(This article was originally published on Gospel Ideals).
“I know that my Redeemer lives.” Job said it. Other prophets and apostles of both the Bible and Book of Mormon have said it, and each first Sunday of every month, numerous members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including me, testify of it in their Fast and Testimony meetings. However, even with so many testators, millions of people ask how they can personally attain a sure knowledge that Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, does in fact live.
The answer is quite simple: Heavenly Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost, will reveal it to our hearts and minds when we sincerely obey and pray to Him (Moroni 10:4-5).
This truth—this promise from God—is a process that applies to all people and in all ages of their lives. For example, a friend of mine recently asked her six-year-old niece how she knew Heavenly Father loved her. She replied that she knew Heavenly Father loved her because when she kept the commandments, He helped her. She had not only obeyed Him, but she had also recognized His hand in her life.
My first steps toward my testimony of Jesus Christ began in a similar fashion when I was a child. I no longer remember all the details surrounding such events, or even all the prayers I offered, but I do remember that every time I prayed to Him about things that were important to me at the time but now seem a bit frivolous, I recognized that He had answered me anyway. I prayed to Him for things like help in finding lost items, in providing ways to stay modest when my clothes were malfunctioning, and in achieving goals I’d spent many hours working on. In every instance, God answered those prayers in the affirmative, and each time He did, I not only knew that He had done so, but my trust and belief in Him also grew. I began to know that my redeemer lives.
But affirmative answers to my prayers are not the only reason I know God lives. I, like every person on this earth, have trials that test me almost more than I think I can bear. Many of them are ongoing, and though I have prayed for relief from them, they continue. Along that path, however, God has blessed me with tender, comforting mercies that provide a touch of balm to my soul and give me the strength to carry on.
One of those loving mercies came while I was working with young women in a spiritual activity at achurch girls’ camp. All the participants were blind-folded, given an animal sound, and told we needed to find the rest of our “family” by making the assigned sound. When we found our family members, we were to hold them close to us and ultimately complete a specific task which brought us “Home.”
As luck would have it, shortly after I found my family, I lost them again, and at the end of activity, I was a lone person in the field. At that point, someone noticed I was “lost” and sent my family to retrieve me. They did so, and finally, tearfully, I returned to home base. But I wasn’t tearful because I was embarrassed I was the last one on the field (though I slightly was); I was crying because one of Christ’s parables had suddenly become alive in me; Alone in that field, I had received an answer of comfort to one of my never-ending prayers.
The parable is found in Matthew 20:1-16. It describes how a householder hired laborers for his vineyard at varying times of the day, and at the end of the day, paid all workers the same reward. Before that activity, when I’d read that parable, I’d thought as many of the earlier-hired workers in the story had, that it wasn’t fair for those who’d worked all day to receive the same wage as those who’d worked an hour. However, as I stood alone, after all I could do on my own, and was finally rescued, I realized that parable witnesses of Christ’s mercy. I learned that it doesn't matter to Him whether we make it to God’s Kingdom first or last. What matters is that we get there. And when we get there, we’ll each receive the same reward: Eternal Life.
That answered prayer, along with many others, comforted my heart and strengthened my hope in Jesus Christ. That is how I know that my redeemer lives.