Five years ago, I first walked into an LDS chapel, with a squirmy babe-in-arms, and sat alone in the back, amazed by the parade of young people bearing their testimonies. At that meeting, the vocabulary and vernacular was unfamiliar, but the spirit present was what I had been seeking. I didn’t “know” much, but I knew I was coming back.
Until today, I have stood to bear my testimony only twice. Both times, I was strongly moved to do so, but my testimony has never mirrored those of my ward brothers and sisters. It marvels me that folks I know and hold dear stand up and state with surety that they “Know” something… “Know” the church is true. “Know” the Savior lives. “Know” Joseph was a prophet.
This is just something I have truthfully been unable to say.
I have hoped. I have prayed. I have believed. I have yearned to “Know”, but instead have had to accept faith in that which cannot be proven, as good enough.
Today, sitting again in the back, this time with three squirmy children and an active, priesthood-holding husband beside me, I was surprised to find myself standing. As I walked to the front of the chapel, my knees were not knocking as before. My heart was not pounding, my hands were not shaking. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing.
How strange is this, I thought…
As I stood at the microphone, looking over the congregation of familiar, loving faces, I was flooded by memories of the last five years. While I had been waiting for an angel to appear in my room, for the glowing rocks to light my way, for Nephi himself to show up and have a chat, an amazing transformation had occurred.
My life, my whole life, had been retooled, redirected, and refocused, and not through machination of my own; there are directions, situations and people that cannot be explained away by any logic, coincidence or theory. While I was waiting on shafts of light so that I could say “I know”, instead of “I hope”, an alchemy was being worked on my heart; the hand of the Lord can be seen as clearly as I see my own fingerprints.
I can finally say, “I know”.