We often think we must first gain a testimony before we can stand and bear it. Ironically, these two quotes teach us that standing to testify is an act of faith that prompts the Holy Ghost to witness to us the truthfulness of the gospel.
From Elder Packer:
Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it! Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that “leap of faith,” as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. “The spirit of man,” is as the scripture says, indeed “is the candle of the Lord.” (Prov. 20:27.)
It is one thing to receive a witness from what you have read or what another has said; and that is a necessary beginning. It is quite another to have the Spirit confirm to you in your bosom that what you have testified is true. Can you not see that it will be supplied as you share it? As you give that which you have, there is a replacement, with increase!
The prophet Ether “did prophecy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not.
“And now, I, Moroni, … would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” (Ether 12:5–6.)
To speak out is the test of your faith.
Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan 1983, 51, emphasis added.
From Elder Oaks:
Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Testimony,” April Conference, 2008, emphasis added.
A similar principle was taught by Joseph Fielding McConkie at a recent BYU devotional:
To enjoy the “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost” means, for instance, that, as you fill your assignments as a teacher in the Church (if you are prepared properly), you will be taught things from on high as you teach others.
Such an experience will require more of you than the kind of presentation in which you simply repeat or rearrange the thoughts of others. The fact that every member of the Church is given the gift of the Holy Ghost is the evidence that the Lord wants to reveal things to you and through you.
I have heard my father observe that he learned the gospel by listening to what he was directed to say when he preached the gospel. That experience should be universal among Latter-day Saints.
Joseph Fielding McConkie, “Finding Answers,” BYU Devotional, 12 December 2006, emphasis added.