One of the challenges people face when returning to activity in the church is regaining their testimonies. Sometimes getting it back can seem more challenging than getting it the first time. The first time it was all new and exciting, while this time, you have to struggle with the parts of the gospel that caused you to falter.
The first step is to evaluate your relationship with God and the Savior. If this is weak, strengthening it is the most important thing to do. They are the only ones who really know if the church is true, so you need to be able to feel the spirit and to trust them to tell you the truth. Read the New Testament and the Book of Mormon to learn more about them. Spend time in prayer, so your relationship with your Heavenly Father becomes comfortable. Then, when it’s time to pray about the truthfulness of the gospel, you’ll recognize the answer when it comes.
Another important step is to look for gaps in your testimony. Is there an area of the gospel you aren’t comfortable with? Mormon.org is an official website for people who aren’t LDS. However, it’s a great resource for returning members as well. You can research church beliefs there. You can also go to LDS.org and research from the gospel library. This allows you to make sure you completely understand the doctrine. Watch the dates on the articles you read, paying closest attention to the newest ones. In a church with a living prophet, that is important. It’s important to get your information from the source, rather than wandering off to read opinions by people who are only offering opinions. If you want to know what the church teaches, ask the church, and then ask God.
One of the best ways to find out if a teaching is true is to try living it and see how it feels. I’ve found, over the years, that I know if I’m doing right or wrong. When I pay my tithing and have a good feeling inside, I can tell that feeling comes from God. Then I have a greater certainty that I’m making the right choices. I can then take those good feelings to my Heavenly Father and talk to Him about them. If you feel uneasy, you’re probably on the wrong path. “You cannot do wrong and feel right.” (David B. Haight, “A Time for Preparation,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 36)
Of all the methods you choose, however, the most important one is to ask God. He alone knows the full truth and you know He won’t mislead you.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.