Monday, June 04, 2007

What is a Testimony

Just what is a testimony anyway? It is much different when comparing testimony from the viewpoint of Law vs Religion.

Under Law, testimony is a form of evidence obtained from a witness making a statement or declaration of fact. (more or less, I'm not a Lawyer).

Under Religion, testimony is an outward profession of faith or inward belief.

One is based on fact, the other opinion...hmm, something to think about.

We are taught thru religion to nurture our testimonies and to let them grow. One way to grow your testimony is to bear it. Let me think about that for a minute. If I say something enough times, the more I will believe it. Interesting concept. Can something be considered brainwashing if it is self induced?

13 Comments:

At June 4, 2007 at 10:09 AM, Blogger Elder Joseph said...

The Mormon testimony is one of the scariest things I've seen in my religious search ..

I've been investigating nearly two years and when I probe some missionaries about their testimonies , I find that non of them have actually experienced anything ...... except they may cite a little something here and a little something there which collectively is building up their testimony .... However even though they bear Testimony in church because they have to , many if not all are actually lying .. They have no choice but to repeat the Mantra 'I Know blah blah '....

Testimony in the Mormon Church is a form of shield against reality and real truth about their church .

 
At June 4, 2007 at 7:09 PM, Blogger Bishop Rick said...

Kids start bearing testimony at a very young age. They recite memorized lines such as,

"I know the church is true, I know that so-and-so was a prophet, I hope to get married in the temple someday. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

This type of "testimony" is engrained from before they are baptised at the age of 8, and continues throughout the rest of their lives.

I can't help but think that alot of times these testimonies are nothing more than a conditioned response.

 
At June 4, 2007 at 10:55 PM, Blogger Sister Mary Lisa said...

Off topic here, but I think the mountain in Yosemite that I couldn't remember the name of just happens to be the most recent post of Janet's blog.

Hm.

 
At June 4, 2007 at 11:04 PM, Blogger Sister Mary Lisa said...

I'd like to bear my testimony. I know this blog is true. I know that Bishop Rick is a true blogger of God. I love my mom and dad. I know that I can live with my Heavenly Father someday if I choose the right and follow Joseph's plan for me and embrace polygamy in the next life.

I say these things humbly inthenameofJesusChristamen.

 
At June 7, 2007 at 4:54 PM, Blogger Elder Joseph said...

bishop rick ,

The whole Mormon faith relies on conditioning .

1 get the prospective convert to have a testimony .. Missionary's job is to say 'you are great' 'you are awsome''the growth is amazing' 'Heavenly father loves you ' 'we love you' blah blah

2 then baptise

3 hope they never search the net

4 if they do make excuses

5 they have been in so long and have bourne testimony that it won't matter if they find out now .They'll look a fool if they backtrack over factual infornmation and anyway its too late they have family in church now as well .

6 enjoy the bullsh*t for the rest of your days , endless boring meetings etc ....

 
At June 8, 2007 at 3:26 PM, Blogger The Sacred Sister said...

Great post Bishop... I have a story to go along with this (of course!)...
When I was around 5, I went up to bear my testimony and as I stood in line behind several other children, I listened and memorized their testimonies:
"I know the church is true, I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, I love my Mom and Dad and my brothers and sisters..."
My turn came, I quickly bore my testimony and as I was walking back to my seat (quite proud of myself) an older man in the ward said, "Honey, come 'ere"
I stopped and stood next to him at his pew. I will never forget what he said because it just broke my little heart, "You don't have any sisters; why'd you say that?" It was only then that I realized I had said how grateful I was for my brothers and sisters like all the other children before me. The man was right, I had no sisters at that time. I was so flustered, I just said, "Yes I do!" Then I ran back down the aisle to sit with my family.
To this day, I not only remember that, but it's a perfect example of what happens when children hear something over and over... you eventually believe it.

 
At June 8, 2007 at 6:29 PM, Blogger Bishop Rick said...

Sacred Sister,

That is a great story. Makes me want to punch the jerk that broke your heart, then thank him for pointing something out to you that you may not have fully appreciated until years later.

 
At June 8, 2007 at 6:31 PM, Blogger Bishop Rick said...

A testimony is not a reliable barometer.
You can convince yourself of anything.
A testimony is nothing more than a good feeling about something you have already convinced yourself of - whether consciously or not.

There are millions of people that have a testimony of the Koran and will strap bombs to themselves to defend both the Koran and their testimony.

You would have to be pretty convinced about something to do that. I would venture to say that habib (fictional character) has as strong a “testimony” about the truthfulness of the Koran and Islam as TBMs have about the BofM and Mormanism.

They can’t both be right.

Having the same result about two opposing things using the same method of proof leads me to think the following:

They are both right -
This is impossible

One is right -
If this is true then the method of proof is flawed since it produced 2 opposing results

Both are wrong -
This is the most likely scenario

Just my observations

 
At June 14, 2007 at 8:25 PM, Blogger Rick said...

I don't think I ever believed my own testimony . . . but I gave it a lot . . . like a testimony 'ho. I was putting out at F&T meetings, at missionary events, at seminary . . . wherever. I had a good act and I knew how to play the audience. I wish I'd have pursued it and become a televangelist or motivational speaker. I could have made bucks.

- CV Rick

 
At June 19, 2007 at 6:47 AM, Blogger JulieAnn said...

My dad once told me that having a testimony of the 'gospel' was like having an orgasm.

He wasn't...well.

Thank GOD I got therapy and don't say 'amen' every time I have a screaming "O".

 
At June 20, 2007 at 10:51 PM, Blogger Zelph said...

I just learned something today and that is that the Tanners knew right away that the Salamander Letters were fraudulent, when the brethren were deceived. Hah! And the Letters were strong evidence against the church. Looks like the "spirit" isn't a very good indication of what is true.

 
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