“Mimi’s Testimony,” Friend, Jan. 1996, 2
Mimi tried not to squirm, but it was hard to sit quietly in church. The pew (bench) just wasn’t the right size for her body. Mimi remembered Mom saying that reverent behavior in church shows love and respect for Heavenly Father. Mimi loved Heavenly Father very much, but sitting still for so long wasn’t easy. Mom also said that sitting quietly in church was less difficult if you really paid attention to the meeting, so Mimi tried.
It was fast and testimony meeting. Sister Richards was just saying how grateful she was to work in the nursery. After she finished, Jason stood to bear his testimony. Jason was only a little older than Mimi, about her brother, Ben’s, age. Mimi listened as Jason said, “I know the Church is true. I know we have a true prophet. I love my family. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Jason sat down. His little sister Ava stood up. Mimi was surprised. Ava was in her own Primary class. Wasn’t she scared to speak in front of so many people? But Ava stepped right up and said, “I love my mom and dad and Grandma and Grandpa and my brother, Jason. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
After a few more grown-ups spoke, Tyler, another Primary child, bore his testimony. He also said that he loved his family, adding, “and I try to be good. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Then the closing hymn began.
After church, Mimi said, “Next fast Sunday, I want to bear my testimony.”
“That would be fine,” Dad answered. “Have you thought about what you would like to say?”
“Oh, yes,” said Mimi. “It’s easy. I’m supposed to say, ‘I love my family. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.’”
“Well,” said Dad, “Those are very good things to say in a testimony, but they are not necessarily what you are supposed to say. Do you know what bearing your testimony means, sweetheart?”
Mimi nodded, then stopped. Maybe she wasn’t exactly sure what “bearing testimony” meant. She knew it had nothing to do with the animal kind of bear or with a bare wall that needs a picture.
Dad noticed her puzzled face. “Bearing testimony,” he explained, “means telling people what you believe or know is true. It’s not just repeating words you’ve heard others say. It is saying what you have faith in, or what spiritual things you have learned, or what the Holy Ghost tells you in your mind and heart.”
“Do you mean that Ava was wrong to stand up and say what the others said?” Mimi asked.
“No,” answered Mom. “She wasn’t wrong. She’s learning to bear her testimony, and that’s wonderful. She’s learning to speak in front of people, too, which can be scary. And she’s learning the kinds of things people have testimonies about. But as she grows, she will have special spiritual experiences that will help her testimony to grow. Then when she bears her testimony, she will have some very personal things to say.”
“Mimi,” Dad said, “if you want to bear your testimony, that’s great. But first, think about the things you feel deep inside you. What do you really know or have faith is true? And why do you feel that way?”
The next day started like any other Monday. But after school, Mimi was greeted at home by her neighbor, Mrs. Martin. “Your mother isn’t here, dear. She took Ben to the hospital. I’m staying with you and your little sister until she or your dad can come home.”
Mimi’s eyes widened, and a scared feeling filled her stomach. “What’s the matter with Ben?”
“The doctors at the hospital said that his appendix ruptured.”
“That means it burst, dear,” Mrs. Martin explained. “It was all full of infection, and it burst, letting the infection out into his tummy.”
Mimi gulped. “Is it dangerous?”
“Well, it’s pretty serious, but they operated quickly to take it out. And your dad and grandpa hurried to the hospital to give him a blessing. He should be just fine. There’s nothing to worry about now, I’m sure.”
But Mimi did worry. The scared feeling in her stomach became a sick feeling. She went to her room and knelt by her bed. “Heavenly Father,” she whispered, “please help Ben be all right. I know we argue sometimes, but I really love him. Please bless him to get better. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” As Mimi finished praying, she felt warm all over, and the sick feeling faded away.
Later, when Mom came home, her tired face looked white, but she smiled at Mimi and her sister and hugged them tightly. “Everything is going to be all right,” she said. “Ben is very sick, but his blessing promised him that he would heal quickly and without too much pain. He’ll have to be in the hospital for a while, and I’ll go back tonight to be with him.”
Before Mom left, she prayed with the girls. Again Mimi felt a warm, peaceful feeling all through her body. Before she went to sleep, she carefully read the scripture on a card her Primary teacher had given her; “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that you shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.”* Mimi slipped out of bed onto her knees and prayed once more. Then, full of the warm, peaceful feeling again, she crept back under the covers and went right to sleep.
After several days, the doctor said that Ben could leave the hospital. “I expected him to need to stay longer, but there’s no sign of infection now, and I’ve never seen anyone heal so quickly.”
The doctor may have been surprised, but Ben wasn’t. “Of course—didn’t my blessing say I would get well fast and without too much pain?”
Mimi just smiled.
Before long, life was back to normal—school, playing, and, of course, church. On fast Sunday, just as she had said she would, Mimi bore her testimony. When she stood to speak, her knees trembled and her tummy did flip-flops. She never knew so many people could fit in the chapel, and they were all looking at her! She almost wanted to sit down again. But then she saw her family smiling at her.
She took a deep breath and began, “I know that Heavenly Father is really there and that He listens to our prayers. I know that because when I talked to Him about something really important, I felt all warm and calm inside. And I believe in the priesthood and in blessings, because everything my dad promised in Ben’s blessing happened just the way he said it would. And I believe in the scriptures because they promised that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers.” She looked at Ben. “I know that He answered mine. And I love Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Mimi felt an even greater love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as she walked back to her seat. She saw tears in Mom’s eyes, but she was smiling. Daddy slipped his arm around her and whispered, “Now that, sweetheart, is what bearing testimony is all about.”