The Strength of Testimony
As many know and have been watching – I am working on my journey of really getting back into my religion. I really have been spacing my posts about religion out because I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear about it, but there are some here who are truly enjoying the process.
I have been reading my scriptures a lot lately, and of course checking out the great resources on LDS.org. Talks, scripture study stuff, you know… the boring stuff no one wants to talk about anyway.
Well Saturday night I was sitting at my kitchen table working on some stuff after everyone had dinner and began to get ready for bed and I decided I needed to go to church in the morning. It came out of no where. Someone planted the seed in my mind. I set my alarm and was up, showered and out the door before anyone in my house was awake the following morning.
I walked into the church building greeted by smiling faces. Faces I had not seen in four years. Four years since my oldest son was a baby and I brought him with my husband one random Sunday. People welcoming me back, some new faces introducing themselves, but overall it was so amazing to have so many people so visibly happy just to have me there that morning.
The first Sunday of every month is something called Fast & Testimony Sunday. I am sure you understand the fast part, but testimony – well, it is magical. Testimony Sunday is always my favorite because those are the mornings you can really feel the spirit. As I sat and listened to some of the most moving testimonies I have heard in my time as a member of my church, I started to feel prompted to share my own testimony. Let me explain exactly what that means.
The website LDS.org describes a “testimony” as:
A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel.
In your every day terms, it basically means the feeling and belief one holds in knowing the LDS/Mormon Church is true. It is the faith in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. It is basically the belief one has.
When Fast & Testimony Sunday comes people can get up and bare their testimony about experiences and day-to-day life that gives them faith and a deeper belief in our Church. If that makes sense… I know it sounds hella confusing.
Well I braved it and got up. Four years of not seeing anyone in the room and the spirit was so strong with me, I couldn’t ignore it. I had to get up and talk. I had no idea what I was going to say, but as I got to the podium it just came to me. I just talked, about life, children, having the challenge of a non-LDS spouse, all the excuses that keep me away from church – and why no excuse is ever valid.
I shook, and I cried. I hate speaking in public. Put me on my blog or online and I am a Rockstar, in person I am shy, quiet, and reserved.
After I spoke, three very lovely members of the church got up even though we were short on time because someone who had bared their testimony inspired them to do the same. As I watched, and listened all made eye contact with me, with a smile to go along with it. I had touched people, and little did they know… but they touched me in a big way as well.
After Sacrament meeting was over, everyone chit chats and the most amazing thing happened. The Bishop came up to me and basically thanked me for getting up. He called my testimony beautiful, perfect, exactly what a testimony should be. At that moment the feeling of the spirit was so strong with me. That was the first time I had ever had any encouraging words from a Bishop. That to me was a big deal.
Before I headed out back home skipping Sunday School and Relief Society as my husband and kids needed me, several other members – some old, and some new introduced themselves and/or thanked me for the words I shared. It was an amazing way to be welcomed back to church.
The day as a whole made me know getting up and going to church was truly the right thing to do. Something, someone got me there and it was the push I needed.