I No Longer Had To Depend On Borrowed Light
By Vernon Hugh Eaton
I have been a member of the Mormon Church all my
life. I have found that it is harder for those who have been born in
the Church to gain a real testimony of it. However, for what it is
worth, here is my story.
I was one of 7 brothers and sisters. My Dad worked
in the Copper Mines of Arizona and didn't make much money to support
a wife and 7 kids, but we didn't know we were poor.
However when it came time for me to go on a
Mission I had an older brother who still needed to go before I could
even think about going. And with my Dad not making much money, there
just didn't seem to be anyway that either of us could go.
However, my brother was called to serve in the
"Argentine Mission,". Then about 5 months after he left, I found
myself serving in the Alaskian-Canadian Mission.
My first year went quite fast and somewhat
uneventful. Until one day my companion and I met with a Lutheran
Minister. We didn't know he was a Minister, we had met him while
tracting door to door. But we proceeded to give him the 1st
discussion, my companion presented the discussion.
During the course of the discussion he bore
testimony that, Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and taking the
opportunity, I broke in and bore my testimony of Joseph Smith as
well, just like I had done many times before.
Suddenly the Minister jumped from his chair and
crossed the room toward me and leaned across his coffee table and
pointed his finger in my face shouting "YOU DO NOT KNOW JOSEPH SMITH
WAS A PROPHET! YOU MAY BELIEVE IT, BUT YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING OF
THE KIND!" Then calmly sat back down.
Needless to say I was shocked, no one had ever challenged my
testimony before. However, there was another reason I was so
I suddenly realized he was right! I didn't KNOW
Joseph Smith was a Prophet. And I suddenly realized, for the first
time, that I wasn't even sure if the church was true. My testimony
up till then was totally based on other peoples testimonies.
All my beliefs at that moment just vanished and suddenly I doubted
any of it was true! This bothered me a great deal. And for the next
two days I thought about this every waking moment. I decided I had
My parents could not afford to support me as it
was, and if I did not believe what I was teaching, I would be
depriving my other brother and sisters of much needed money. So I
decided one way or another, I would find out once and for all if
what I was doing was the will of the Lord.
I suddenly became an investigator, so I did what
we had been challenging our investigators to do. Study, Pray and
attend Church. I was already doing those things anyway, but I was
not doing them very seriously. I started with the Joseph Smith
Pamphlet, reading and studying every line on every page, and praying
morning, noon and night. I absolutely had to know for myself if what
I was doing was right.
I received no answer to my many prayers. I then
started reading the Book of Mormon again in earnest devouring every
page. For 3 long strenuous weeks I studied, and prayed like never
before, but no answer came. I refused to give up until I knew beyond
all doubt that it was true or false.
I was prepared to leave the Mission Field unless I
knew for sure. At the end of 3 long hard weeks, I decided to go to
bed early,(9:30) and put everything before the Lord, one last time..
I had studied and prayed every waking moment and had not received an
answer as of yet. I was a bit frustrated.
As I knelt in prayer and TOLD the Lord "If I
didn't receive some kind of witness for the truthfulness of the
things I had been studying, by tomorrow morning when it was time to
leave our apartment, I was going to call my Mission President and
request that I be sent home, I could not remain and teach something
I did not believe!"
I then retired to my bed, with my hands resting
under my head, thinking about the things I had been studying. As I
lay there I started feeling a tingling sensation in my feet and
immediately thought my feet were going to sleep. I soon noticed this
sensation had moved slowly up my legs to my knees, but it was not
uncomfortable so I just ignored it and continued thinking as before.
After a time I let out a big breath of air and
said, out loud,.to myself, "Is Joseph Smith really a Prophet?" When
suddenly that sensation jumped from my knees to my waist and
increased it's intensity! It surprised me completely and sent a
feeling of warmth all through my body.
I remembered that this happened when I asked if
Joseph Smith was a Prophet. So I tried it again. "Was Joseph Smith
really a Prophet?" And sure enough just as expected, the sensation
jumped from my waist to my chest and increased 10 fold! I felt so
wonderful I wanted to say it again and again, "Was Joseph Smith
really a Prophet?" And with that, this sensation leaped from my
chest to the top of my head and increased more than double what it
It was so warm and wonderful my whole body was
enveloped and vibrating with this most marvelous sensation. I tried
again and again to ask that question, but something prevented me
from asking a question, all I could say was, "Joseph Smith was
really a Prophet!"
After several attempts I quit trying, when
suddenly a most beautiful and calm voice spoke to my mind saying,
"YES HUGH, JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET OF GOD, AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
DOES CONTAIN A FULLNESS OF MY EVERLASTING GOSPEL, AND YES THIS IS MY
ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON EARTH TODAY!"
I could not hold back the tears. I now KNEW for
myself, I no longer had to depend on borrowed light, the Lord
himself bore witness to me. And with that witness, I had the most
incredible urge, that if I needed any further witness, I should get
on my knees and pray and Jesus Christ would appear in person before
But just as suddenly, I also received the
impression that I didn't need any further witness, for what I had
received was sufficient. That night I had the most peaceful sleep of
my life. When I awoke the next morning I found that the sensation
night before was still with me, and remained with
me all that day. In fact it remained with me for a full 30 days
before it finally dissipated.
But when I read or hear others testimonies or I
bare my own, it returns, just as it is now as I write. I KNOW Joseph
Smith was and is a Prophet of God, there is no doubt in my mind, I
feel it in every fiber of my being.
My witness did not come through my 5 senses,
touch, see, hear, smell, or taste, and it was not just a burning in
my bosom, it came from the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost.
I love this gospel with all my heart.