Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley – Chapter 9: The Precious Gift of Testimony

From the Life of Gordon B. Hinckley

President Hinckley talks about ‘The earliest instance of which I have recollection of spiritual feelings’.

What is your earliest recollection of spiritual feelings?


Testimony is the great strength of the Church and the wellspring of faith and activity.

Watch: Testimony – President Gordon B Hinckley

From the manual:

This thing which we call testimony is the great strength of the Church. It is the wellspring of faith and activity.

In what ways does your personal testimony contribute to the strength of the Church?

“Without the gift or revelation, which is one of the gifts or the Holy Ghost, there could be no Church of Jesus Christ. This is apparent from the obvious fact that in order for his Church to exist, there must be a society of people who individually have testimonies that Jesus is the Christ. According to Paul, such testimonies are revealed only by the Holy Ghost, for said he, ‘. . . no man can [know] say that Jesus is the Lord. but by the Holy Ghost.’ (See 1 Cor. 12:3.) In the 46th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord specifically lists such knowledge as one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, as follows: ‘To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ (D & C 46:13.) Everyone who has a testimony of Jesus has received it by revelation from the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a revelator, and everyone who receives him receives revelation.

“Wherever and whenever revelation is operative, manifestations of other gifts of the Holy Ghost are prevalent.” (Marion G Romney, Conference Report, April 1956, Afternoon Meeting 69.)

Testimony is a quiet, encouraging voice that sustains us as we walk in faith and impels us to action.

Watch: Increase your testimony. Strengthen your testimony of God and His teachings by recognizing the feelings of the Holy Spirit. (4:59)

From the manual:

Opponents may quote scripture and argue doctrine endlessly. They can be clever and persuasive. But when one says, “I know,” there can be no further argument. There may not be acceptance, but who can refute or deny the quiet voice of the inner soul speaking with personal conviction?

Read: Experience vs opinion

What do we mean when we say ‘I know’?

Each of us can obtain a testimony of the reality of God and His Beloved Son and the restoration of Their work.

Read: Valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ – Elder Quentin L Cook

Read: Receiving a testimony of light and truth – President Dieter F Uchtdorf

Read: Personal revelation and testimony – Sister Barbara Thompson

From the manual:

This witness, this testimony, can be the most precious of all the gifts of God. It is a heavenly bestowal when there is the right effort. It is the opportunity, it is the responsibility of every man and woman in this Church to obtain within himself or herself a conviction of the truth of this great latter-day work and of those who stand at its head, even the living God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does President Hinckley mean when he talks about ‘the right effort’?

We must live up to our testimony and share it with others.

From the manual:

This is God’s holy work. This is His Church and kingdom. The vision that occurred in the Sacred Grove was just as Joseph said it was. There is in my heart a true understanding of the importance of what happened there. The Book of Mormon is true. It testifies of the Lord Jesus Christ. His priesthood has been restored and is among us. The keys of that priesthood, which have come from heavenly beings, are exercised for our eternal blessing. Such is our testimony—yours and mine—a testimony which we must live up to and which we must share with others. I leave this testimony, my blessing, and my love with each of you and my invitation to continue to be part of this great latter-day miracle that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

How have you overcome feelings of fear about sharing your testimony?

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has  reminded us: “The value to the world of the Restored  Gospel of Jesus Christ lies in its savour, its difference from  the rest of Christianity and from the rest of the world. If  we fail to communicate that difference, that unique addition we can make to the understanding and authority of  the rest of Christianity, we will have lost our value to the  world and to the kingdom and will be ‘good for nothing,  but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men’  (Matthew 5:13).” (Address to Regional Representatives,  April 5, 1985.)


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