Simply Stated

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“Simply Stated,” New Era, Jan. 1998, 15

Simply Stated

I left the bishop’s office with a recommend, a full heart, and a new awareness.

I went to see my bishop for a temple recommend interview with no special expectations. Temple recommend interviews are generally all the same. I was excited to have a chance to do baptisms in the Arizona Temple, and this was simply a mandatory part. I sat quietly in the bishop’s office and answered everything he asked. I could tell by his silence when I had answered the last question and looked up to watch him fill out my recommend.

After handing me my temple recommend, the bishop looked at me intently with a smile on his face and said, “Lynn, will you bear your testimony for me?” I was completely taken aback. No one had ever asked me to do that before, and I hadn’t volunteered in about six years. I didn’t like giving my testimony. The only things I knew to say were those words I had been taught in Primary. I took a breath. I began to say aloud all the things that I knew and believed. My words were simple and Primary-like, but as I said them I knew they were true and that was all that mattered. It felt so good.

As I finished and looked at the bishop’s smiling face, I smiled too. I realized how silly I had been not to bear my testimony. I had been missing out on the simple pleasure that bearing a testimony brings because I felt I didn’t have anything important to say and was fearful of what the congregation would think. When I left the bishop’s office, the calm that I had received from bearing my testimony was still with me. I remembered how strongly I had felt the truthfulness of the words as I said them. The experience had actually strengthened my beliefs. I had gone to see the bishop for a temple recommend, but I had left with much more than that.

Illustrated by Bryan Lee Shaw