During my first couple of years in high school, I was a little embarrassed to be a member of the Church because my religion was so different from those of my friends. I didn’t make much of an effort to share my beliefs.
I felt brave enough only once or twice to invite a friend to church, and each time I was extra careful to make sure it wasn’t on a fast Sunday. If I take her to a testimony meeting first, she’ll never want to come back, I thought. But one summer I learned a lesson about the power of testimony meetings.
School was out, flowers were blooming, and my younger sister Natalie and I were eagerly awaiting youth conference. Natalie, as usual, decided to bring along some friends—nonmembers named Tareneh and Angel. I thought they’d probably like youth conference, except for the testimony meeting.
We all had a great time together going to classes, dancing, and socializing. Then came the last activity of the weekend—the testimony meeting on Sunday.
The Spirit was overwhelming; it seemed to make our hearts expand. I was sure everyone in the room could feel that Spirit, but I still couldn’t help wondering if Angel and Tareneh thought Mormons were weird because they go up to the microphone and pour out their hearts to others.
But before I knew it, Tareneh went up to the microphone to bear her testimony. I couldn’t believe it! She told everyone that although she wasn’t LDS, she knew there was something special about the Church because of the way she felt during the meeting. She, like everyone else, had felt that amazing spirit.
Angel is a little shy and didn’t bear her testimony, but she later told us that she had wanted to. She eventually joined the Church.
That day I learned that a testimony meeting can be a powerful missionary tool because of the strong spirit that comes with it. I also realized it was wrong to let self-conscious, embarrassed feelings get in the way of sharing the gospel. There’s no reason to be embarrassed about being a Latter-day Saint.