By Angela Benefield

Let me start by saying how excited I am to be going
on a mission. The Lord has truly blessed me so much in my
life, and I have found unbelievable happiness because of
the things I know to be true. I feel it a great privilege
to be able to thank my Heavenly Father by helping others
to find that same happiness through sharing the knowledge
I have with them. I know it will be a fantastic experience,
one that I will cherish always.

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true--
I wouldn't be able to go on a mission otherwise. That knowledge has
been given to me over and over again throughout my life, and in so many
different ways. It is the only church on the earth given authority directly
from the Lord, and the only one containing all the knowledge necessary
to return to Him. Everything I experience and everything I study simply
strengthens my testimony of that. My mind knows that it is true, and
so does my heart. It is the Lord's church.

I know that there is a God, that I am one of His children, and that
He loves me no matter what. That knowledge has brought me so much peace.
He wants so much to help me become all that I can be, if I will only
let Him in. I know that He is guiding my life and that through Him I
can do anything. He is the source of my happiness, and I trust Him completely.
Life may not always be easy, but if I simply do things the Lord's way,
then my life will ALWAYS turn out the best way. I know that to be true.

I know that there is a purpose to life-- that we have each been sent
here to grow and progress, to learn, and to prove our faithfulness to
the Lord that we might be with Him forever. I am so thankful for my
chance to do that, and for the constant guidance I am given by the Lord
to help me in this endeavor.

I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, and I know that he truly is the
Son of God. He is the one who gave purpose to life, because without
his atonement it would be impossible for any of us to progress enough
to make any difference. We could not return to God without his sacrifice.
The more I study and learn about the life of the Savior, the more I
learn to love him and appreciate what he has done for all of us. I know
that because of him I can live forever with God if I prove faithful
to the things I've been taught. I know that He willingly accepted all
the pain and agony He endured because He loved each of us so much. At
times when I feel that no one else can understand what I am going through,
I know that Jesus Christ understands, cares, and wants to help me. I
can't comprehend a love as great as his, but I am so grateful for it!
I love Him with all my heart and hope that I can show that in everything
I do.

I love the scriptures-- they are my road map through life. I know
that the Book of Mormon is true, and I love it so much! I wish that
everyone knew of the strength and power found within its pages. It was
prepared by Heavenly Father to testify of Christ-- hand in hand with
the Bible. I know that both books are meant to help each of us to come
closer to the Lord, and that they contain knowledge necessary for our
progression. They have given me so much direction, and the more I read,
the more precious they become to me. I have been so grateful for the
guidance they have given me in my life-- there is definitely power in
the scriptures!

I know that the Lord speaks through prophets today, just as he did
in times of old. This makes perfect sense to me, since he loves his
children as much now as he did then. I testify that he restored his
church to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith, that President
Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet today, and that the Lord speaks
directly through him to all of us.

I am so grateful for my wonderful family. I love them with all my
heart. They are my cheering section, and have been a constant strength
to me throughout my life. Families are so important-- they teach us
the way we should be. It's no wonder then, that Satan tries so hard
to destroy them. I am so grateful that families can be eternal, that
those relationships that mean the most to us can last forever. What
an amazing and fantastic blessing from the Lord that is!

The gospel of Jesus Christ has brought more happiness and stability
to my life than I could ever possibly explain. That knowledge is so
precious to me. Words can't express what a wonderful feeling it is to
know who I am, to know what I must do, and to know why I am doing it.
I couldn't know those things without the gospel in my life. The knowledge
I have gives me strength, peace, and courage. It doesn't matter how
dark or bleak the world seems to get, the gospel is unchanging-- it
is the one constant we all can look to. I testify that every person
can come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and gain a personal
testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. It all starts with desire,
and with this desire the Lord can work miracles. I know that all happiness
in life stems from the vital principles found within the gospel. That
knowledge is worth working for!

My testimony is constantly growing, and I know that it will do so
immensely over the next 18 months as I serve a mission. I look forward
to that growth. Once again, I testify that the Lord loves each of us
and is mindful of everything that happens to us-- no matter how small
it may be. I know that there is a way for each of us to return to him,
if we will but be obedient to his commandments and purify our hearts.
I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he truly is the redeemer of
mankind. May each of us strive to be more like him, I pray, in the name
of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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