“The What and Why and How of Bearing a Testimony,” Liahona, June 2016, 80
Until We Meet Again
The What and Why and How of Bearing a Testimony
From “President Kimball Speaks Out on Testimony,” New Era, Aug. 1981, 4–7; capitalization standardized.
Every time you bear your testimony it becomes strengthened.
Every soul in this world may have a revelation, the same one that Peter had [see Matthew 16:13–17]. That revelation will be a testimony, a knowledge that Christ lives, that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of this world. Every soul may have this assurance, and when he gets this testimony, it will have come from God and not from study alone. Study is an important element, of course, but there must be associated with study much prayer and reaching, and then this revelation comes. …
Testimony meetings are some of the best meetings in the ward in the whole month, if you have the Spirit. If you are bored at a testimony meeting, there is something the matter with you, and not the other people. You can get up and bear your testimony and you think it is the best meeting in the month; but if you sit there and count the grammatical errors and laugh at the man who can’t speak very well, you’ll be bored, and on that board you’ll slip right out of the kingdom. …
Every month the First Presidency and the Twelve meet with all the General Authorities in the temple. They bear testimony and they tell each other how they love one another just like all of you. Why do the General Authorities need a testimony meeting? The same reason that you need a testimony meeting. Do you think that you can go three, and six, and nine, and twelve months without bearing your testimony and still keep its full value?
Some of our good people get so terrified at triteness that they try to steer around and away from their testimonies by getting out on the fringes. Don’t you ever worry about triteness in testimony. When the President of the Church bears his testimony, he says, “I know that Joseph Smith was called of God, a divine representative. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” You see, the same thing every one of you says. That is a testimony. …
A testimony is not an exhortation; a testimony is not a sermon (none of you are there to exhort the rest); it is not a travelogue. You are there to bear your own witness. It is amazing what you can say in 60 seconds by way of testimony, or 120, or 240, or whatever time you are given, if you confine yourselves to testimony. We’d like to know how you feel. Do you love the work, really? Are you happy in your work? Do you love the Lord? Are you glad that you are a member of the Church?
… Don’t you sit there in your fast meeting and cheat yourself and say, “I guess I won’t bear my testimony today. I guess that wouldn’t be fair to these other members because I have had so many opportunities.” You bear your testimony. And one minute is long enough to bear it.
You have a testimony! It needs building and lifting and enlarging, of course; and that is what you are doing. Every time you bear your testimony it becomes strengthened.