Shelley (BC I worked with all summer) and I auditioned for a musical fireside group called Latter-Day Sounds yesterday and this morning. And we both got in! I'm so excited to be a part of this group. It looks like it's a time commitment of large proportions. We'll be singing and bearing testimony. I really enjoyed the auditions, mostly because they had us sight-read some music and I was able to do it without any mistakes. All this singing at efy has really paid off, I guess. I don't even really remember learning to do that. We'll go on two tours, which sounds really great. It'll be good for me to be surrounded by good people and to use my talents to bear my testmony.
At this morning's audition, there was a question on a slip of paper that I saw that read, "How have you gained a testimony?" I've been thinking about that lately. Why me? It's not like I was this extra-righteous youth. It's not like I even had a constant strong desire for the church to be true. Daily life would be easier if it weren't true, I can easily believe. So what's the answer?
I could say that I gained my testimony by delving into my scriptures and looking for answers to my real problems in there. I could also say that it came because I prayed so earnestly and desperately to know if God was there. Or maybe because I repented of my sins when I was a young man, and was able to see the difference in my life.
But yeah, right. That would be like the farmer taking credit for the miracle of a sprouting seed. My testimony of the gospel is a gift of the spirit. Alma says that we are blessed when we are compelled to be humble. That's totally me. I guess those of you who are humble without being compelled are even more blessed. But I'm not in that camp.
Alma himself, you'll remember wasn't one of those guys, either. Here's an interesting thought I was sharing with my roommate the other day. Look at the greatest missionaries in the scriptures. We have Alma, Paul, and the sons of Mosiah. All of those men were compelled to be humble. Why is it that the Lord sent angels to them all when they were zealously working against the church? Did they deserve it? Obviously not. There is a great deal of grace involved there, it would seem. So is it because they had the ability to effect a lot of good in the world? That's my roommate's theory. It seems a bit unfair, though.
Still, an angelic visitation is not a guarantee that someone will follow the path of righteousness. We always have Laman and Lemuel. So maybe there is still something inside a person that sets him apart. Maybe there are plenty of wicked men out there who see angels and ignore them.
Anyway, I feel that these men all seem to have worked for the rest of their lives like men trying to dig their way out of debt. They seem spurred by the knowledge that the Lord blessed them and called them when they didn't deserve it. That's the way I feel. Maybe the Lord blessed me with a testimony because he has confidence in my ability or at least willingness to bring others to him. I'm not sure. But whatever the reason, I need to work as though that's why he did it.