Fast and Testimony

In our ward yesterday we heard testimonies from ward members who rarely speak.  It was delightful.  One of the best testimony meetings I can recall.  One fellow who spoke was so moved by what he was telling us that he had to choke back tears.  His elderly mother has Alzheimer’s disease and he could not be certain what was getting through to her.  She responded to him touching her hand, rubbing her back, and whispering to her during his last visit.  His comments focused on charity toward others, and the great example he pointed to was the  group responsible for caring for the people at the facility where his mother was located.  They were primarily Hispanic.  They labored with smiles on their faces and showed such genuine care for the people that he had to thank someone as part of his last visit.  He spoke with a woman working there, and thanked her and the whole staff through her for the kindness, charity and love they show while providing care for the people they serve.  The woman was grateful for his comments.  His whole testimony was about charity and caring for others.  It was quite moving, and a reminder again of how many opportunities there are to provide service to others.

Another fellow spoke about his baptism, long ago in the South.  He was baptized in a “muddy stream” when he was young, and he can remember how cold it was on that day.  It was the first time my children had heard him speak, although we have been in the same ward for nearly two decades.  They all were surprised he had a southern accent.  And they all said they now “really loved the guy” because of what he said and how he said it.  Before they hardly noticed him because he was so very quiet.

What a wonderful thing a ward family is.  There hasn’t been a ward I’ve attended that hasn’t been quirky, diverse, interesting and at times trying.  It’s a good thing we are divided by area and cannot choose where to attend.  We have no choice but to associate with a diverse lot of people.  I think that is healthy.

One thought on “Fast and Testimony

  1. Great stories about testamony meeting! I too love to hear from those who rarely get up and share. We live in an area where the Stake President is really good about inviting up those who have a wonderful spirit but don’t openly share. He has a knack for knowing who should share a testimony and will often invite them up. It is always a good experience.

    As for choosing where to attend–I disagree. Most Mormon families are very careful to pick the “right” neighborhoods so they end up in the “right” wards where their kids can associate with the “right” type of friends. Usually this means those of similar economic class. No where has this been more evident to me than while living in Utah.

    As you know most Wards there are very small geographically so you end up with everyone in the ward being of a very similar economic condition. I really disliked that. We lived in Pepperwood for 18 months. It was hell. 90% of the men in the ward could have been a Bishop or member of a Stake Presidency most places outside of Utah. But there they gathered, wasting their strengh and ability behind a gate-guarded community where their kids could be with the “right” friends and they could associate with the “right” people… Never again. We were glad to get out.

    Now when I move I call the Stake Presidents in the area and ask them what Wards are weakest so we can help strengthen them. My children are much stronger having to be examples not only in school but in the Wards we have lived in.

    We went back last summer and visited the old ward in Utah. I called the HP group to repentance but it was pretty clear it fell on deaf ears. They all sit around waiting to get called to be a Bishop or on a High Council or to be a Mission President or…

    They don’t realize they have the choice to be where they are needed vs. sitting behind a guarded gate.

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