Bearing a Testimony


Ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven (D&C 62:3).

Bearing a Testimony

“You’re unusually quiet,” Mark’s mother observed on the drive home from Church. “Is anything wrong?”

Mark found tears stinging the corners of his eyes. “Today in Primary our teacher talked about testimonies and challenged us to bear ours. I really wanted to do it in fast and testimony meeting today, but I just couldn’t. When I thought about standing up in front of all those people, I got scared. Besides, I couldn’t think of anything to say. I guess I don’t have a testimony, after all.”

“It is frightening to stand up in front of all those people, especially if you don’t know what you’re going to say,” Mark’s mother agreed with him. “But it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a testimony. Do you know what it means to ‘bear a testimony’?”

“My teacher said it means to stand as a witness for something, like at a trial.”

“That’s one meaning. But another meaning of bear is ‘carry it with you.’ Our testimonies show in what we say and do every day of the week, not just on Sundays. Do you want to know if you have a testimony?”

“Yes.”

“Pay attention to how you live your life this month. I think you’ll discover that you are bearing your testimony all the time.”

Mark hoped that what his mother said was right. He thought that he had a testimony, but he wasn’t sure. He decided that each Sunday he would write in his journal about anything that happened to him that week involving his testimony.

The first week he wrote about something his friend, Jay, had said to him. He and Jay shared a paper route after school and split their paycheck. That week Jay had said to him, “I can’t understand why you always have more money than I do—we get paid the same amount.”

“You always spend yours right away on little things,” Mark pointed out.

“I know,” Jay said. “But a lot of yours goes to your church for—what do you call it again?”

Tithing.”

“Yeah, tithing. And into your mission savings. But you still have more left than I do.”

Mark had never thought about it before, but it was true. He did seem to have more spending money than Jay. He guessed that he was just more careful with what he had left after tithing and savings.

The next week he didn’t know what he’d write about in his journal until Saturday night. That night his friends came over and invited him to go to the movies with them. He was excited until he heard the name of the movie. “I can’t see that movie,” he told his friends.

They were surprised. “Why not? It’s a really funny movie.”

“Because the rating tells me that it has something in it that we shouldn’t see.”

“It’s just a movie,” his friends tried to persuade him.

Mark thought about a lesson his family had had at a family home evening. He knew that the prophets had warned about watching bad things on TV and in movies, or looking at bad things in magazines or books. It was almost impossible to erase those bad images from your mind.

“I’d rather not see it,” he said, and his friends went without him.

The third week, Mark knew what he was going to write about in his journal long before Sunday. It was Monday morning, in fact, when one of his friends, Rob, had come to school looking very tired.

“What’s wrong,” Mark asked him. “Are you sick?”

“No.” Rob yawned. “I didn’t sleep much last night. I ate too much candy, and my stomach was upset for a long time.”

“Too much candy isn’t good for you,” Mark said. “It’s better to snack on fruit or eat a cheese sandwich or something.”

“I know that now,” Rob said as he put his head down on his desk.

The last week of the month, Mark wrote about a very frightening thing that had happened to him. He had been out delivering his papers in the rain and was almost hit by a car. Later he remembered that in their family prayers that morning, his little sister had prayed that they would all be safe in the rain.

When fast Sunday came again, Mark was prepared. His family sat close to the front of the chapel so that he could be first to the podium when it was time for bearing testimonies. During the meeting, he offered a prayer in his heart that he would know what to say.

When it was time, he stood and walked up to the microphone. At first, he was nervous at seeing all the people looking back at him, but most of them were smiling, and he knew that they were his friends.

“I have a testimony of the law of tithing,” he began, “and of the Word of Wisdom. I know we have a living prophet today, and I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers.” Mark ended his testimony and sat down. His mom patted him on the knee.

He still felt a bit shaky, but mostly he had a really good feeling, like he was glowing from head to toe. He was glad that he had a testimony and that he could bear it every single day.

[photos] Photos by Lana Leishman

[photo] Photo of President Hinckley by Tamra Hamblin