who has entered my heart, and who speaks peace and truth to my soul. Now I have my own testimony; and as I contemplate the special experiences which have - block by block - formed the foundation of my own personal testimony, I can now affirm the words of Elder Rasband and declare that these experiences, the moments in which I knew I knew, have given me a sense of gratitude and resolve to go forward with renewed faith and determination...

13 comments:

Brooke said...

Conference was wonderful, I can't wait to re-read or watch certain talks again!

diana rose said...

you have a wonderful testimony, nicole!

i love how you wrote that you borrowed your parent's testimonies for a time. this is so true! then comes the time when you realize for your own self what your parents (or leaders) had been trying to teach you themselves. i hope and pray that my testimony will be strong enough to lend to my children for a short time, until they too can find the truth out for themselves.

great post!

Dad said...

Amen. (I love you!)

Kira Joy said...

I know I don't know you very well Nicole; in fact, you have always intimidated me (even more so now that I realize you are a spiritual giant on top of being kind, gorgeous, a fashionable, and intelligent) so I was always pretty nervous to talk when you were around, but I am so glad for having met you and getting to delve into a small portion of your life and thoughts through this blog. You inspire me (even if that means getting nervous at the thought of your greatness ;D).

buddens said...

I remember thinking the same thing about President Monson's humility as I watched his face during the solemn assembly. It was amazing how it truly did show through his eyes how humbled he was by the whole experience. I'm excited to see what is in store with him as prophet. Conference was great.

Sarah Anthony said...

Wow thanks for your testimony! Amen!

Lauri said...

Awesome post. Thanks Nicole. So glad Ruby is healing so well.

Layn & Celeste said...

I loved conference this time too. I had a similar experience about knowing President Monson was called of God during the solemn assembly too.

What sweet experiences you have shared, Nicole. You, too, are such an example of unwavering faith and amazing testimony of this restored gospel. Your posts never cease to inspire me.

Julia Kelly said...

thank you for sharing your testimony Nicole. once again, a wonderful uplifting post.

Danielle said...

You ARE a spiritual giant - you and John both.

I always appreciate your willingness to share your beautiful testimony, Nicole. I always learn from the things you say.

I remember when I first knew about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Great memories. I'll have to blog about it sometime. I, too, talked about my feelings/reflections about conference on my blog. Yet, you have a knack for being so eloquent. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Rachel said...

I LOVE reading your testimony! You are amazing. Thanks for your good example.

Danielle said...

I keep thinking about conference... didn't you just love the resonating theme of missionary work? My "long lost" friend was just called to serve in Rosario, Argentina. Didn't you serve in Argentina? Have any advice on how I can support her? She'll do an AMAZING job - I don't worry about her one bit. Yet, I'd like to support her appropriately. You're always so insightful. And I'd love offer truly effective prayers on her behalf as she serves the beautiful people of Argentina. Email me when you have a chance. I'd love to hear your stories, insights, advice, etc. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR EXAMPLE!

Danielle said...

I keep thinking about conference... didn't you just love the resonating theme of missionary work? My "long lost" friend was just called to serve in Rosario, Argentina. Didn't you serve in Argentina? Have any advice on how I can support her? She'll do an AMAZING job - I don't worry about her one bit. Yet, I'd like to support her appropriately. You're always so insightful. And I'd love offer truly effective prayers on her behalf as she serves the beautiful people of Argentina. Email me when you have a chance. I'd love to hear your stories, insights, advice, etc. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR EXAMPLE!