Elder Craig C. Christensen, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, spoke during Saturday evening’s priesthood session about personal knowledge of the gospel and growing your personal testimony for the future.
Elder Christensen gave answers from deacons about what they admire most about President Thomas S. Monson. Answers ranged from giving toys to those in need during his youth, to serving the widows when he was a bishop. The answer Elder Christensen focused on was the admiration of President Monson’s testimony.
A few years ago, President Monson encouraged all members to gain a strong testimony and learn for themselves that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
Elder Christensen stated a strong testimony will protect from the evil in the world. Do that which is necessary to find a testimony and maintain it. He also said the testimony of others will only carry one so far, in reference to a general conference talk from Elder Holland.
Examples were given from the Book of Mormon about groups and individuals gaining their personal testimony. The stripling warriors leaned upon the testimony of their mothers. Young Nephi sought to know more about the vision his father, Lehi, saw. A young Joseph Smith wanted to know which church was right.
“Do you see the patterns set for you to be able to receive truth?” asked Elder Christensen.
Talking about Joseph Smith, Elder Christensen stated that young Joseph wanted to know more and then went as directed in the Bible to receive an answer.
“As a result he received great things,” said Elder Christensen in reference to the first vision.
Elder Christensen related gaining a testimony to the growth of a tree.
“Some say that a testimony is like a light switch you have and then you don’t,” Elder Christensen said. “However, they are like trees. They start small and then grow large like trees. They grow and develop over time with constant nourishment and frequent spiritual encounters.”
Elder Christensen said that in his youth he studied the scriptures and prayed to know if the messages they contained were true. Looking back on his life, he related many spiritual encounters with the Holy Ghost because of the preparation in his youth and daily nourishment for his testimony.
“Now is the day to reaffirm for ourselves of the gospel truth. In order to do this we must have the faith of Nephi, Alma and young Joseph Smith,” Elder Chirstensen said.