This young man spoke about testimony. After definitions and a few quotations from For the Strength of Youth and True to the Faith, he said something that really made an impression on me. He said (and I’m paraphrasing):
I participate in an elite soccer league. I train as many as four hours a day to compete. Only by that regular and sustained regimen of training am I able to compete at the level I need to in that league.That was it. But it is powerful stuff. I tried to think about when I devoted four or more hours a day to the development of my testimony. My mission was probably the only time I came close to that level of intense spiritual training.
We need to dedicate ourselves similarly to gaining a testimony.
Prior to my mission I attended seminary and church most of the time (though I did not graduate from seminary). I was on-again-off-again with scripture reading. By the time I got to BYU I was more serious about scripture study and took good advantage of my Book of Mormon class my freshman year, but still I was not training like my young friend was for soccer.
Since I lost so much weight this year, I weigh myself almost every day. And I still count calories to maintain my present weight. When I find that I’m gaining again, I know I need to make adjustments to my diet and exercise program. By keeping track, I've been able to maintain my new weight for two months and counting.
Spiritually I need to do the same thing. I’m decades away from that pre-mission boy who was not very serious about nurturing his testimony. Fortunately for me, my mission was a significant contributor to a strong testimony of the gospel, and the intervening decades of church service have allowed me to continue to build that testimony through study and experience. But I still need to weigh myself spiritually, to check my commitment to scripture study and prayer, and to continue to live my life in a way that supports my spiritual training program.