“Mimi’s Testimony,” Liahona, Sept. 1999, 14
Mimi tried not to squirm, but it was hard for her to sit quietly in church. The bench wasn’t the right size for her little body. Mimi remembered Mom saying that reverent behavior in church shows love for Heavenly Father. Mimi loved Heavenly Father very much, but it still wasn’t easy to sit for so long. Mom also said that sitting quietly in church was less difficult if you paid attention to the meeting, so Mimi tried to listen closely.
This Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. Sister Richards said 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 prophet. I love my family. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Jason sat down. Then his little sister, Ava, stood up. Mimi was surprised; Ava was in Mimi’s Primary class. Wasn’t Ava scared to speak in front of so many people? But Ava walked right up to the pulpit and said, “I love my mom and dad and my 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. Tyler said he loved his family, adding, “I try to be good. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
After church, Mimi said to her parents, “Next fast Sunday, I want to bear my testimony.”
“That would be nice,” Dad answered. “Have you thought about what you would like to say?”
“Oh, yes,” Mimi said. “It’s easy. I’m supposed to say, ‘I love my family. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.’”
“Well,” Dad explained, “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?”
Mimi nodded, then stopped. Maybe she wasn’t exactly sure what bearing testimony meant.
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.”
“Was Ava wrong to stand up and say what the others said?” Mimi asked.
“No,” Mom answered. “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. And she’s learning what things people have testimonies about. But as she grows, she will have spiritual experiences that will help her own testimony grow. Then when she bears her testimony, she will have some personal things to say.”
“Mimi, if you want to bear your testimony, that’s great,” Dad said. “But first, think about the things you feel deep inside. What do you really know or believe is true? And why do you feel that way?”
The next day started like any other Monday. But after school, Mimi’s neighbor, Mrs. Martin, greeted her at home. “Your mother isn’t here, dear. She took Ben to the hospital. I will stay 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 wrong with Ben?”
“The doctors at the hospital said his appendix ruptured,” Mrs. Martin explained. “It was all full of infection, and it burst.”
Mimi was frightened. “Is it dangerous?”
“Well, it’s pretty serious, but the doctors operated quickly to take it out. And your dad and grandpa hurried to the hospital and gave Ben a blessing. He should be fine. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about now.”
But Mimi did worry. The scared feeling in her stomach became a sick feeling. She went to her room and sat on her bed, thinking about Ben. After a few minutes Mimi noticed a notecard her Primary teacher had given her on Sunday. She read the scripture on it: “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you” (Moro. 7:26).
Mimi slipped off her bed onto her knees and prayed. “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 face looked tired, but she smiled at Mimi and her sister and hugged them tightly. “Everything is going to be all right,” Mom said. “Ben is very sick, but in his blessing he was promised 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 the warm, peaceful feeling all through her body.
After a few days, the doctor said Ben could leave the hospital. “I expected him to need to stay longer, but there’s no sign of infection now—I’ve never seen anyone heal so quickly.”
The doctor may have been surprised, but Ben wasn’t. “Wasn’t I promised in my blessing that I would get well fast and without too much pain?” he said.
Mimi just smiled.
Before long, life was back to normal. On fast Sunday, just as she had said she would, Mimi bore her testimony. When she stood up to speak, her knees trembled and her tummy felt funny. She never realized so many people could fit in the chapel, and they were all looking at her! She almost wanted to sit down again. 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 because when I prayed to Him about something really important, I felt 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.” Mimi looked at Ben. “And I believe in the scriptures because they promise that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. 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 Mom was smiling. Daddy slipped his arm around Mimi and whispered, “Now that is what bearing testimony is all about.”