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Prayer, scriptures vital in testimony building

Remembering a young man who questioned whether his testimony was strong enough to serve a mission, Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy spoke during the Saturday afternoon session on developing and strengthening a testimony.

"True testimonies bring the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into our lives and focus all of us toward the same goal of returning to our Father in Heaven — yet our individual testimonies come through varied experiences and at different stages," he said.

In talking about testimony, he cited President Gordon B. Hinckley's words: "I have been quoted as saying, 'Do the best you can.' But I want to emphasize that it be the very best."

Elder Staheli spoke particularly of the importance of prayer and the scriptures in testimony building.

He said, "Never give up on the Lord. The answer to your prayers may not be as clear or as timely as you would like, but keep praying. The Lord is listening! As you pray, ask for help in understanding the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And then do your 'very best' to be worthy to receive those promptings. As you recognize or feel the impressions and whisperings of the Spirit, then act upon them.

"Daily fervent prayers seeking forgiveness and special help and direction are essential to our lives and the nourishment of our testimonies. When we become hurried, repetitive, casual, or forgetful in our prayers, we tend to lose the closeness of the Spirit, which is so essential in the continual direction we need, to successfully manage the challenges of our everyday life. Family prayer every morning and night adds additional blessings and power to our individual prayers and to our testimonies."

He continued, "Personal sincere involvement in the scriptures produces faith, hope, and solutions to our daily challenges. Frequent reading, pondering, and applying the lessons of the scriptures, combined with prayer, becomes an irreplaceable part of gaining and sustaining a strong, vibrant testimony. . . .

"The strong, unwavering testimonies that so many of you wonderful, faithful members of the Church embrace, have come from prayerfully following counsel from our prophets and the scriptures. That same priceless blessing is available to each of us who earnestly seek it."