Sept 23, 2009
Through my 12 step addiction recovery class I have been trying to figure out the core of my addictions.
And I have gone through a process and am discovering things about myself that I needed to look at and
fix, which is a difficult thing to do. At the same time, I have been wondering and pondering over my
calling as Relief Society president and trying to figure the way to go with this.
Well, today was the first day in a long time that I have actually been able to spend a lengthy time with my
studying of the scriptures, towards the end of my reading I finally started to get some answers. DC
112:28 says: But purify your hearts before me" which really stood out. I will now be studying and
learning more about purifying my heart. Then I read 112:33 "Verily I say unto you, behold how great is
your calling. Cleanse your hearts and your garments, lest the blood of this generation be required at
your hands." Foot note to Cleans is: Jacob 1:19: 19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord,
taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not
teachthem the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their "blood might
not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not
be found spotless at the last day. It reaffirmed to me that this is what we must keep doing, and our
Christmas program is exactly right. We need to change the tradition and we must teach the words of
Christ. Next footnote is Jacob 2:2 which says: 2 Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, according to the
responsibility which I am under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid
my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the word of
God. I understood this for me to be keep going to the temple and we will find the words tha~ we need
to be saying: Also what came to mind is the very last paragraph in the last step of the 12 step, which
states: You can share this message with others through your example and your words of
encouragement. When you meet people throughout the day, greet them with a smile. Show gratitude
for what they do. When opportunities arise, bear testimony of the hope that comes through the
Atonement of Jesus Christ. Testimony must be born at the Christmas dinner.
Here are some excerpts from our leaders on Testimony:
Some of us are naturally reserved and timid about bearing our testimony with words. Perhaps we should
not be so timid. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us, "But with some I am not well pleased, for they will
not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of
man" (D&C 60:2). When we do bear testimony, we should testify with a spirit of humility. Section 38 of
the Doctrine and Covenants reminds us, "And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his
neighbor, in mildness and in meekness" (D&C 38:41).(James E. Faust, "The Importance of Bearing
Testimony," Ensign, Mar 1997, 2)
In a talk given to a group of missionaries when he was a member of the Council of the Twelve,
President Kimball spoke about the importance of testimony bearing, he said:
"Now this testimony bearing is not some strange eccentric thing which only we do. This is a
fundamental part of the Church .... I remember bearing my testimony when I was just a child in
Primary and in Sunday School. It is basic. It is important ... We have critics who say it is silly to
have little children bear their testimonies and that they cannot know it is true. Undoubtedly their
knowledge is limited. But they can have feelings, and testimonies are feelings, not merely the
accumulation of facts. Testimonies come from the heart. And so, they become a basic thing ....
We have testimonies all through the Church. When we get a group of presidents of missions
together, we bear our testimonies and when members get together in little groups almost
anywhere they formally or informally bear their testimonies.
"At home we bear testimonies, we of the Twelve. The eighteen and a half years I have been in
the Twelve, we have been holding a quarterly testimony meeting. We go to the temple early in
the morning, the twelve of us, or as many as are not too far away from headquarters, ... in our
own room upon the fourth floor. Here is a room in which there are twelve old leather-covered
chairs. They are very old. I think they have been occupied by apostles for half a century at least.
The leather is wearing, but they are still comfortable old chairs. They are in a semicircle. We
have our clerk there. President Smith sits at one end and the youngest member sits at the other.
We sit in horse-shoe fashion. We sing. Brother Lee plays the organ or he leads the singing and I
play the organ. We have a little pump organ which we pump with our feet. We pray very
earnestly for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us and then we hear the minutes of our last meeting
in great detail. The minutes take fifteen or twenty minutes to read ... (and they) are thrilling. We
hear again the testimonies we heard three months ago from the brethren.
"Then President Smith, who is President of the Twelve, generally stands up and with his books
in his hand opens the scriptures to us, I think a great deal like the Lord did to the two men on
their way to Emmaus ...
"We are fasting. Two of us administer to (the sacrament} and we pass (it) to each other. And
then the testimonies begin. We spend three or four hours, just the twelve of us, bearing testimony
to each other. I mention this so you may know (that testimony bearing) is basic and is an
important part of the Church program. If the Twelve Apostles need to bear testimony to each
other to express themselves and speak their gratitude to the Lord, then the missionaries may need
it too, to sustain and lift and inspire them, and to keep the fires burning. We sing again, and pray,
and go back to our regular duties.
"Now we have another testimony meeting every six months on the Thursday preceding the
General Conference. All of the General Authorities are there ... in the room of the Presidency
and the Twelve in the temple. At the top is a chair in which the President sits. Never does any
one sit in that chair, except the Prophet of the Lord. Even though his counselors conduct the
meeting when he is gone, they always sit in their own chairs ...
"The sacrament is administered by two of the brethren, (we are fasting) generally two of the
Twelve. Then we have our testimonies. The Patriarch, one of the Bishopric, one of the Seventies,
one of the assistants, one or more of the Twelve, and all three of the Presidency, bear their
testimonies. It is a glorious experience to have it all capped by the testimony of the Prophet of
the Lord. To hear him stand there and say, 'I know it is true. I know the Lord is responding. He
is revealing His mind and will to us.' I tell you that is an experience to remember.
"I mention this so you do not think that testimony bearing is some little thing that is incidental to
the mission only. This is the Church program. It is powerful and mighty ... It is the lifeblood of
the organization and of the Church." (The Berlin Spirit, January 1962.) (Spencer W. Kimball,
"The Lifeblood of the Church," Tambuli, Jul 1978,40)
There are in those hours on Sunday and in a family home evening on Monday the opportunity to
combine genuine caring, teaching the gospel, and the bearing of testimony. Across the earth
there are families who love and understand their covenants who do that. From my front window I
have seen parents, their children at their sides, move down the street to the home of a neighbor to
offer comfort, to give Christlike service. I wasn't there to see it, but surely the warmth of those
moments lingered later at home when a song of Zion was sung, a prayer given that likely
included a plea for the person visited, a scripture read, a short lesson taught, and testimonies of
the restored gospel borne. (Henry B. Eyring, "Witnesses for God," Ensign, Nov 1996,30)
There is a caution I would give and a promise I would offer about such choices of how to use
family time. For a person not yet a member ofthe Church, to fail to provide such moments of
love and faith is simply a lost opportunity. But for those under covenant, it is much more. There
are few places where the covenant to love and to bear witness is more easily kept than in the
home. And there are few places where it can matter more for those for whom we are
accountable. For members of the Church, my caution is that to neglect those opportunities is a
choice not to keep sacred covenants.
Because God always honors covenants, I can make a promise to those who in faith keep the
covenant to create experiences of giving love and bearing testimony with their families. They
will reap a harvest of hearts touched, faith in Jesus Christ exercised unto repentance, and the
desire and the power to keep covenants strengthened. Henry B. Eyring, "Witnesses for God,"
Ensign, Nov 1996, 30
Find Your Testimony by Bearing It
It is not unusual to have a missionary say, "How can I bear testimony until I get one? How can I
testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the gospel is true? If! do not have such a
testimony, would that not be dishonest?"
Oh, if I could teach you this one principle: a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!
Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that "leap of faith," as the
philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped
into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. "The spirit
of man is," as the scripture says, indeed "the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27).
It is one thing to receive a witness from what you have read or what another has said; and that is
a necessary beginning. It is quite another to have the Spirit confirm to you in your bosom that
what you have testified is true. Can you not see that it will be supplied as you share it? As you
give that which you have, there is a replacement, with increase!
To speak out is the test of your faith.
Bear testimony of the things that you hope are true, as an act of faith. It is something of an
experiment, like the experiment that the prophet Alma proposed to his followers. We begin with
faith-not with a perfect knowledge of things. That sermon in the 32nd chapter of Alma is one of
the greatest messages in holy writ, for it is addressed to the beginner, to the humble seeker. And
it holds a key to a witness of the truth.
The Spirit and testimony of Christ will come to you for the most part when, and remain with you
only if, you share it. In that process is the very essence of the gospel.
Is not this a perfect demonstration of Christianity? You cannot find it, nor keep it, nor enlarge it /'
unless and until you are willing to share it. It is by giving it away freely that it becomes yours. ("
(Boyd K. Packer, "The Quest for Spiritual Knowledge," NewEra, Jan 2007, 2-7)