Good or True

Good or True

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Good or True

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

John 5:26

When I was a little girl, Easter was always an incredibly exciting day. But the year I was eight, Easter brought more than just jelly beans and a lacy dress.

The early-morning activities mirrored previous years as my family hunted for eggs, explored our Easter baskets, and then piled into the station wagon to travel to church. As we entered the chapel of our Protestant church, I thought mostly of the cookies that were sure to appear in the cultural hall following the service. I didn’t expect the church service on this particular Sunday to vary greatly from what was offered on any other Sunday.

Squirming in my seat, I tried to understand the minister’s sermon. He spoke about the atonement and the resurrection, words that weren’t very meaningful to me at that time. I felt relieved when the congregation stood to sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” I always enjoyed singing, and that day the people around me were singing the words with vigor.

All of a sudden, I looked over at my mother and realized that tears were rolling down her cheeks! I was very disturbed. In all of my eight years, I didn’t remember ever seeing my mom cry. Worried, I interrupted her singing.

“Why are you crying, Mom?”

“I’m not really sure, honey,” she replied. “I think I just feel happy about Jesus.”

I was perplexed. I cried when I was sad, but she was crying because she was happy. I pondered her answer for a while longer, and I never forgot the incident.

Three years later, my family met two young elders. I liked the missionaries because they were funny and very nice to our family. One of them could spin anything on his finger, and another could play our piano and sing.

One summer day, we were sitting on our couch in the living room listening to the elders teach us. It seemed kind of strange that we were talking about religion so much, because my parents hardly ever mentioned the subject— so I tried to pay close attention to what the elders were teaching us.

On that particular day, Elder Hall started explaining about something he called the Spirit. He taught us that the Spirit made you feel happy inside and would tell you when something was good or true. He said that people feel the Spirit in different ways. “Sometimes you may feel peaceful,” he explained. “Other times your insides will feel like they are going to burst. People often cry when they feel the Spirit testify to them.”

Immediately my mystery was solved! I exclaimed, “Mom, that’s why you were crying about Jesus on Easter. The Spirit was telling you to be happy because Jesus really lived!” I felt pleased to finally understand why my mother had cried years earlier.

On October 4, 1988, my family was baptized. When I received the gift of the Holy Ghost, I truly had a testimony of the ordinance. Now, when I attend sacrament service on Easter Sunday and sing the hymn, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” I feel a peace come over me as I remember my mother’s tears—and I am grateful that she was able to feel the Spirit that Easter Sunday so long ago.

Heather Ford

(Originally published in the LDS Church News, reprinted with permission.)

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