It’s been roughly a month since we attended our home ward. Today was our first day back. After the sacrament was blessed, passed, and administered, the first counselor in our bishopric got up to â€œthank the young men for the reverent manner in which they passed the sacramentâ€. After they seated themselves, our first counselor proceeded to bear his â€œtestimonyâ€, as is the priviledged right of the one conducting the meeting on sacrament meeting.
I put the word testimony in quotation marks because it really didnâ€™t fit the definition. At first he mentioned how honored he was to have this opportuinity to bear his testimony. He then proceeded:
â€œI am thankful for my calling. I am thankful for the Bishop. I am thankful for my wife. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my son who is serving a mission.Â¨
At this point, we were treated to one of his son’s mission stories that revolved around an investigator and the ordinance of the sacrament. We were then given a five minute talk on the sacrament and its sacred significance. He then closed in the name of Jesus Christ and sat down.
One by one, members of the congregation got up and proceeded in a similar manner, following the tone and pattern that the 1st counselor set forth. In the next 45 minutes, I donâ€™t recall hearing once anyone testifying of their knowledge or faith in Christ, any gospel principle, or anything else that would be related to actual testimony bearing.
I believe what we all witnessed in our ward today was the bearing of the thankimony.
Elder Henry B. Eyring in this talk spoke about the bearing of the testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting.
I specifically find the following interesting:
Those who have prepared carefully for the fast and testimony meeting wonâ€™t need to be reminded how to bear testimony should they feel impressed to do it in the meeting. They wonâ€™t give sermons or exhortations or travel reports or try to entertain as they bear witness. Because they will have already expressed appreciation to people privately, they will have less need to do it publicly. Neither will they feel a need to use eloquent language nor to go on at length.
I wonder why it is that in our LDS culture, the Testimony has evolved into a Thankimony? Is this just one more basic component of the gospel that has been long lost over the years? Are we really so blind that we cannot see how we are .05 degrees off course and slowly substituting proper forms of worship for the the traditions of our fathers? I wonder if the Rameumptom started out as a pulpit that was too short, and built higher so more people could see who was talking?
When I reflect on fast and thankimony meeting, I think â€œWhat happens when LDS are called as witnesses in court?â€ I imagine something like this:
Brother Smith is called as a witness in a traffic accident. He was the only witness of the accident that happened late at night.
Prosecution: Mr Smith, can you give us your testimony as to the events of August 1st at 11:00 pm?
Mr. Smith: I was out walking my dog when the accident happened, and I am so thankful that I had my cell phone with me or I would never have been able to call 911 in time!
P: Ah, yes Mr. Smith, that was fortuinate, but can you testify of what you saw happen?
S: Yes, the police arrived at the scene. I am so thankful for the police force of our city. They are always available when we need them. I don’t know how society would function without then. Our police force is so selfless in how they serve. They put themselves in harms way to protect us. I am so grateful for all they do for us!
Judge: Mr. Smith, while we all share your feelings of gratitude for the police force, the prosecution is asking for your testimony as to the events of the accident. Can you share those with us?
S: Sure. The accident was horrible and the people in the cars were terribly injured, I am so thankful for the paramedics that arrived on the scene. They were so skilled in helping those poor people. We should all be grateful for the many lives they save. I hope and pray that if I am ever in need of medical attention, that they are there to help me.
P: Judge, I have no furthur questions for this witness. Clearly he has nothing to share about the accident.
Are we LDS really this ignorant?