Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Roots of Your Testimony

Hey guys!  Thanks for reading my emails. 

This last week we had zone training on Friday.  The section I chose to train on was bearing our testimony frequently in lessons as stated in Preach my Gospel. Well, as I pondered this the next morning I was reminded of a memory ... of where my testimony in the prophet Joseph Smith was rooted. So I challened the missionaries to think and remember of a time in which someone or they themselves felt the testifying spirit come over them. For me I wish to share that experience: 

When I was 12 years old and just entered into the young men's program we went to visit the Mormon Battalion  While there we watched the Joseph Smith movie.  I didn't really know too much about his life so it was really eye-opening , but I really felt a connection with Joseph... as if I knew him. In my mind I was thinking I would have totally fought off the mobs and put my life on the line for this man. After the movie I was saddened that he was killed, but grateful for all he did. We had a testimony meeting and I felt the Spirit nudge me to bear mine, but I fought it...  I had felt emotional the whole meeting. I didn't want to go up and cry like a baby in front of all the young women!  haha  But I ended up going up. Guess what happend?  I cried, but I bore a testimony that I didn't know I had on the prophet Jospeh Smith. All I remember is leaving there KNOWING that Joseph was a prophet of God and I could never deny that. From that point on I never lived perfect. I wasn't too into the Gospel or bearing my testimony often but when ever anyone would talk bad about Joseph at school or anywhere I would ALWAYS stand up for him because of the testimony that had been rooted in my soul. Now, because of that root I have been able to grow in that testimony and bear witness of it every single day of my mission. As I remembered that it brought me back to the foundation of my testimony (my roots), and how often times we lose our focus and the  basics of what got us here to this point in our life. 

My testimony has grown tremendously... I honestly feel that I have gotten to a point in which I could never deny the things I teach, feel or believe ... even if my life was staked on it. I'd rather DIE in my faith and testimony than to DENY it.

Three nights ago we went to a member's house to teach a YSA-aged guy who had questions.  The son of the member is friends with this guy and the son is on a mission right now. So we sat down and he mentioned that he's a thinker. Well, he started off asking us why we know the Book of Mormon is true.  Powerful testimonies were born but then he came out with note cards full of anti-mormon literature. In a loving and non-bashing I used analogies to help him understand things.  He spoke of SUPER deep doctrine and more like other people's speculations in the church than doctrine, and he was so caught up on this stuff.  (I won't share what it is though.)   Well, I told him an analogy... I asked him if he goes to the gym?  If I had a bench here with three plates on both sides that was over 300 pounds and asked you to rep it 10 times could you? He said no.  I said, ok, if i had a 10 pound plate on both side and said for you to rep it 10 times could you? He said easy!  I said ok, the things you are focused on right now and are getting caught up on are the 300 pound weights ... but to even reach to that  level you have to start with the 10s and work your way up. But if you go into the gym not even believing you can reach that goal and are not working your hardest to get it by going and lifting consistently (Church), eating healthy (reading the Book of Mormon daily), and being diligent in your goal and staying motivated (praying for help and answers often) then you won't get the result that you want. Having faith that doing those things will get you to that 300 pounds will help you achieve it through diligence, but if you listen to "other" people or look at other sources saying that doing those things won't help you reach that goal to bench 300 then you will lose faith in it and question it. 

Well, sadly he went back to his question and wouldn't really listen and that's fine, but I just pray that something impacts him. That he actually trys to have faith in this Gospel and in the Book of Mormon, and asks God SINCERELY wanting to know if this will help him. Just like the sciptures teach milk before the meat; we can't expect to understand super deep things until we build a strong testimony in the simple principles that bring us true spiritual joy, strength and knowledge.  Then as our roots grow we will understand the meat or the 300 lbs doctrine or speculations. 

Brothers and Sisters: don't get caught up on these things that you hear and read that don't truly pertain to faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end because Satan will start trying to destroy and dig up the roots that have been growing. You don't go to a Ford dealership to asking about the new Chevy Malibu because they are going to tell you that they have a Ford Fusion that is way better and tell you false things about the Chevy. If you want to know the belief of LDS people, or more importantly, the truth that the Lord has taught by His prophets and the real truth of God... go to the actual sources.  I testify if you do that you WILL receivee your answers, you WILL receive deeper roots in your testimony and you WILL receive further light, knowledge, and peace in knowing our one true God and His true doctrine for His children.

I invite you all to go back to the roots of your testimony and let the Holy Ghost remind you of experiences because that is what happened to me.  Record them in a journal and cherish it. Read also Alma 32 37-43... it talks about the roots of our testimony.

All my love to you,

Elder Taylor

Check out my new ride! I'll be driving this instead of my car and walking... I wish ! 

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