Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during the Sunday afternoon session of October 2022 general conference. He invited Latter-day Saints to reflect on four questions regarding a testimony. The following is a summary of what he said.
Elder Stevenson’s conference talk summary
Reflect upon four questions.
First, “Do I know and understand what a testimony is?”
Second, “Do I know how to bear my testimony?”
Third, “What are the obstacles in sharing my testimony?”
Fourth, “How do I keep my testimony?”
A testimony is belief in or knowledge of truth, given as a spiritual witness through the Holy Ghost. Key elements may include: God is a loving Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, the Church is God’s restored Church, and the restored Church is led by a living Prophet today.
Individuals bear testimony when they share spiritual feelings with others, either spoken or through righteous behavior.
One obstacle may be uncertainty about what to say. Bear witness that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and thoughts will flood into the bearer’s mind. Another obstacle can be fear. “Having faith … will allow you to overcome these feelings and freely share what is in your heart.”
A testimony must be nourished with much care — through the word of God, prayer, obedience to commandments and participating in temple and family history work.
Notable quotes from Elder Stevenson’s conference talk
“Each time you bear vocal witness or demonstrate through your actions your commitment to follow Jesus Christ, you invite others to ‘come unto Christ.’”
“Opportunities to [bear testimony] in the digital universe using inspiring content of our own or sharing uplifting content prepared by others are endless.”
When a moment to bear testimony comes, “grab it and embrace it. You will feel the warmth of the Comforter inside you when you do.”
Who is Elder Stevenson?
- Elder Gary E. Stevenson was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Oct. 3, 2015. He had been serving as the presiding bishop since 2012.
- Elder Stevenson has lived more than nine years in Japan — first as a missionary serving in the Japan Fukuoka Mission, then as president of the Japan Nagoya Mission from 2004 to 2007, and as area president of the Church’s Asia North Area from 2008 to 2012. In 2016, he joined President Russell M. Nelson who dedicated the Sapporo Japan Temple, and later accompanied President Henry B. Eyring as he rededicated the Tokyo Japan Temple in 2022.
- He met his wife, Sister Lesa Jean Higley Stevenson, at Utah State University. The couple married Aug. 20, 1979, in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, and are the parents of four sons.
- During the April 2022 general conference, he spoke on how the Savior’s great commission to preach the gospel can be accomplished through three simple principles: love, share and invite.
- Elder Stevenson dedicates Rio de Janeiro temple — the Church’s 8th temple in Brazil
- Recalling their roots in Cache Valley, Utah, Elder Cook and Elder Stevenson break ground for second temple in the area
- Watch 2 Apostles lead a ‘virtual tour’ of the iconic Washington D.C. Temple
- President Eyring rededicates Tokyo Japan Temple, Church’s longest-operating in Asia