Sometimes it can take seconds to gain faith in certain aspects of the gospel, but what if it takes twenty years?
For twenty years, I didn’t have a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet. During these years, I served in numerous callings and even went on a mission. Despite my lack of testimony, I never felt like a hypocrite when I testified of the gospel, because I knew that one day I would gain the faith I sought.
I didn’t realize that I was relying on hope in a future testimony until I studied the Preach My Gospel chapter on Christlike attributes. The chapter defines hope as “an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. . . . It is believing and expecting that something will occur.”
In my case, I believed and expected that one day I would gain a testimony of Joseph Smith. It was sometimes a struggle to maintain this hope. I wasn’t sure when I would acquire that faith—if it had already been twenty years, maybe it would be twenty more—but I held on to what I already knew to be true. I kept praying, I kept reading the scriptures, I kept attending church.
In the end, it wasn’t a grand moment when I finally found the testimony I had been seeking. It was simply a quiet feeling that came over me. Now, I can finally testify of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. And when another question arises, I’ll be able to repeat this process of hope until I have the faith.
Read more about hope and other Christlike attributes that can bolster your faith in “Chapter 6: How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?” of Preach My Gospel.
—Heather White, Mormon Insights
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Read President James E. Faust’s talk “Hope, an Anchor of the Soul” to learn how hope can help us through times of trial.