Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Testimony Tuesday

Hey all of Kimberly's wonderful readers! My name is Stefani (or Stef, if you like the nickname thing) and I blog over at Miss Jo and Co. I spend most of my posts rambling about my crazy one-year-old, fashion, good food, and being a law student's wife.

I am so excited to be here for Testimony Tuesday and so grateful to Kimberly for having me!

When I think about my testimony, I really can't specify one moment where I just knew the Church was true. Instead, I have these bits and pieces that I've put together over time, and as each piece falls into place I begin to discover more about my beliefs and the beauty of the Gospel. 
When I was 15 years old, I spent a week at EFY in Massachusetts. I'm going to be honest - I didn't have the greatest time. I had always had a hard time fitting in with "typical" Mormon girls and this time was no different. I spent a lot of the week alone and by the end of things I felt really, really discouraged. I remember being in my room one night, thinking about how the week was going and wondering if maybe this Church just wasn't the right fit for me. I decided to pray about it. I think this was one of the first times when I actually prayed with the intention of receiving an answer. I'd prayed for help before, yeah, but I'd never said, "Here's what I need to know. What can you tell me?" 
It was there in that moment that I knew for myself that this Church was the "right fit" and that it was where I needed to be. I felt a strong confirmation that I just needed to stick with it and that everything would be ok
I'd like to tell you all that after that experience I went on to be an exemplary Church member and everything was super and dandy. I'd like to say that I remembered that experience forever and that I didn't stray. Sadly, that wouldn't be true. 
Years later, I found myself living in Provo, UT, a recent graduate of BYU. Even though I was in a huge Mormon community, I have never felt more alone. I stopped going to Church regularly, I began choosing the completely wrong people to date, and I stopped living the way that I knew, in my heart, I should be living. 
With each bad decision, I fell further away and became more desensitized to the promptings of the Spirit. But the Lord was still looking out for me. He still loved me. And even in my "darkest hours," he tried to reach me and he finally found me. 
The day came where I realized that I was not happy and that the choices I was making were never, ever going to bring happiness. So I went to the place where I knew I could find it. I went home. 
I spent the next few months going through the repentance process. It was the hardest, most emotional thing that I have ever had to go through. But because of that experience, I can tell each and every one of you that I know that the Gospel is true. I know that we can repent for our sins and be forgiven. I know that even in our darkest hours, Christ is still looking for us. He wants to find his lost sheep and he wants to bring us home.
I also have a testimony of the joy and the reassurance that comes from reading the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. They are the Lord speaking directly to us and it is in them that the answers to prayers can be found.
(I was going to find a quote from one of my favorite talks to add to this post, but after looking through it, I wouldn't be satisfied unless I added the whole thing. So go read Jeffery R. Holland's talk Broken Things to Mend. It's seriously one of the best!
Thanks again to Kimberly for letting me post this week! It's been an absolutely incredible experience.

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At November 20, 2012 at 10:17 AM , Blogger funsizetessa said...

Love this girl! Love her testimony!

At November 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM , Blogger Jessie said...

as a new follower, I love this aspect of your blog!

At November 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM , Blogger his little lady said...

This was such a powerful and honest testimony. I think so many of us feel like there is something wrong when we have questions or hesitance towards aspects of the church. But honestly, that is why we are here on this earth. We are here to learn and grow from our mistakes. I was baptized almost 3 years ago and I still struggle with things. But I know if I continue to believe and work on those aspects and repent and pray with full intent we will all make it through :)
xo TJ

At November 20, 2012 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Marsa said...

thank you so much for commenting on my blog so that i could find yours. i loved reading her testimony. i was so touched by it because it's so similar to my own. I used to have such a hard time with church. after my parents got divorced when i was just 9, we all stopped going to church. my mom tried to get me to go back but i just felt like it wasn't for me. i especially had a hard time with modesty. living in hawaii, it's hard to "cover up" all the time when everyone is wearing shorts and a tank 24/7. But a few things happened since then and now I'm happily married to my husband. I'm so grateful for the happiness that this gospel brings. and i'm so thankful for you blog! i'll be checking back every tuesday :)

At December 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM , Blogger KraftinMommy said...

Found you through spilled milkshakes blog hop. I'm a fellow Mormon sister and really enjoyed hearing your testimony. :) thanks for sharing! Stop by my blog when you can http://www.kraftinmommy.blogspot.com


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