There are two important parts to a testimony in Christ and his restored doctrine. Spiritual Structure, and Spiritual Decor. Spiritual Structure is what makes sense. This includes the organization, and purpose of the Church. Spiritual Decor is what feels good. This includes personal spiritual progression and uplifting experiences associated with living Gospel Standards. With the proper spiritual structure, and the proper spiritual decor, life is more fulfilling and full of joy. Your testimony will grow stronger.
My wife's father bought a house years ago. From the descriptions I heard, it was a wreck. It was unfinished and abandoned. Mice and spiders infested the interior of the house. It was not a pleasant environment. My wife's father bought the house because he saw something amazing. The house had a beautiful structure. The first step was to clean out the mice and spiders that infested the area. The houses interior then was finished according to its proper plans, and my wife's mother decorated the interior so beautifully. I was only able to see the home after everything was complete but it was a very inviting home, and pleasant to spend time in. We were protected from the outside, and had the many pleasantries of the home decor.
A house can be likened to testimonies. We can have both a beautiful pleasant decor, and a sound structure. We can have a beautiful pleasant decor, and a failing structure. We can have a strong structure, and an empty house. Mice and Spiders represent the Sin we might allow into our homes from time to time. The first step to improving our testimonies, would be to rid our lives of the mice and spiders of sin.
Again, the structure of a testimony includes what makes sense. The Organization and Purpose of the Church. We should not build our structure according to our own plans. Our structure should be build on the plans that our Savior has already provided. He has provided the foundation and Cornerstone of our Testimonies. It is our choice on where we build, but I would suggest building our Testimonies on Christ. An essential aspect to this foundation is found in Ephesians Chapter 2. A group of new members of the church were recently accepted through baptism. They were told
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
This is where our testimonies should be built. We should do all we can to find and strengthen our testimonies in our Saviors chosen Prophets and Apostles.
When Christ came to the earth and began to establish his church, he called and ordained his apostles through the Holy Priesthood. From there on, the church began to develop a strong structure of priesthood leadership and example. There is good reason Apostles and Prophets are specifically mentioned as part of the foundation. Christ told Peter his rock is built on a rock, and described to him what that rock is.
15 He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am?
16 And Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: FOR FLESH AND BLOOD HATH NOT REVEALED IT UNTO THEE, but my Father which is in heaven.
Christ just taught Peter what revelation is. He showed Peter that he knows something beyond what he has learned from man, but that God himself taught Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Christ then goes on to teach Peter who he is, and that what he just taught him is important to the Church.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
This rock that Christ referred to was Revelation from the Father. Christ understood he would not remain on the earth, and that knowledge from God was important. Christ would lead his church through revelation to his Apostles and Prophets.
There are Apostles and Prophets today, who use this Rock of Revelation to keep the Church stable. They are part of the Foundation of the Church, and should be part of the very Foundation of our Testimonies.
The interior of the structure of our testimony is important. When Christ saw the interior of the temple, and that it was not being used like it was supposed to, he cleansed the temple and rid it of all filth and uncleanliness. We can be Good and Active members of Christs church. We can know that the Apostles are the foundation. We can know that the Prophet is chosen of Christ to receive the revelation from Christ to lead the Church in the proper direction. But we are not perfect, and we sin. When we sin, it becomes part of the interior of our testimony. we become deadened to the beauty of what we have. Have you ever had company coming over, and you look around your house and see the mess. It is near impossible to look past the mess, and see the beauty of the home you live in. So the first step to strengthening our testimony should be to rid our homes of Sin. When this is accomplished, we can now decide the layout, and color coordination. This is accomplished by Reading the scriptures, and praying for divine guidance. If we do not study and pray, we will lack important knowledge that would otherwise be found. When we have a knowledge of the scriptures, our testimonies can become more organized our layout more refined. As we are questioned about the Church and its teachings, it will be easy to move around our testimony and find the proper answer. As we pray our testimonies are filled with the spirit of peace. It is the feeling that can encompass a home that has the proper color coordination.
You cannot have have a proper testimony with only the structure, or only the Decor. Do all you can to develop a testimony of Christs chosen Prophet, and Apostles. Do all you can to study and pray to fill your lives with peace.