Pure and Simple Testimony...

In the LDS faith the first Sunday of each month is set apart for a few things...
1) fasting
2) testimony
3) payment of tithing

What I want to write about today is testimony, because I had 'a moment' with that this month.

What is testimony?
In his book Our Living Faith, by Wendell O Rich he says this...
To testify is to bear witness.  A testimony is a statement or a declaration which is made to establish a fact or a truth.  When an individual testifies he bears witness to the truthfulness of a fact which he has experienced through his physical senses or which he understands through the power of reason or by the instruction of divine or spiritual enlightenment.  It should be understood that a personal testimony is the witness of his own personal knowledge or experience or belief which he gives with the most solemn intent to others.

I think that pretty much sums it up! 
So the first Sunday of every month, along with those other two things, we have the opportunity to testify to each other and lift each other through our own personal witness of Jesus Christ.

After we partake of the sacrament the pulpit is open to whomever feels prompted to get up and share.

They can be very powerful meetings as we see the gospel of Jesus Christ playing out in other's lives, and witnessing to us it's effectiveness.

I have born witness time and again of my own belief, faith and knowledge that my Savior lives, knows and loves me, and each of us. 

There is value in making the statement.
In bearing witness of the truths he has discovered and experienced, each draws, from the secret places of his own life.  You cannot tell others of the truths and experiences which make up your testimony without looking at them yourself.  You cannot explain them clearly until you, yourself, see them clearly... To bear testimony they must first search the evidence of their lives, and from this inward search they will often draw out much they have never fully recognized themselves before.

My kids know I have a testimony.  I share it at the pulpit, but I hope they see it in how I live and how I teach them.

We have talked about testimony, but I have never been the parent to take them up to the pulpit to whisper in their ear the things to say.

I do think there is value in teaching them how to bare testimony, even when they don't have a full understanding of it yet... I just haven't done that.  I guess I figured when they wanted to share, they would.

This month my heart started to pound as G leaned over and said, 'Mom, can I go up?'.
I said 'Sure!'

I watched that cute little blond haired boy walk up and sit down, to wait patiently for his turn.
I wondered what he would say.  I wondered why he chose to get up... it was really out of the blue for me!!!

He approached the microphone and pulled it down.
He said he wanted to bear his testimony... that he knows the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.
'And I know....'  long pause.... the whole congregation went silent, even the babies!
His face went red and his eyes welled up with tears. 
I could see him trying to fight them, and hold them back.
He tried to breathe through it then continued... 'I know because I feel it strongly.'
The tears were freely flowing, he wiped his eyes.
He testified that Joseph Smith restored this gospel and none of us would be here without his great work.
Then he closed.

I was bawling of course!
It is nearly impossible to feel through words and a computer right? 
It was very powerful.
His faith came gleaming through as he tried to put into words what he felt in his heart. 
His life experience is limited... he's only 9.  But make no mistake, it doesn't take years of searching, life experience and doctrinal knowledge to have faith.  We all can have that, as we choose.
He shared his own personal witness of his own faith and it was such a beautiful thing.

As he sat down I held him in my arms.  I was so proud of him.
I asked him to tell me all about it, why did he go up, was his heart pounding, was he scared?
It's a pretty big deal to stand in front of your whole congregation and bear your heart and soul to people!
He said he's been wanting to do it for a couple of months and as he sat there, decided today was the day.  He didn't feel scared, but his heart was pounding.
I wondered if he'd feel embarrassed for crying, because sometimes boys do.
I was happy to encourage him, and no he wasn't embarrassed at all, nor should anyone be, for sharing their heart.  It is a healthy, and powerful thing.

I will treasure this moment! 
I'm sure it's not as big of a deal to him as it is to me, but I hope he remembers it too, and continues to bear it.
As a parent, seeing your kids develop their own faith is rewarding and gives me hope for the future.
I'm proud of my boy.