I recently read 3 Nephi 1, in the Book of Mormon. This took place right before Jesus Christ was born. It talks about how many of the people did not believe that Christ would come as the prophets had said. Many said that nobody could know for sure that He would come. There were some unbelievers who seemed to enjoy telling the believers that Jesus would not come and that they were foolish for believing in the prophets. The faithful kept looking steadfastly for the coming of Christ.
Then the signs came of his birth. In the Book or Mormon, which takes place on the American continent, it talks about the new star in the sky. It talks about how there was a night that had no darkness, just as it had been prophesied. During that night it was as light as during mid-day. It’s hard to imagine a day where there was daylight, then when night came, it was still light. When the next day came, it was as if there had been no night. And there were many other signs and wonders. Then shortly after, Satan began spreading lies and people started to harden their hearts and they began to doubt that they had even seen those signs. That really struck me. Almost immediately after seeing the sign, Satan began working to cause doubt. The problem is that signs don’t convert. Conversion happens through the heart.
My grandmother Maggie (Burgon) Alldredge was visited by her mother Mary Ann (Walker) Burgon, after her death. My grandmother had told me about this special experience and how it helped her pull out of a deep depression after her mom had passed. My grandmother had been in so much despair, she could not bring herself to even get out of bed. She loved her mother so much and she didn’t see how she could go on without her. She told me that she just cried and cried. Then a few days after her passing, her mother, Mary Burgon, stood at the foot of her bed and told my grandmother that she was fine and that my grandmother needed to move on and focus on her own family.
Despite my grandmother having seen her mother after she had passed away, and me having heard this from her directly, this is not how conversion takes place. It was an amazing experience. It adds strength to a testimony, but it can’t stand alone. I too have seen miracles in my life. They have strengthened my testimony in God. However, I think my true and deep testimony does not come from these miracles. My testimony comes from the quiet times when I have felt the sweetness of the Spirit of God testifying to my heart of truth.
It’s made me ponder on how these people in 3 Nephi began to doubt these signs they had seen with their own eyes. For conversion to take place, we need the Holy Ghost to touch our heart in a way which we will not forget. While some may see great signs, wonders, and even visions, such as Lehi and Joseph Smith, we shouldn’t seek for signs. Rather, we should seek for the truth to be witnessed to us by the Holy Ghost, who bears witness of truth. The Holy Ghost is the most powerful way to gain a testimony of God the Father and of His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s God’s pattern to testify of truth. Moroni 10:5
I’ve felt His love many times. I tend to feel the Spirit testifying of truth when I listen to the modern-day prophet and apostles. Their words touch me. I tend to feel the Spirit when I read the Book of Mormon. I also feel the love of our Savior Jesus Christ as I read the New Testament. I often feel the sweetness of the Spirit as I attend my worship service each Sunday (called sacrament meeting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and when I pray. These are the ways in which I personally feel the Spirit. The Spirit may communication with you differently. For me, when the Spirit is trying to tell me something, it often comes as impressions. Sometimes I feel things weighing or pressing upon me, like when I felt that I needed to teach my family about Lehi’s dream, or when I felt like we needed to move to Port Angeles. It takes maybe a lifetime to understand how the Holy Ghost communicates with us, but we can start to see patterns as we look for it.
I do know God is very real. He is the creator of all things. He is a God of miracles. He is a God of order, as is seen in everything from our DNA to the universe itself. Yet, He cares about each of us individually. We are His most important creations. We are an eternal family. I know that He answers prayers. We need to pray always. We all need to seek to have the Holy Ghost in our life. God loves each of us. We are His Children. He provided a plan for us to return to live with Him again. This is truth.