Sharing a Testimony
“Pages from the Hartle playbook” are posts usually designed to share a little about me and my family as well as our experiences in dealing with blindness on a daily basis. But this post is going to be a little different. While I share insights to my thoughts and personal life in these posts, I’ve aimed to make this blog more of a resource than just a personal “about me” one. But, I hope that you will indulge me with this post as it is something I feel very strongly about.
This past week at church we were issued a challenge to
Have a “missionary” experience during the upcoming week. “Missionary” experiences are moments when we take an opportunity to share with someone not of our faith our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, something about our church, and/or our religious beliefs. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often known by its nickname of “The Mormon Church.”) I have to admit that I’m not very good about sharing the gospel with people not of my faith. I know and love what I believe, and am willing to share my beliefs with others, but I guess I am reluctant sometimes to invite others to learn more about my faith—mostly because I am afraid of offending others, or having others mock what I believe and hold very sacred. In any case, I was thinking about how easy it is for me to go up to people I see who are blind and start telling them about my philosophy about blindness and high expectations for blind people and yet something that is far more important to me, (my testimony of Jesus Christ and my religious beliefs) is really hard to speak openly about with others not of my faith. So, I wanted to take this missionary challenge and thought maybe I could use this blog post as a vehicle for that today.
I would like to invite any of you reading who may be curious to know more about “The Mormons” to visit http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org to learn more about our beliefs. I would also welcome any personal questions which I will do my best to answer.
This next part is where it gets hard for me as it’s not perceived as “cool” in our society to talk about God sometimes or to share our religious beliefs openly without being thought of as a fanatic or “ultra-Christian” (which usually has a negative connotation), , but here goes. I want to let you know that I have a very strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know he lives, loves us, and knows each of us individually. I’ve seen his hand in my life and been blessed in more ways than I could ever imagine. I know that he came to earth and suffered for our sins thus making it possible for us to return to live with him and our Heavenly Father again. The atonement is something I know I only understand less than a fraction about, but I continue to see its power in my life on a regular basis. I believe this is his gospel restored to the earth today as he taught during his time on earth, complete with all the keys and principles he instituted. I have a testimony of the Bible as a sacred, inspired book of scripture. I also have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and believe it to be another testimony of Jesus Christ written for our day to be a companion book of scripture to the Bible. I have read it and prayed about it and know for myself that this is true scripture from God. I believe that we do have living prophets today who still receive direct revelation from God for us and our world today. I believe that Joseph Smith, a prophet, was called of God to restore Christ’s church to the earth and to bring about the Book of Mormon. I think a lot of people believe that we worship Joseph Smith, and not Jesus Christ, so I want to clarify that we respect Joseph as a prophet, but believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. I also have a very strong testimony of prayer and know it works and that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayers—maybe not always as we want, or when we want, but he does hear us and bless us, and he loves us.
So there you have it. I hope that none of you will take offense at this or stop reading my blog as result, or even ridicule my beleifs. This took great guts for me to post this. Instead, I hope you will receive this in the light that it was meant. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share something of great importance to me.
Sharing a Testimony