One’s individual search for truth was the topic of the priesthood session address by Elder David F. Evans, General Authority Seventy, who spoke of the many questions he had about the Church as a young man.
“Some of my questions were sincere,” he said. “Others were not and reflected the doubts of others.”
His mother, he said, never put him down for having questions. She would listen and try to answer them. When she sensed that she had done all she could and that he still had questions, she would say something like, “David, that is a good question. While you are searching and reading and praying for the answer, why don’t you do the things you know you should and not do the things you know you should not?”
That became the pattern, he said, for his search for truth.
“Through study, prayer and keeping the commandments I found that there are answers to all of my important questions,” he said. “I also found that for some questions, continuing faith, patience and revelation are needed.”
Elder Evans said there came a time early in his mission when he knew he had to know whether the Church is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
“In order to receive what was in the Book of Mormon, I needed to read it,” he recounted. He started at the beginning and read every day. He said that after he read the entire book, God did manifest the truth of it to him by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Later, he came to know that constant nourishment and continuing effort to repent and keep the commandments is needed to never have that feeling leave.
“Over the years,” he said, “I have asked missionaries and young people around the world how they started in their personal effort to seek truth and gain a testimony. Almost without exception, they respond that their own effort to gain a personal testimony started with the personal decision to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning and ask God if it is true. In doing this, they chose to ‘act’ rather than being ‘acted upon’ by the doubts of others.”
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