S Keith Bowman's Testimony given on June 4, 2006

My dear Brethren & Sisters; My heart is so full of gratitude this beautiful morning, that my desire to bear my Testimony has over come my little fears and excuses that general keep me from coming up here to bear my Testimony. I would very much like to look down and see your individual faces, but I cannot. I express my love and appreciation to each one of you for your love and friendship.

I testify that our Heavenly Father lives and that his son Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior and they love us so much that they have given us the great Plan of Happiness which includes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his great and infinite Atonement by which we can work out our Exaltation and return to live in their presents.

I am very grateful that the Savior has said that he will give us line upon line precept upon precept and here a little and there a little. And as we receive each little revelation and understanding we can use them to build upon the foundation of the Testimony that we already have.

My wonderful wife, Naoma, and I have from time to time traveled by air to different points in the United States. Usually taking off at Tucson or Phoenix and landing in the Florida Keys, or Washington DC, or Virginia Beach, or California. During the flight I would to look out that little window to see the country we were flying over. But all I could see was the big wing of the plane and a few fluffy white clouds below the plane. Once in awhile I would catch a distant view of the barren earth with lines and squares for farms and fences. Sometimes at night we could see a few distant lights for cities or towns. My frustration grew as I realized that I could see nothing of the beautiful country all across the United States. We were missing the great rivers and streams, the little towns and big cities, the mountains and the beautiful landscapes we were flying over. On the return trip it was the same story. Taking off from one airport and landing in another and not being able to see anything in between.

In contrast to these flights of high fast travel my family and I have often taken trips into the Sierra Madre. While riding a sure footed horse and little mule we could see all of the beauties of each rock and tree and the green waving grass doted with wild flowers of every color, size and shape. We would see the contrast between the beautiful level Mesas and the steep side hills, the high ridges and the deep canyons. We could appreciate and see the wildlife, the deer and turkey and even catch the beautiful Rainbow Trout in the cold mountain streams. We could see all the beauties as we traveled slowly from place to place, and enjoy the sites and sounds of the wonderful creation of our Lord and Savior.

Naoma & I were traveling on a narrow highway in the Tarahumara Mountain going to hold a Branch Conference in the little prefabricated Chapel on a hill in the distant little village of El Terrero de Ariseachic. We came to a few scattered houses of La Cieneguita, we stopped by a house by the side of the road to say hello to an older couple whose ancestors were Apache mixed with Tarahumara. We turn off on a little dirt road and drove slowly up a wide valley along a mountain stream as we climbed higher into the mountains. As we neared our destination we crossed a meadow that once had been a cornfield. Naoma exclaimed, "Look at those beautiful red flowers! I want to take some home to plant." We stopped and got out the shovel that we always carried in our old Volkswagen van and dug up some little bulbs of those beautiful red lilies that grew in the protection of some big rock at the edge of the meadow. Theses lilies in the protection of the rock have been saved from the plow and the trampling of the horses and the cattle. When we came home we planted these few bulbs in a row along our driveway. Each year, for 14 years, we have picked the increasing beautiful red lilies to bring them to share with you, my brethren & sisters. The last 3 Sundays we have brought big vases filled with these lilies with the other flowers to Church.

Now the application of this narrative. As we read the Scriptures and learn the Gospel line upon line and precept upon precept, let us stop to see and enjoy the flowers and the beauties of the scriptures along the way. Let us take each revelation and understanding and use them as blocks to build upon our Testimony. May this be our lot I humbly pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.