As a photographer and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have savored the opportunity to photograph the LDS temples that dot the globe… or at least the ones in Utah. But while I am amazed at the beauty the eye can behold as I look at these Houses of the Lord, it is the feelings of the heart that tell the stories of what these holy houses mean.
With those two thoughts in mind, I am launching a project known as Temples and Testimonies of the Restored Gospel.
We can physically see temples with their unique architecture and environmental settings. In fact, there are 143 temples operating in the world, with 13 under construction and 14 announced. But what is a testimony?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared a great definition of a testimony during a General Conference talk in October 2006 – The Power of a Personal Testimony:
“When we talk about testimony, we refer to feelings of our heart and mind rather than an accumulation of logical, sterile facts. It is a gift of the Spirit, a witness from the Holy Ghost that certain concepts are true. A testimony is the sure knowledge or assurance from the Holy Ghost of the truth and divinity of the Lord’s work in these latter days.”
The purpose of Temples and Testimonies is to share photos that showcase the beauty that can be seen with the eyes, and couple them with the testimony of members that can be felt with the heart. I invite you to follow the counsel of Elder M. Russell Ballard when he stated, “Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration.”
I feel the best way to rise to the challenge is to share the testimony of your heart. Share your testimony about eternal families, the Book of Mormon, temples, prayer, fasting, missionary work, and more. It can be a few sentences or a few paragraphs. It can be the size of a mustard seed or of a mountain. A testimony can be found in the bearing of it, so I extend the invitation to you to share your testimony to help find yours, strengthen others in times of need, and be part of proclaiming the gospel to all the world.