To Our Children, Grandchildren, and Descendants: I feel that I should write my testimony for you, although I know that I will not be able to be able to express my feelings and knowledge fully.
I have not had a vision, and no one has come to me from heaven or the spirit world to give me this testimony, but I am absolutely sure and know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true Church on the earth.
I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven who hears and answers our prayers, and who wants us all to return to his kingdom, the Celestial Kingdom, to live with Him for all eternity. I know that His Son Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father to create this earth so that we all could come here and live in mortality in order to prepare ourselves for eternal progression in His Kingdom. He was also sent to be born of Mary and live in mortality to give us an example of a perfect life, to teach us the Gospel, and to be crucified to atone for the sins of everyone in the world and make it possible for us all to repent of our sins and become worthy to return to His presence. When they were preparing the plan for us, they said, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (P. of G. Price, Abraham 3:25.)
They also said: "For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39.)
I know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of the Lord, and that he translated the Book of Mormon from the gold plates delivered to him by Moroni. I know that Joseph Smith received the priesthood conferred upon him by John the Baptist, and the higher priesthood by Peter James and John. I know that Joseph Smith's successors have all been the prophets of God.
How do I know this? Because the Holy Ghost has borne witness to me that it is all true. I have also had the witness of the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true, as well as our other Standard Works.
"Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." I have also tried to do this to be worthy to have a valid testimony. (John 7:15-16.)
The priesthood is another very potent evidence of the truthfulness of the work if the Lord. I know that it is truly the power of God conferred upon man, because I have functioned as one who has held it, and I have had many spiritual experiences that have revealed its power. I have seen miracles performed by the power of the priesthood. My counselors and I once cast out an evil spirit from a young lady in Nuevo Casas Grandes. This was a very strange experience, but we knew that we had the power to do it.
Another very valid evidence is the exceptionally outstanding quality and character of those who the Lord has prepared to hold high offices in the Church. I have become acquainted personally with all the prophets and presidents of the Church since President Heber J. Grant, and I have received the confirmation of the Spirit that they were true prophets. The Apostles and other General Authorities have also been extraordinarily great men.
I know from experience that the easiest and best way to live this mortal life, and the way to have help and avoid many problems, is to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and be active in His Church.
Jesus said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.)
The Apostle Paul taught: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10.)
I have had many problems in my daily affairs during my life, and also in the callings I have had in the Church, but I have always received the inspiration as to how to solve them. My life would have been much more difficult had I not had these great blessings. God has heard and answered our prayers, most of them in the affirmative, but to some he has said no. In the Book of Mormon, The Lord told the Nephi who lived at the time of Christ that he would have an answer to all his prayers because he knew he would not ask for anything that was not good or right.
Now since all this is true, it follows that living the gospel and serving our fellowmen should be our main goals. Our goal should be to prepare ourselves to live in the Celestial Kingdom for all eternity. To do this we must be valiant in serving the Lord and in carrying out His purposes. We must learn to repent of our sins and imperfections.
Joseph Smith received a revelation for Martin Harris, but it applies to all of us: "Therefore, I command you to repent--repent lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore--how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea and how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup--and shrink--" (D&C 19:15-18.)
We have been worried at times that some of you might be neglecting this part of your goals: Your prayers, both family and secret, your home evenings and teaching your children the gospel so they will have a strong testimony and want to go on missions and be married in the temple, and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. You will also be blessed if you pay a full tithing.
We go to school for 12, 16, or more years to prepare for success in this life. The rewards will be so much greater for the eternal phase of our existence, that we should diligently prepare for it. The Church and the gospel are the school and subject matter we must learn to practice to have a place in the Celestial Kingdom. We receive enough help that we can be blissfully happy while perfecting our lives in this great school.
The Celestial Kingdom will permit us to be together as a family, with our loved ones. If we are worthy of the highest rewards in it, we may also have spirit children. We will have a body like that of Jesus Christ when he was resurrected. Our progress will not be limited, but it will in the lesser kingdoms. We hope that you all will work diligently to prepare yourselves for all these blessings.
President Ezra Taft Benson says in the December (1988) Ensign that we knew our Elder Brother Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven very well when we were with them in the spirit world. Our memory of that phase of our life is veiled while we are here in mortality, but it will startle us when we return to see how familiar their faces are to us. They love us, and God has promised to give all that he has to those who are worthy to receive it.
Happiness is a question of attitude. We can be happy under any condition, if we have the right attitude, especially if we do not center our thoughts on how miserable we are, but think of what we can do for those who are around us.
While at Logan in School, I heard J. Golden Kimball talk about success in life. He compared it to wheat. If we are smart enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, we can eat wheat, if not, we will have to chew on the chaff.
I am so very grateful for all that Jesus Christ has done for me, and for His Church and his gospel that have guided me and made my life worthwhile.