I was fortunate to grow up in the church. My loving parents took my siblings and I to church on Sundays and supported us in going to other church activities. This had a positive and profound effect on my life. As a child my testimony was born and nurtured on borrowed light, that of my parents and others. But as a teenager I eventually began to have my own testimony of the restored gospel, which has continued to grow over the years. I believe that as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a unique and greater perspective on the purpose of life. By learning about and understanding the Plan of Salvation, we have the ability to take a step back to look at the big picture. This is especially helpful during trials of all kinds. In the worst of circumstances and pain we know there is a Plan. There is a Purpose.
I have received a witness that Joseph Smith, a man with his own set of strengths and weaknesses as we all have, truly was the first prophet of this dispensation. When my husband and I visited Carthage Jail where he was martyred, I was surprised at the peace and love I felt while listening to an audio re-enactment of his last moments here in mortality. It felt as if I was in the temple. The Spirit was strong and testified to me stronger than ever that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. I testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Like the Bible, it testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ as the son of the God, the Savior of all mankind. If you read the Book or Mormon, with real intent, you will receive a witness, or a further witness, that Jesus is the Christ. I have felt the Spirit on numerous occasions while reading and pondering on the words of the Book of Mormon, just as I have while reading and pondering on the words of the Bible. These books truly do contain the words of God.
I believe what is written in the Proclamation on the Family. I believe that families can be together forever. I testify that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today and that his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are prophets of God. They, like Joseph Smith was, are mortal men with strengths and weaknesses. But I believe they are still called of God and inspired by Him to lead us as a church. Their ideas and teachings will continue to become unpopular and politically incorrect just as the prophets of old have foretold. We should not be surprised by the opposition the church and we as members of the church have received and will continue to receive. What we see happening in the world today has been prophesied by Isaiah, by Nephi and many other ancient and modern day prophets. It has been difficult to see the world’s morality continuing to decline. It is offensive to the Spirit. But I know that all people have their moral agency, to have their own beliefs and make their own choices. It is not for me to judge them personally. It is for me to love them as sons and daughters of God. Each person, regardless of the choices they have made, has great potential. I try to love everyone the way Jesus Christ does. In fact, I have a strong love for and compassion for people all over the world. I am fascinated by people of different ethnicities and cultures. If I could speak all languages I would love to make friends with peaceful people all over the world, regardless of their religious and political beliefs. I have no doubt there are good and amazing people everywhere and there is much we can all learn from each other.
I am grateful for my mom and dad, my brothers and their families and my sister and her family. I am thankful for my in-laws and my husband’s many sisters and all of their families. I am thankful for my aunts, uncles, cousins and all of my extended family. I am thankful for my dear friends. I am profoundly thankful for my husband and our two sons and our daughter. I thank God for them everyday. I am thankful for all of my blessings. Despite the trials of physical and emotional pain that come and go over the years, and the suffering of my loved ones (the worst kind of trial of all), the Lord has blessed me in many ways. I am in awe at the grace bestowed to me and the supernal Atonement of Jesus Christ, to wipe away my sins. Nothing I write can convey the depth of my gratitude for this amazing and wonderful gift we all have…to repent and become clean again through the blood of Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I wish for everyone to know what I know, to feel what I feel. Notwithstanding the criticism I receive, I am open about my faith and hope to be a tool in the hands of the Lord to help persuade, with the gift of the Holy Ghost, others to learn more about Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And if anyone decides to ignore, ridicule or criticize me in any way, that is their choice. I will still try to love them and give them the benefit of the doubt. The attributes I seek to obtain most in this life are compassion and charity for all.
In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
- Valerie J. Fulmer
An amateur writer and photographer, Valerie has enjoyed writing since the age of nine. She and her husband are proud parents of three adult children. She is the administrator for MormonDoctorsTestify.org and MormonConvertsTestify.org including corresponding Facebook pages. Her other Facebook pages include Mormon Missionaries Testify, and Strong Family Ties. She has a strong desire to share the gospel with others. She enjoys learning about many things such as emergency preparation, alternative / functional medicine, psychology, world and space science, quantum physics and more.