Our Family Legacy
Nearing the sunset of my life and desiring to leave my testimony to by beloved children, grandchildren, posterity and friends, I hereby bear my testimony to be recorded and used to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have been engaged in the work of the gospel almost 60 years, having received a spark of righteous truth from devoted pioneering parents and ancestors. I have been born of a goodly family and feel the righteousness of good people flowing through my veins. I do not remember when I received a testimony of the gospel although I have strived over the years to enhance my knowledge of the truth by good reading and good works. The truth and its quest offer many alternatives of thought and exploration. I have pursued this course with fervent seeking and longing, possible learning many things I couldnít use but always following a golden thread of things that go to make up a knowledge of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have always believed that Joseph Smith was a great man and a true prophet. As I have studied his life and course of actions, he comes out in my mind as the greatest man (excepting Christ) to have ever lived. I know beyond any doubt he is the prophet of God. I know he saw the Father and Son and restored the priesthood, translated the Book of Mormon, set up the gospel as it is in these latter days. The plan of salvation is true and I know I hold the authority of the priesthood through him to administer in the callings I have received down through the years. I know that through the atonement of Christ restored in its true light in this day and formerly give to the children of men, I will be resurrected and given a place in eternity merited and achieved by all the acts of my life. I know I hold my own exaltation in my own hands and endeavors.
I have known all the prophets through a study of their lives and by their works. I have personally known the following prophets and know them to be true successors of Joseph Smith: Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee and our present prophet, Spencer W. Kimball. They have all been men of god and worthy to be Godís spokesmen on earth in each of their times and seasons.
I am grateful to have held each position in the priesthood from Deacon to Patriarch, including the great office of Bishop and Branch President. I have loved the people who have over the years made me successful in each and every calling and bless them for their good endeavors and righteousness. I am grateful for the opportunities that have been min to have been called to positions of responsibility and they have not been a few, having served four missions for the church and in presidencies of Sunday school and MIA and teachers in classes and seminary teacher. I love people and who and what they are and mean in the grand scheme of our beloved Heavenly Parents.
Most of all I am grateful and express my deepest appreciation to my wife, sweetheart, loving pal and my eternal companion. She has been my stay and guide, my rock and salvation, my partner and strength. As the mother of my children and grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, I bless her name and as thankful for the constant strength and revelation she gives and given me and mine. I love my family and am glad they are sealed as a family. Now I pray for strength to overcome my weaknesses that I may enjoy eternity with them.
I know the Book of Mormon is a true record and that we who live in this day will be held accountable for righteous living in accordance to its divine contents. I have seen and witnessed the fulfilling of prophecies both personal and recorded by the servants of God. I have witnessed healings through the authority of the priesthood and participated in these events. I have attended many meetings and gatherings where the spirit of the Lord was present and had testimony borne to my soul of truth and the eternal goodness of God.
Now my counsel and admonition to my family and others and all mankind is that the gospel is true and that they should remain true and faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and that the church is true. No man can oppose truth or the prophets and stay in the faith. Give ear to the counsel of the Brethren or you will live (eternally) to regret your actions. Hold close to the faith no matter what may come or happen to sway you. Attend the temple, do your genealogy, hold close as a family, give whatever the Lord asks through his leaders. There are many trying times, circumstances yet to come. Put your trust in the Almighty Father and merit the trust he places in you.
Now, my family, my children and my friends, I bear testimony that God lives, he answers our prayers, blesses us, is our Father and our God, know our weaknesses, our strengths and our desires. Consult with him in all you do. Do not make a decision without informing him or your desires and then listen for an answer. Follow the promptings that will come.
May you all be preserved in righteousness and in your activities. May you all realize that you are choice spirits held in reserve to come to the activity of this world in this day and in fulfilling your callings, you shall be exalted and glorified. The gospel is true, worth your every endeavor; all you have or will accumulate can be spent in its promulgation and sustaining.
God bless you, one and all. May you always hold to the Iron Rod. May you realize as I do , the sustaining power of the death, atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother, Our Lord and our God and may we have the courage to do all that He has done, if necessary and called upon to do so, for each other and our fellowmen. I bear this testimony humbly and in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen and Amen
Vern S. Handy
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me with any questions or comments.