By Stephenson Beck
The gaining and bearing of testimony has always been a characteristic of the restored gospel, said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“We are blessed to live in an age when apostles and prophets walk the earth bearing solemn and certain testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” Wirthlin said. “Many members – millions strong – add their voices to the growing chorus testifying that God once again has spoken to man.”
Elder Parley P. Pratt introduced the gospel to a Methodist preacher named John Taylor. He promised him that anyone who investigated the gospel could know for himself, through the influence of the Holy Ghost, that it was true.
John Taylor accepted the challenge and became the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Over time, much in the world has changed. One thing, however, remains the same: The promise Elder Parley P. Pratt made to John Taylor 164 years ago is just as valid today as it was then the Holy Ghost will confirm the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ,” Wirthlin said.
Moroni tells us to study, ponder and pray sincerely concerning these things to gain a pure testimony of the gospel, Wirthlin said.
“Do you want to know the truth of the holy scriptures? Do you wish to break the barriers that separate mortals from the knowledge of eternal verities? Do you wish to know – really know – the truth?” Wirthlin asked. “Then follow Moroni’s counsel and you will surely find what you seek.”
Testimonies do not come the same way for all people, Wirthlin said. He gave the example of President David O. McKay, who “prayed fervently and sincerely and with as much faith as a young boy could muster,” but had to admit that no spiritual manifestation came.
“The answer to his prayers did come, but not until years later, when he was serving as a missionary,” Wirthlin said. “Why was the answer to his prayer so long delayed? President McKay believed that this spiritual manifestation ‘came as a natural sequence to the performance of duty.'”
Church members that receive a testimony of the gospel are under covenant to stand as a witness of God, Wirthlin said.