|Emi B., 18, Utah|
Near the end of one of my EFY trips, we had a testimony meeting. Before anyone else could stand, one of my counselors jumped up to bear her testimony first! When most people bear their testimonies they say things like “I know the church is true, and I know that families can live together forever” and that is amazing! Those are examples of perfectly wonderful testimonies. But my counselor’s testimony didn’t sound anything like that. Instead, she stood up and said:
“I can’t say that I KNOW everything about the church is true… But I BELIEVE it is. And I believe that is enough for my savior. And someday I will gain a testimony so strong that I can say I KNOW.” She continued to tell us that it’s okay to “just believe sometimes.”
Now I looked up the definitions of Believe and Know, and found two that I really like:
Believe: to have trust in the goodness or value of something.
Know: to understand something because one has experienced it.
There are times in our lives where we may not KNOW if the church is true. Especially as a youth, it can be really hard to transition from relying on our parents to becoming independent. Along with the things of the world, we must learn (Like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) we must also learn to have our own testimonies. I want to bear my testimony that it is OKAY to believe!
Over and over again in the scriptures, we are told that belief is precious. In the New Testament, a desperate father pleads to Jesus to heal his sick son that had what they called a “dumb spirit”. Christ tells the man that if “thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” The father cries out “Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief” and Christ heals his son even though the man did not perfectly know.
Alma tells us that “even if ye can no more than [have a] desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye do believe.”
Elder Holland told a story that I really like about belief. He said:
Elder Jeffery R. Holland, “Lord I Believe”, Ensign,April 2013.
“A 14-year-old boy recently said to me a little hesitantly, ‘Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is’. I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for “only believing.” I told him that Christ Himself said, ‘Be not afraid, only believe,’ a phrase which, by the way, carried young Gordon B. Hinckley into the mission field. I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction and that the definitive articles of our collective faith forcefully reiterate the phrase ‘We believe.’ And I told him how very proud I was of him for the honesty of his quest.”
I know it is okay to believe, it is okay to want to believe, it is okay to hope to believe. Christ loves us for our efforts and he will make up the difference so that someday we can say, with fervor, that we KNOW this church is true. As we stay on the covenant path, and get to experience and understand this gospel we can gain a perfect knowledge of the truthfulness of this church. It takes time, it takes effort but it is 100% worth it!! Trust me on this one!! The Lord does not ask us to understand everything perfectly, but he does ask us to have faith, and he will make up the difference if we can only believe.