June 1992

“Testimonies,” Friend, June 1992, 36


I have spoken these words unto you according to the Spirit which testifies in me (Alma 7:26).

Nathan and his mother were driving home from the store when something scary happened. They had been waiting at a red light, and when it turned green, they started into the intersection. Nathan looked past his mother and saw a car speeding toward them from the left. There was nothing they could do. The other car crashed into them with the sound of crunching metal and shattering glass.

Suddenly everything was quiet. He looked at his mother and saw that her arm was hurt. “Don’t worry, Nathan,” she said, “I’m OK. Are you all right?”

“I think so.”

They watched as the man from the other car angrily walked around the car and opened Nathan’s door. “Lady, you ran that red light! Look what you’ve done to my car! I’m going to sue you.” Just then a police car arrived, and the man went to talk to the policeman.

Some people who had been watching came over and helped Nathan and his mother out of the car. Nathan’s mother looked around at the group. “Did any of you see what happened?”

One lady stepped forward and said, “I saw you waiting at the red light. You didn’t go until it had turned green. That was when he hit you.”

Other people said that they had seen the accident, and Mother asked, “Would you testify in court about what you saw?” When several of them said that they would, she asked them to write their names and addresses and phone numbers down and give them to the policeman.

Two other police cars and an ambulance had pulled up, and one of the officers started talking to Mother. He noticed her hurt arm and had her and Nathan taken to the hospital.

Later that evening, as Nathan nestled into his comfortable bed, his parents came in to kiss him good night. Mother’s arm was in a white cast and was supported by a sling around her neck. Father swept Nathan up into his arms and said, “I’m so thankful to Heavenly Father that neither of you was seriously injured.”

Nathan gave Father a hug. “I’m scared, Dad. That man said the accident was our fault.”

Mother reached out and took Nathan’s hand. “Don’t be afraid. There were several witnesses who will testify, or bear testimony, that we waited for the light to turn green. The judge will decide who was at fault.”

Nathan’s parents knelt in prayer with him, then tucked him in bed again, and he soon drifted off to sleep.

A few weeks later they drove to the courthouse for the trial. Nathan was nervous. How would the judge know the truth when he hadn’t seen the accident? As they walked into the courtroom, Nathan recognized the man who had hit them. The first policeman and some of the witnesses were already seated.

The judge asked the policeman to come to the witness stand. The policeman showed a big board with a diagram of two streets crossing each other. First he used drawings to show how the cars had collided. Next he showed the judge some photographs that had been taken of the accident.

After he had gone back to his seat, the judge asked the man who had hit them to come to the stand and tell about the accident. The man said, “I was driving along Thirty-fourth Street, the light was green, and suddenly her car drove right in front of my car. There was nothing I could do. I tried to stop, but there wasn’t time.”

The judge told him that he could sit down. Then the judge asked Mother to come to the stand. After she explained what had happened, he said, “We have conflicting stories here. Are there any witnesses to this accident?”

The policeman gave the judge a list of people’s names, and he called each of them to the stand to give their testimony. Every one of them said that the man had been going very fast and had gone through a red light and hit Mother’s car.

The judge looked through some papers, then made his decision. He looked first at the man. “You are guilty of speeding and running a red light. You are the cause of this accident. You will have to pay the woman’s medical fees and the cost of having her car fixed. You will also have to pay a fine of seven hundred dollars in court costs.

Nathan was relieved. The judge knew the truth because of the witnesses’ testimonies.

The next Sunday morning, at testimony meeting, Nathan realized how important testimonies are. Each person who stood up told how he or she knew that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live.

Most of us have not seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ while we have been on the earth. Joseph Smith did see Them, and he wrote down his testimony of what he had seen. He was a witness. Other prophets have also seen and borne their testimonies. Most of us, however, learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through our spirits and our daily experiences with the Holy Ghost. We can bear witness of what we know by sharing our testimonies.

Nathan had a warm feeling about his testimony. He wanted to bear it often so that others would know the truth of the gospel, just as the judge had known the truth about the accident.

Illustrated by Jerry Harston