Saturday, February 14, 2009

Testimony as a Process

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Testimony as a Process, by Elder Eduardo Gavarret
Of the Seventy

Imagine being asked to share a powerful spiritual experience you had while developing your conviction of Christ, and none came to mind. Sure, there were small steps along the way, but nothing profound or earth-shattering. I had such an experience this last week.

Our church group accomplishes amazing things through the use of our listserv (see an account of the listserv here). A friend sent an email request for help preparing a lesson she is to deliver tomorrow. She asked for accounts of personal revelation, and its effect on lives—similar to the situation above. Knowing that my daily life is influenced greatly by personal revelation, and wanting to help a friend in need (and thus help to build Zion), I prepared to send a reply. However, as I considered what I could say, I drew a blank.

My personal journal (and perhaps this blog) is full of such accounts, but I thought they might seem small and not impressive enough when taken individually. Now, I'm by no means discounting the miracle of personal revelation, nor am I showing ingratitude for the daily experiences and helps I receive, I'm just trying to relate that I was surprised by two things: 1) there were so many examples I could draw from, and 2) they all seemed so small when taken alone, but combined are something great. I agree with Elder Godoy that "all of these experiences together formed a set of experiences and feelings, most often small, that leave no doubt."

Should I be comfortable with my apparent lack of big, knock-your-socks-off experiences?

I think so. Elder Godoy taught:

Great events are not a guarantee that our testimony will be strong. ... [T]o receive the witness of the “still small voice” sometimes can have a stronger impact on our testimonies than the visit of an angel

I like the reminder that "small" experiences with the "still small voice" can be of great impact. But, there are some who have amazing stories to tell. Elder Godoy expounded:

A testimony then, for some people, may come through a single and irrefutable event. But for others, it may come through a process of experiences that, perhaps not as remarkable but when combined, testify in an indisputable way that what we have learned and lived is true.

Thinking of these quotes, I replied to my friend's request for help. I confessed that I didn't have any single powerful examples to share, but acknowledged that the daily experiences of personal revelation that may not seem life-changing in themselves, when combined together form an impressive manifestation of the Lord's hand in my life.

I'm grateful for the guidance I receive through the small (and possibly big) experiences of personal revelation that show the loving guidance of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and (especially) all-loving Father.

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