Q: I was baptized a little over a year ago. I was baptized because I knew for a fact all of the things most people do: Jesus Christ is our Savior, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, the church is true, etc... But now, I just don't. I'm no longer sure if the Book of Mormon is true. I can't read any scriptures. I don't even know if they are true. I'm not sure Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. But I want to be sure. I want to be like I was a year ago. But I don't know how.
A: When you first got baptized no doubt you were on a spiritual high, and your emotions were probably running high as well. Now that time has passed, your emotions have cooled somewhat, and you have had to face the relatively mundane task of maintaining (and nurturing) your testimony from day to day. C. S. Lewis declared that such a change in mood is natural, and that it is precisely in moments such as these that faith is most useful:
"Now faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of Faith.
The first step is to recognize [sic] the fact that your moods change. The next is to make sure that, if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious reading and church-going are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?" (Mere Christianity, 140-141)
C. S. Lewis lists three things which he tells us are "necessary parts of Christian life," if we are to keep our faith "fed" and nurtured. I call these things "the three pillars of personal testimony," because they are essential in the maintenance and development of a healthy testimony and a robust faith.
*Daily prayers (Constant prayer)
*Religious readings (Consistent scripture study)
*Church-going (Regular & worthy observance of the sacrament)