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How to Know the Truth

Or in Other Words: How to Gain a Testimony

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Are you unsure about what is true and what isn't? To learn how you can know what is true, follow each of these five important steps. In so doing you will gain your own personal testimony about a specific gospel truth. Or first learn what is truth before learning how to know the truth.

1. Study and Ponder
This is the first step because you must learn and study about a subject, whether it's the Book or Mormon, Joseph Smith, tithing, or another truth. Study the scriptures about the topic you wish to have a testimony of, it's one of the best way to gain a spiritual understanding of it. Ponder what you're studying. Think it over in your mind and heart and be open to the spirit.

2. Have Faith in Christ
Next you must have faith in Christ because all truth comes from him. Have faith that he loves you, that he wants you to come unto him, that he will answer your prayers, and that he is the creator of all truth.

James 1:6: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

3. Pray with Sincerity
The Lord taught us: "ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matt 7:7) But we must ask with a sincere heart. If we don't really want to know or if we're not willing to act upon knowing the truth, we won't receive an answer.

James 1:5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

4. Listen For the Answer
After we pray we must be open to the Lord's answer which often comes through the influence of the Holy Ghost. It may not come right away (sometimes as a trial of our faith) so keep praying with faith that you will receive an answer, and you will. Keep yourself worthy to receive the answer and be aware that answers come in many forms: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance." (Galatians 5:21-22)

Keep your heart and mind open, and you will receive your answer.

5. Act, Follow, and Share
Once you receive your answer you must act upon it. For example, if you learn that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, you should repent and be baptized. If you learn that the Book of Mormon is true, you should follow its teachings and continue to study it. You should also share your testimony with others, this will strengthen your testimony as well as theirs.

As you follow these steps you will receive a strong testimony of those things which are true. I know these steps work, not only because I have used them and have seen the fruits of my labors, but because the Lord has promised us that he will open the door to those who knock. I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Additional Scriptures:
  • Moroni 10:3-5
    "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

    "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

  • Ether 4: 11
    "But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good."

  • Moroni 7:9
    "And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such."

  • D&C 9:8
    "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
Additional Tools:
Here are some methods to help assist you in receiving a testimony:
  • 10 Ways to Prepare for Personal Revelation: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come to know truth for themselves through personal revelation. As we seek truth we must prepare ourselves to receive personal revelation. Personal preparation is necessary if we are to be ready and worthy of God’s help. We can prepare ourselves through faith, scripture study, obedience, sacrifice, and prayer.
  • Fasting: Open and close your fast with prayer and ask for help to know if something is true. During your fast abstain from food and drink of all kinds for a period of at least two meals up to as long as 24 hours. Fasting helps us to put aside the temporal flesh and focus on spiritual things. This will help you to be more in tune to the spirit if you focus your fast on gaining a testimony and not on the fact that you're not eating.
  • Attend Church and the Temple: Going to church or the temple with an open mind and humble spirit will help us to gain a testimony. Sometimes the Lord will answer our prayers through the talks, lessons or testimonies of others. At the temple we can come closer to and be more in tune with the spirit.
  • Study Articles and Lessons: Read articles and lessons that go along with the topic you wish to gain a testimony of.

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