Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Input Requested

(Apologies to my non-LDS readers.)

I'm speaking on Sunday. Subject: Testimony as a Process.

I would love to hear any-and-everyone's thoughts on the subject. How did you receive a testimony? What does testimony mean to you? What has challenged your testimony? Do you think there is a universal testimony acquisition process? If your response is too personal to share on the world wide web, please feel free to email me with your thoughts.

I'll post my talk on Sunday. (Although, knowing me, the talk I give will only bear the slightest resemblance to the talk I write.) Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help!


shellie said...

I do have something to share with you. I'll write you a email thought because I'm a little short on time right now and it will take a good 15 min to write

Heidi Ashworth said...

I love that the talk you write will bear little resemblance to the talk you give--I wish I could be there to hear it!

Jami said...

Oh thank you, Shellie.

Heidi, that bad habit is one of the few things that keep me from being invited to speak at General Conference.

Melanie J said...

That's a cool topic. I'll think about it and see if I can come up with some ideas. I don't think I can work off the cuff on that one, but if I think of something, I'll come back.

Jami said...

Thanks Melanie. My brain has been on auto-ponder for two weeks now. I could use new input.

Meredith said...

I'll see what I can come up with too and email you. That's a big one!

Youngblood4ever said...

Good luck with that. I am too tired right now to give suggestions, but that is a fabulous topic. Hope you let us know how it goes!

Jami said...


SWIRL said...

I think- testimonies are built or aquired differently. And regardless how you found or joined the church it is smart to try and base our testimonies on "solid ground" gospel truths... The Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost, MOdern Day Prophets, etc.

I mean- some people join the church/or like the "social" community of Saints, or really like the "youth program", etc.. but these are kinda shaky foundations to build your testimony on. Then when you get offended... these members fall away, or wont come to church because so-and-so is the new RS president or such.

I know personally, when I've been tempted to skip, or not go because it is such work with small kids, who I am chasing in the hallway for 3 hours and do I really get anything from it anyway??? And wouldn't people prefer I not bring my screaming toddler to church - honestly? (It's nap time...) Logically- I am thinking- WHY? What is the purpose?

But just one small example: the Sacrament is a commitment. I am renewing a promise.. "I'll always remember Him and He'll always be with me." I always want His spirit to be with me so NO WAY am I skipping that! I rely on His strength, His wisdom, and is it too much to show my dedication to Him? Is it too much of a hassel? REally? for such a blessing?
If I honestly believe it- No ofcourse not.

okay- that was kinda long..
and not why I came over here.
But good luck with the talk!
Great topic! But maybe hard to "deliver".

Jami said...

Thanks, Swirl. That was helpful.

Nat~Nat said...

So, basically I was trying to say that things happen our life that can make our testimonies grow or shrink. But Heavenly Father gives us these tests and if we choose to ask for his help, our testimonies will grow. Even when we place our selves in bad situations, and we realize our mistakes and ask for help and forgiveness he will help us.

Also the process of repentance makes us stronger and closer to him when we go with a broken heart and contrite spirit (which I really and truly had to do). The feeling that God loves us and that his son Jesus Christ truly suffered and paid for our sins, is one of the most true realizations that I have ever known. That is where I finally knew, without a doubt that the gospel is true and I will never, ever be alone.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hi Jami, I'm here. BRB

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Okay, here's my thoughts on a testimony. It's a living, breathing thing, to be treated/raised line upon line as you would treat/raise your own child. You have to pay attention to your children every single day.

We don't just HAVE children. We nurture, feed, clothe and care for them.

We take our children to the doctor when they are ill and the dentist to make sure they don't have cavities. If they do have cavities we have them filled so their teeth don't rot away.

A testimony must be nurtured the same way. If you don't feed it, or if you feed it junk food, it can't be healthy and grow strong. When it is weak or ILL from eating too much JUNK,(or making bad choices) we must take the proper measures to nurture it back to health.

We have to protect it in the same way we would protect our own children.

A testimony isn't stagnant. It's dynamic. It's ever evolving and changing and growing.

I also think even our own church can give our testimony cavities. We have to spend time and effort to discern for ourselves what information we are ingesting is necessary and what is NOT necessary to our testimony. There are so many church culture messages that hurt our testimony, if you know what I mean. And I know you do.

Good luck on your lesson.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hey, how profound that my comment was number 13. See! Now you can't be superstitious anymore. Thirteen is my favorite number! And it's fitting that my wisdom would fall in box number 13.

The universe has spoken.

hee hee

Jami said...

Ah Crash, thanks for checking in at the tenth hour and sixth minute. I like your whole analogy.

I've always thought of testimony as a plant that has many leaves that grow one or two at a time. I think living, growing, and needing nourishment are common to both comparisons.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

So how did the boring old talk go anyway?

When you said bring a pillow I thought we were having a slumber party. I had no idea I'd be listening to a conference talk.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

p.S. I love the plant analogy.

except you can't take your plant to the dentist.