I haven’t written one of these in a while. I have a new routine for preparing my lessons which allows me to finish my prep earlier in the week so I can spend the end of the week and weekend with my family. But I have decided that instead of reviewing my lesson Sunday mornings I want to review them on Saturday so I’m more prepared which allows me to blog my thoughts and gather the finishing touches on my lesson.
So here we go with a new routine and helps hope this helps and sticks. 😉
Q: What is a testimony?!
A: A testimony is the sure knowledge or assurance from the Holy Ghost of the truth and divinity of the Lord’s work in Latter days.
Q: What do we do when we bear testimony?
A: We declare to others what we know to be true by the power of the Spirit.
Q: What is the foundation of a testimony?
A: It’s the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and lives us, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that His gospel has been restore through Joseph Smith, and that the church is the Saviors true church.
Q: With the above information, why is it that testimony meetings turn more into ‘thank-imony meetings’ or ‘travel-mony meetings’?
A: I don’t know
When lived in Kalispell we have a great lesson from a sister about testimonies during a combined 5th Sunday lesson. Some people took offense to what she said, and some might take offense to what I write. But I feel like we need to be often reminded about what a testimony really is and how we are to bear our testimony in the correct and reverent manner. We also need to teach our children how to correctly bear a testimony and make sure they understand what it is they are saying.
I love when the youth have the courage to get up and share their testimonies, but often they turn into stories instead of a testimony. Little Man asked me Sunday if he could ‘get up there’. I asked him what he would say if he went up. He said he didn’t know. I want him to be able to bear testimony in our home and understand that ‘getting up there’ is not just for fun but to really express and declare what he knows to be true.
I love how in Teaching No Great Call it gives you a specific break down as to what a testimony is and is not. I’d like to share it with you:
A Testimony IS NOT
*a call to repentance
A Testimony IS
*simple, direct, declaration of belief
*”I know that…”
*”I testify that…”
Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what to say when you get up to the stand in front of all those people. Sometimes you just get that burning and you have to get up although you don’t know why. And then sometimes, you know exactly why.
Sometimes it’s okay to give a little background to explain why you have come to knowledge of what you know to be true. Like you just finished reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover for the first time. Or you just went to the temple and you didn’t know the person you went through for but you felt their sweet spirit on the other side of the veil accepting the work you did for them and you have a testimony of family history and the importance of temple work. But you don’t need to give the exact details. If you want to thank someone for being of service to you, do it personally or in a letter. If you want to tell someone you love them, so it to them directly. Standing at the podium on fast Sunday is a time to strength others testimonies by share what you know to be true. Not sharing stories and thank-you’s.
All you simply need to do, is declare what you know to be true, what you have learned for yourself. And no one needs to know why or how you came to that knowledge. How you came to that knowledge is sacred for you!
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it’s true. I know that it gives advice. I know that Heavenly Father can speak to us through it and give us comfort when we need it. I know that it has the power to bind families, strengthen families, uplift families, and individuals.
I have a testimony of the power of prayer. I know that when we pray for others, those prayers are heard and others are blessed. I have felt the many prayers others have been been saying on my behave, even if they aren’t specifically using my name. I know that when we pray, Heavenly Father does hear us, even though it may seem like he doesn’t.
I have a testimony of Christ-like love. I always thought that it was kind of a myth until someone took me under their wing. I strive every day to show Christ-like to those around me. It’s not always easy, but when we show Christ-like love to others, they can feel the Savior standing near them.
I have a testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored with Joseph and that he was a true prophet.
I know this gospel is true with all my heart!
Next week is fast Sunday. Spend this week pondering on what it is that you know to be true! Next Sunday, get up and declare what you know. Keep it simple. Keep it direct. Bear to your ward family what you know to be true!