A while ago I was working on my Mormon.org profiles for FHE. Mormon.org is a website where people can share a little about themselves and their personal testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I noticed that when I had created my profile, I taken the 13 articles of faith and simply replaced every "we" with the word "I".
Reflecting on this, I was reminded of a quote by Soren Kiekegaard, a Danish philosopher and religious author, which says, “There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys: they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.”
As you can see, I have definitely been guilty of copying the answer out of a book. I had cheated myself and my master by not working out the sum for myself.
One of the greatest blessings and sources of joy in this life is a testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love to hear other people’s testimonies because when other people witness of the truth about God, The Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement, the spirit tells me that what they are saying is true. However, it is not enough to just copy somebody else’s answer. We all need to work out the sum for ourselves.
Alma asks, “Do ye not suppose that I know of these things of myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?”
“…They are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit”
To have our own testimonies of this Gospel means that we know it is true. The Holy Ghost will let you know if it is true. Alma fasted and prayed many days to know. Like Alma, we can “know these things of ourselves” if we are willing to “fast and pray many days.” Once we have a testimony, it is important to take care of it so that we don’t lose it. After all, we are only promised Eternal Salvation if we endure to the end.
I find it interesting that in the Sacrament prayer the word “remember” is used 4 times. We witness that we will “eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son,” “[drink] in remembrance of the blood of thy Son,” that we will,
“always remember him and keep his commandments
And that we will “always remember him”,
I’ve heard once that our memories are like a room full of huge stacks of paper. Everything we’ve forgotten is still there, we just can’t find it! I think that’s why we need to study our scriptures and talk to God every day. It’s as much about increasing our peace and joy as it is about not losing the peace and knowledge we already have.
One of my favorite books is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. When she says the following, Jane has just found out that she cannot marry the man she loves because he is married to somebody else. “Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”
It is important not only to remember God in the good times or in the bad times, but to remember Him always. When things go our way, we can sometimes grow to feel that we deserve everything in our lives to go right. Likewise, when nothing goes our way, we can come to feel that God has forsaken us.
However, I challenge you to ask yourself, “If at my convenience I might break [the covenants I have made with my Heavenly Father], what would be their worth?”
God has promised that If we keep the commandments, apply the Atonement in our lives, and endure to the end, we will be blessed for our efforts. We shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost. We shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of God. And we shall know the joy of eternal family.