“The time is now yours, brothers and sisters,” the bishop said, smiling. “We look forward to hearing your testimonies.”
Maria squirmed in her seat. This would be her last testimony meeting in her English-speaking ward before her family moved back to Mexico. She wanted to bear her testimony, but it frightened her to think about standing up in front of so many people and speaking in her imperfect English. Maria began to think maybe her testimony wasn’t very strong. Maybe that was why she had never gotten up to bear it.
Maria’s mother leaned over to her. “Maria, can you come help me, por favor?” she asked.
Maria nodded and followed her mother to the podium.
“My inglés is not good,” her mother said into the microphone. “Maria will translate.” Then she stepped aside and spoke softly to Maria. “Quiero dejar mi testimonio con ustedes, mis queridos hermanos y hermanas.”
Maria translated into the microphone. “I want to leave my testimony with you, my dear brothers and sisters.”
Then she thought to herself, “Yes, I also want to bear my testimony to you, my good friends and teachers.”
Her mom continued. “Sé que José Smith fue un profeta, que él restauró la iglesia verdadera a la tierra.”
Maria translated, “I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he restored the true Church on the earth.”
Maria remembered how happy she had been on her baptism day and thought, “I am grateful the priesthood was restored so I could be baptized and confirmed.”
Her mom spoke again. “Sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdaderamente la palabra de Dios.”
Maria translated, “I know the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.”
“I love the Book of Mormon. It’s my favorite book,” Maria thought.
Maria’s mother smiled at her with tears in her eyes. “Sé que tenemos un profeta viviente hoy en día,” she said.
Maria translated, “I know we have a living prophet today.” She added with certainty, “He is President Thomas S. Monson.”
Her mom was too emotional to speak clearly now, but Maria knew what she wanted to say. Maria’s heart swelled within her as she declared, “We know that God lives and loves us, and that He answers our prayers. We say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Her mother added her “amen” along with the rest of the congregation. She took Maria’s hand as they returned to their seats.
“Gracias,” her mom said when they were seated. She gave Maria a hug.
Maria smiled. She felt so happy inside. She had actually stood in front of all those people, spoken English, and felt the Spirit as she helped her mom share her testimony.
Maria found something precious. She discovered that when she translated her mother’s testimony, she was also bearing her own testimony. She did know the gospel was true. And she knew that the Spirit testifies of truth, in any language.