A "Christian Testimony" is that sure knowledge
which is borne to the soul by the Holy Spirit - a sure communication from the Holy Spirit that what one is doing
or feeling is true and reliable. Once truth is revealed by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, it becomes the
basis of one's belief and is something that that individual wishes to share with others.
One dictionary definition of testimony is "strong conviction". The courts depend
on testimony to prove or disprove the case being presented. Usually testimony involves "eye-witness"
declarations. Hear-say, is never acceptable.
This same rule applies in Christian Testimony; the Holy Ghost being the "eye-witness"
declaration of truth. Here-say is, what we like to call "man's interpretation" of truth.
Testimony becomes a person's hallmark. It must be revealed truth; not someone's interpretation of
During His ministry, Jesus asked his disciples, "…Whom
do men say that I am?" (Mark 8:27) They responded that some thought him to be John
the Baptist, or Elias or one of the prophets. Then said Jesus, "But
whom say ye that I am?" And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ".
(Mark 8:29). No man had told Peter who the Savior was. Jesus hadn't revealed it to him. The Holy Ghost had revealed
this knowledge unto Peter. He was so full of the Holy Ghost at that point; he bore his testimony with Power and
with great Authority. Later, out of cold fear, he would deny that testimony. Jesus had warned him that "before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice".
(Mark 14:30) The scriptures report that immediately after, Peter was so devastated by that denial that he wept.
Later, after His resurrection, the Lord would emphasize to Peter the importance of testimony.
Jesus asked Peter three times (the law of witnesses requires three witnesses) whether he loved the Lord or not.
Peter affirmed his love for the Lord each time. (John 21:15-17). For the remainder of his life, which life ended
in martyrdom, he would never deny the Lord again. His testimony became Peter's hallmark. He would rather die than
deny it ever again.
A Living Testimony of Christ comes after the trial of faith - Peter learned this the hard
way when he denied the Savior and felt that indescribable shame. Later Peter would tell the brethren, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though
it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ..." (1 Peter 1:7). In other words, whatever trial you may have, no matter what may be required
of you, that testimony is more precious than gold and, indeed, worth dying for.
Testimony is something required of a true believer in Christ. A mere belief in Christ is
not enough. The Apostle James attested to this in James 2:19 - "Thou
believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
We love James. Read the entire book for in it you will find the true essence of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell.
Testimony requires constant nurturing and building. "Use it or lose it" certainly
applies here. It comes through living the Word, not just reading or hearing it. James told us, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22).
A present-day Apostle of the Lord, Henry B. Eyring1 has said: "What we
can do to create and transmit that legacy (testimony) comes from an understanding of how testimony is instilled
in our hearts. Since it is the Holy Ghost who testifies of sacred truth, we can do at least three things…. First,
we can teach some sacred truth. Then we can testify that we know what we have taught is true. And then we must
act so that those who hear our testimony see that our actions conform with what we said was true. The Holy Ghost
will then confirm to them the truth of what we said and that we knew it to be true. That is how a legacy of testimony
is created, preserved, and transmitted. We must find other ways to convey our legacy of testimony, but the process
of teaching, testifying, and living the truth will be the same."
Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet declared, "And
this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know
that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety? Behold, I
say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days
that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath
made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me" (Alma 5:45-46).
In conclusion, we can declare that a living faith in Jesus Christ requires a living testimony
of Christ; witnessed by the Holy Ghost who is the source of all truth. That testimony must be of such worth to
you that you will suffer any trial, even unto death to acquire it, and once received you will want to, and you
must, share the knowledge you've received with others. Your testimony must permeate the way you live your life
so that the Holy Ghost can bare witness to others that what you say and how you act is true. You must be able to
say, as Alma said, "I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true".
We bare our solemn testimony to you that these things are true. And we do it in the name
of Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. The LDS First Presidency consists of
the Prophet and His two counselors. President Eyring was a member of the Twelve Apostles before his call to serve
as the 1st Counselor in the Presidency of the Church.