Describe an event where your faith has been questioned and how the experience strengthened or changed your spiritual perspective.
On October 15, 1963, while serving in The Netherlands as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I wrote an entry in my journal that illustrates rejection as well as acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder Bill Leatherwood, my senior companion, and I started the day out as usually, tracting door to door in Amsterdam trying to locate any who would hear our message of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ and His authority as it existed in the primitive church He established when He was upon the earth.
"At one door, a man came out, walked right up to me, and slammed his arm on my shoulder and then began to cut me in words. I was a little frightened. In a raised voice, the man said he had a church, he had a Bible, and for us to go back to America or somewhere they had not believed in God, but to stay away from him! So I thanked him and left."
Although this was not a questioning of my faith, I came to realize before the day was over that my testimony of the truths I was teaching was strengthened. My experience over and over again is that whenver such a situation presents itself, the Lord in His tender mercies will either provide a faith-promoting experience just preceding or just subsequent to the challanging experience. It is in this way that He teaches us what is right from what is wrong. When satan is allowed to show his power, the Lord also provides the opportunities for His power to be manifest so that we can tell the difference.
Continuing my journal on that day: "But then this evening was the greatest in my entire life. We saw the fruits of our labors tonight. It all began the 4th of September, and now was the night of the baptismal for Liezbeth [Bosman], Brother Teo Bosman, and Sister Ankie Bosman. I had the great privilige of baptizing Liezbeth. What a beautiful girl. Here [she] was eight years old and becoming a member in Christ's church, along with her parents.
"After Liezbeth was baptized, as well as Bro[ther] and Sis[ter] Bosman and six other people, one of them being Bro. Stevens, and he was a wonderful Indonesian man retired and [who] worked every day on the new church [being build in Amsterdam]. We had the confirmation. I had the [privilege] of confirming Ankie Bosman as a member. I gave her the Gift of the Holy Ghost in Dutch language and gave her the blessing in English. It was a wonderful blessing, howwever, I can't rmember very much of it.
"After everyone of the nine had been batized and confirmed Brother Libberts, who is in charge of the new church building being built in Amsterdam, came forth and said that Bro. Stevens, who had just been baptized and confirmed, would now be set apart as a work missionary for the church in building. This was all in the course of one evening.
"The music was beautiful, real flowers were there, the chapel was packed, nine people were baptized and confirmed, and the spirit was really there. This has been the best day of my life as far as I can remember."
I had many experiences while serving for two and one-half years on my mission where my faith was questioned, but every experience only strengthened my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, indeed, the only true and living church recognized by the Lord, Jesus Christ, as His church just as He, himself, has declared through revelation. This has been confirmed by the Holy Ghost who is the revelator and testifier of all truth. Furthermore, the Book of Mormon is another testimony of Jesus Christ--one of the fruits of the restoration.
The fourth paragraph is one I copied in my own journal. The whole story is faith promoting and bears a testimony to the truth.
What a phenomenal testimony of faith Golden. You have a world view of this which is extraordinary for most people. I'm impressed that you considered the man who hit your arm a blessing and turned out to be "One of the best days of my life". That's pretty awesome. Nice story and I feel your conviction directly through the words.