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Testimony meetings

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Many people have asked me why we have a testimony meeting?

The first and most obvious reason is because we are asked to be witnesses of Jesus Christ wherever we may be. We are to be witnesses of Him during any occasion, in any place, and at any time. Part of the reason for our membership in the church is to proclaim the truth of the restored gospel to others, and this includes doing so during our testimony meetings.

However, our testimony is not given because we are forced or pressured into doing so. Instead, people are invited to share their testimony with others during this special meeting. And this is in keeping with the gospel of Christ which is based on the free exercise of our agency and not on any compulsory means.

Another reason why we are asked to bear our testimony is to reinforce each other in the faith. When we bear our testimony, we are helping others to obtain a testimony for themselves. And that testimony is based on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In that sense, a testimony can be compared to helping a blind person cross the street.

But there is another reason for sharing our feelings with others of our faith. The scriptures tell us, “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I 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.”

In Ether 12:7,8,12 we read, “For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world. But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen… For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.”

By giving our testimony we help build a testimony in others and thereby help build their faith, because a testimony is based on faith. The scriptures tell us, “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed no himself until after their faith.” Thus, we see that when a person has faith, it can bring miracles into their life. More than that it helps erase doubts and discouragement and can cause people to have a more abundant life.

Faith is a small word that has immense meaning. Faith is the key to eternity because without faith in Jesus Christ there can be no exaltation. Faith is also the key that unlocks the power of righteousness. Although a man must have the authority to act for God, without faith, neither righteousness nor authority has any power.

It is interesting to note how the word testimony is connected to faith. Often we hear people say, “I know this is true with all of my heart!” When said this way, we speak in terms of “knowing” something. What makes this so strange is that faith is believing in something you don’t know. However, there is no contradiction is making such a statement because, even though we can’t actually see or experience that which we have faith in, the feelings which provide us this sure knowledge comes from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Thus, our “knowledge” comes not from an experience in reality, but from the sure knowledge which the Holy Ghost imparts to those who seek to know the truth.

In Ether 12:14-30 “Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.  And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith; For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove--and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.”

Normally when we meet on Sundays, our worship service centers on teaching one another the gospel of Jesus Christ. But one Sunday a month, we reserve for sharing our testimony with one another. Perhaps this meeting can be described more as a spiritual reunion where we share those things that have strengthened our faith in hopes of strengthening the faith of others.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:53  

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