March 3, 2011


This is not going to be profound. If you are looking for something life changing, or earth shattering, I can direct you to somewhere else. But once again like Nephi, here I write the things of my soul.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about a testimony. By definition, a testimony is a witness that we gain through the power of the Holy Ghost of spiritual truths. It can come in many ways. I've been thinking of the different ways that my own testimony has been strengthened.

 And he [took] upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he [took] upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)

It really happened. Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world. Because of this, he perfectly knows how to comfort, and succor each of us, because he experienced it first. I testify that through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from sin. He has the power and the capacity to heal whatever ails us. I have felt the reality of that power in my life time and time again. Christ lives.

Each and every child of God can know this as well. It comes through the power of the Holy Ghost. I invite all to study the Book of Mormon, and with real intent, as God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ whether it is not true. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I testify and promise that you will receive a witness. It may not come all at once; it may come in a variety of different ways. But it will come, and you will come to know that Jesus is the Christ, and that his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on the earth today. It was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and God still speaks to us today. I add my witness and testimony that these things are true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The MTC was a time when I spiritually hungered and thirsted after knowledge. I so desperately wanted to be filled with the spirit so that I might gain a witness of sacred truths, and then be able to share them with the people of Montana. I had always known that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that he did in fact see God. I knew it, but I didn't feel it; it wasn't a reality to me. The last night in the MTC was very emotional. I had said goodbye to some dear friends, and a future of uncertainty loomed ahead. Our district sat in the classroom that had become my second home, and we spoke of the journey that we were about to embark on. Serving a mission was our next big adventure. We then watched a clip from about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I watched the film portray one of the most important events in history. A young boy named Joseph Smith entered a grove of trees to offer a simple prayer. In answer to his heartfelt prayer, God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ appeared to him. Suddenly, this all became very real to me. I had heard this story all of my life. I had seen this clip before. I had taught this very same principle that very morning, and had testified of the truthfulness of it. Yet suddenly, it was different. The influence of the Holy Ghost overcame me, and I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh. This really happened. Joseph Smith really saw God! He really did! And God really spoke to him!" Brilliant understanding and knowledge seemed to fill my mind, and exquisite light filled my soul. In that moment I could hear the branches snap under the feet of this young boy as he humbly walked to the predetermined spot where he would offer his soul in prayer to the most high God. I could see the leaves on the trees being illuminated by the light that shone forth as the glory of God filled that sacred grove of trees. I knew then as I know now, that Joseph Smith saw God. They knew his name, and called him to a great work. This changed my life, and most certainly my mission. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, I came to know that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God.

That's the difference the Spirit can make in our lives. It can turn a beautiful thought and idea into a living breathing reality- actual truth that we can build our lives upon. The same witness came concerning the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I always thought the Atonement was a great idea. God is brilliant. Isn't it nice that we could have a Savior who would take upon him our sins and provide a way for us to return to our heavenly home above? Isn't it great that Jesus knows how we feel when we are led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil? When we cry out in agony during our own personal moments of Gethsemane? How nice! But the Atonement of Jesus Christ is far more than just a good idea. It is real. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, I came to know that the Atonement, the GREATEST and most important thing that has ever happened on this earth really happened.

Jesus Christ really did "...[go] forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

1 comment:

  1. What a great message Sister Buchanan! I have a testimony of our Savior as well (and that's a great scripture!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on testimony with us.