Welcome to Saints in Progress! Here, you will find a compilation of testimonies and stories from Latter-day Saints about how they progress towards Jesus Christ. If you would like to submit, please submit here. We as moderators would like to remain as anonymous as possible to keep the focus on Christ, not self-aggrandizement. Here are the submission guidelines:
- All testimonies must be in harmony with the teachings and practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- All testimonies submitted here will be published anonymously. Testimonies gathered elsewhere will be hyperlinked and sourced.
- Testimonies that contain personal information will be edited to become more general.
- We will publish as many testimonies as possible, but we reserve the right to not publish testimonies on the basis that they do not meet our guidelines
- We follow the style guide and will only use social media guidelines that The Church has established.
Q: What do we mean by witness testimony?
A: Elaine Cannon:
One who gives testimony is a witness. A testimony is a declaration of truth based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted fact that may serve as evidence to others when publicly made known.
Q: Why is it that some people experience some things, and other people don’t?
A: What we experience is due to a combination of factors:
- Our gifts (D&C 46)
- The level of our sincerity and intent: what we are willing to do in response to the experiences we are given (Moroni 10:4, James 4:3)
- Our capacity to believe (Mark 16:17-18)
- Our surrounding culture (Mark 6:5-6)
- God’s will (2 Nephi 4:35)
Q: Are Latter-Day Saints the only people who experience the power of God?
A: No. President Dallin H. Oaks said in his talk on miracles:
…the Lord works miracles in response to the faith of His children. No denomination—not even the restored Church—has a monopoly on the blessings of the Lord. He loves and blesses all of His children.
Q: Is it normal to feel jealous that some people have experienced things that I haven’t?
A: Yes- that is a normal human reaction. Sometimes we treat a miracle or other experience as a sign of God’s favor, and we conclude that our lack of that experience means that God does not like us or is disappointed with us. This is not true. When we hope to experience more of God’s power, that is a righteous hope. And the scriptures encourage us to covet gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). Paul is very clear in 1 Corinthians 13, however, that the greatest of all gifts that we can seek is charity.
Q: My testimony isn’t based on powerful manifestations or sensational experiences; all I have is a deep conviction about the reality of the restoration. Is that okay?
A: President Oaks quotes George Q. Cannon’s observation that
It has been a matter of remark among those who have had experience in this Church that where men have been brought into the Church by such manifestations, it has required a constant succession of them to keep them in the Church; their faith has had to be constantly strengthened by witnessing some such manifestations; but where they have been convinced by the outpouring of the spirit of God, … they have been more likely to stand, more likely to endure persecution and trial than those who have been convinced through some supernatural manifestation.
President Cannon’s observation finds support in the Savior’s description of the converted Lamanites, that they “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” Spiritual convictions that emerge over time from the steady, subtle, and consistent influence of the Holy Ghost are deeper, more stable, more durable convictions than those that arise from sensational experiences.
Q: What is the value of discussing spiritual experiences and miraculous manifestations?
A: These examples of witness testimony will not convert anyone, but they can serve to answer some very important questions:
- Why do Latter-Day Saints in the present feel comfortable accepting the witness testimony of the gifts of the spirit among early restoration converts and pioneers?
- Are the gifts of the Spirit operating in the church today?
- How are the gifts of the Spirit experienced among members of the church?
- I have experienced the power of God in the church, but I know some people are skeptical of these things. Am I alone in my experiences?
Q: Shouldn’t powerful spiritual experiences be held as sacred and kept to ourselves?
A: This is often the case, yes. Some people will treat miracles and spiritual experiences like swine would treat pearls, and “trample them under feet” (Matthew 7:6). That means they will refuse to believe, and will find any number of rational, naturalistic alternative explanations like the unbelieving people in Helaman 16:15-23, who were surrounded by the evidence of miracles and yet preferred to “depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom”. Latter-Day Saints should use discretion in the things that we share; some experiences should be kept and only shared in environments where we are certain they will be received in the right spirit.
That said, if we never share our experiences, it becomes easy for people to adopt the apostate idea expressed in 2 Nephi 28:6, that “if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.” Belief in miracles generally comes from hearing credible witness testimony of miracles in the present day. As a church, we have in our official publications countless examples of publicly available examples of witness testimony of the power of God in the work of the church all over the world. The church regularly publishes these examples of Latter-Day Saint witness testimony for the entire world to see.