45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.
These verses have always had deep meaning for me. Like Alma, I feel that I had a pretty remarkable and dramatic conversion. I didn’t see an angel or experience the days of darkness that he experienced, but like him I went from an enemy of God to a disciple in the blink of an eye. Since that experience before the Boston Temple, I knew that God was my father and that the Churh of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint was his Church. Just as Alma, I knew in that day that I had been born again of God.
Yet, Alma here does not focus on his miraculous conversion as the source of his knowledge and testimony. It required much dilligence, faith, prayer, and study. There are no shortcuts in the Gospel to spiritual knowledge. Those who wish to know must receive through the spirit through diligent seeking. But all can come to know.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had a miraculous Alma like conversion. That may get you in the door, but without diligent prayer and study it will not keep you there.
Testimony doesn’t come in an instant. It builds line upon line. Miraculous experiences may form part of the foundation, but they are not enough.