The witness of the Holy Ghost,
As borne by those who know,
Has lifted me again to thee,
O Father of my soul.
The beginning of this hymn makes reference to a gospel principle we don’t always spend a lot of time on: that not everyone is equally capable of developing their own testimony. We spend a lot of time talking about how you have to have your own testimony; you can’t rely on your parents’ or friends’ forever. Of course, it’s a great goal to seek for your own testimony. However, I’m not positive that everyone’s efforts will be equally rewarded.
D&C 46: 13-14 says
In our haste to encourage people to seek their own witness of the truth of the gospel, I wonder if we overlook those who, for whatever reason, don’t tend to have the big dramatic certain witness. Do we make them feel less welcome or less adequate? That’s a big oversight, especially as I suspect that quite a few of us are going more on faith than knowledge.
This hymn invites all to participate, though. We see both those who know, and those who the Holy Ghost has spoken to through the first group. We go through the basics: God and Christ exist, we have a living prophet. As a result of hearing these truths, we are moved to ask God to stay with us. In our transformation, the pain of the past is eased, and we start to think we know what heaven is like.
It’s not heaven, of course, and it doesn’t last. In fact, it only lasts for “one brief instant.” But really, isn’t that the point? We have to move in faith. If we knew all the time, life wouldn’t be the transformative experience that it’s meant to be. Whether or not testimony comes easily to you, it fades again fast. It’s frustrating, and we have to keep working hard to get those little glimpses, but those little glimpses keep us going until we can transform ourselves into the type of people that can live in that kind of joy all the time.