March 14, 2017
Writer: Mackenzie Holbrook
During the BYU-Idaho Devotional on March 14, 2017, Brother Doug Watson, the Facilities Management Services Director at BYU-Idaho, spoke with students about the importance of documenting their testimonies.
He said a documented testimony is something you have felt, heard, seen, read, experienced or written and you cannot find anything in this life to convince you that it's false.
"I pray today that the Holy Ghost will help each of us document in some form, our testimony," Watson said. "It could be in your mind, your heart, your soul or in some form of written documentation."
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Watson said he started documenting his testimonies when he learned his grandfather had documented his own.
"When I talk about documenting testimonies, I talk about how you've embedded those in your life," Watson said. "So, I relate experiences that I've documented -- things that I've heard, or I've seen, or I've seen written that I know absolutely I can't find anything in this world today that says they're not true."
In his talk, Watson specified three areas to document a testimony: our minds, our hearts and our souls.
In regards to documenting a testimony to our minds, Watson quoted a journal entry he had written in 1999 about an event on the Ricks College campus, where he was able to meet President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time.
"'As I sat there that day, I was able to look into the eyes of the prophet and without any doubt, I knew he was a prophet of God,'" Watson said. "'The spirit bore in my mind, a strong testimony of him to me. I know that he talks with God. His eyes were filled with the greatest love for all, he was a gentle giant.'"
Watson said that day was one of the greatest in his life, and he had felt the spirit preparing him for it in many subsequent instances.
"This was an event in my life where I had heard and witnessed things and I could not find anything in this life to tell me it was not true," Watson said.
He said the second place we need to document our testimonies is in our hearts.
Watson told a story of how, roughly six months before he was called to be a bishop in his ward, he could feel the spirit preparing him for the calling.
"The spirit would prompt me of things that I would do when I was to be called to be bishop," Watson said. "I began to realize that the Holy Ghost was preparing me for the calling of a bishop. As I would pray about it, I would ask our Heavenly Father to help me to know and be prepared to accept whatever this was. I remember the most important thing that was whispered to me. It was to have love for everyone and to have a pure love of Christ, as this is His church, and he would want me to organize and lead the ward with His pure love."
In our interview with him, Watson said, as he looks back on his life, he can see specific experiences that have lead him to exactly where he is today.
"I look back on what we'd call our life's journey and I look at all the things and the places the Lord has put me in," Watson said. "Those things have all lead me on my life's journey and documented in my mind my testimony the reality of what we're doing here at BYU-Idaho."
He said that after documenting our testimonies on our minds and in our hearts, we need to know them with such a surety that our souls could be convicted of having a testimony.
"Documenting your testimony in your mind and hearts prepares your soul to stand as a witness to be convicted of having a testimony," Watson said. "Documenting your testimony within your soul helps you prepare for the Savior and when you see Him eye-to-eye, you will know Him."
He counseled students to always seek the Holy Ghost when documenting your testimonies.
"I think your documentation comes from the spirit," he said. "If you feel that its real and you feel that it's true, and you can't find anything out there that says it's not, document it somehow."
Watson said he has certain memories burned into his mind and heart so deeply that they have convicted his soul of knowing that they are true.
"I testify to you that if you will take the things you hear in your mind, and you burn them into your heart, that you soul will be prepared for the time when you see Him eye-to-eye and you will know Him," Watson said.
Click below to listen to Brother Doug Watson's full devotional address.