Test of My Faith
Ether 12:6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that is things which are for and seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no until after the of your faith.
Years ago, before my mission to the Lakota Indians, I wanted to read the Book of Mormon clear through and gain a testimony of its truthfulness.Â By reading a few pages each night before bedtime, I was able to finish reading it.Â I hadnâ€™t experienced an all-encompassing feeling that it was true, so I read it again and studied the cross references.Â I did not receive a witness that the Book of Mormon was true.Â I did go on my mission to teach the Gospel without a strong testimony of the Gospel.Â I believed that God existed and that He heard my prayers and that eventually I would gain a stronger testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.Â
I loved the Indian people that I served and in the process of teaching them about Godâ€™s Plan of Salvation for all His children God strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon.Â I learned that God would not give me a testimony of the Gospel unless I was ready for it.Â By serving and helping them to overcome their weaknesses by learning about the true Gospel of Jesus Christ my heart was changed from the young 19-year-old boy to the young 20-year-old man.Â
Even though I hadnâ€™t actually had a personal epiphany of knowing that the Book of Mormon was true, I knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he actually had seen what he said he saw.Â God didnâ€™t need to give me the witness that I had been trying to gain simply by reading the Book of Mormon.Â He knew my heart as He personally knows all of His children and He allowed me to experience a test of my faith, see above Ether 12:6, before His Spirit bore witness to me that His Gospel was true.Â