A testimony is a firm conviction of truth. Many times a day we bare our testimonies or declare the things we know to be true. It could be as simple as, “I know Jesus Christ is my savior,” or “I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God preserved for our day, ” or even, “I know 2 X 4 = 8.”
When I teach or write letters, I frequently bare my personal testimony so that these friends I’m speaking to can feel my belief and the truth I speak of. How can they “feel” this, you ask? Through the manifestation of the third member of the Godhead: the Holy Ghost. It is his purpose to “teach [us] all things,” and to testify of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father (John 14:26, 15:26; 3 Nephi 28:11). If you have any desire to know, “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). We feel the good influence of the Holy Ghost when we pray, make a good choice instead of a poor one, read the scriptures, are around people who lift us up, or learn new things at school or work. Really, anything that is good can be confirmed by the Holy Ghost. I know this confirmation is Heavenly Father’s love for us.
I feel that my testimony started just before i turned twelve. I was in the front room of my home on a Saturday morning. It was quiet and peaceful and my family was gone. I was working on the task that President Hinckley gave us, to read The Book of Mormon. I was reading somewhere in 3rd Nephi, completely unrelated to Joseph Smith’s experience.
Nonetheless, I had a similar feeling. I was overwhelmed with a feeling that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knew me, loved me, and were watching my progress closely that day. I could almost ‘see’ the two of them above me in my own front room. It was overpowering to feel their presence and I can still recall the tears and the burning feeling. I quickly retrieved the nearest blank paper and drew, in detail, what I saw, with my front room in the background and everything. To this day I claim that day as my conversion. I do not have the sketch, nor do I have any idea where it could’ve gone. But I do have this memory with me for as long as I live.