Testimonies of Mormons
“No testimony is more significant to us in our time than the witness of Joseph Smith.” – Robert Hales, Ensign, Nov. 2009, pg. 30.
If you’ve been around enough Mormons in life you’re sure to have noticed the way they talk about their faith; their testimonies are all the same. There are a lot of things the Mormons are taught to do and not to do in their daily lives which is a way to control their thoughts and strip their identity as a unique individual away from them.
For instance the dietary and clothing laws they all must obey, the same “secret names” they’re given at the time of their temple endowments, the same classes that are taught on the same week each Sunday which is governed by Salt Lake City and of course the topic of this article; the “mandated” testimonies of each member (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1471). All of these things mimic each other and work like a smoke and mirror effect to mask the true identity of each person.
By the time a kid gets into kindergarten at the age of five they’ve had plenty of opportunities to practice in public and at home on how to “bear their testimonies”. I’ve written many times how the Church tells its members what to think and say and testimony bearing is just one of the venues in which this is done.
Most testimonies go something like this:
“Today I did…and…I want to say how grateful I am for my family and the temple….and I would like to close my testimony by stating that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. I know the Mormon Church is the only true church on the face of the earth. I bear you my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
This week as Melissa was surfing the net she came across a new tool put out by the Church which members can purchase online or at their local Mormon bookstore. What might it be you ask? It’s called a “Testimony Glove”. My first reaction to this was a sickening feeling that went to the pit of my stomach. This testimony glove is to help a child “gain” or learn the five elements of a testimony. On each of the fingers and the thumb a picture of each important element can be attached to help the child remember what to say while sharing their testimony with others.
This glove is supposed to represent the Holy Ghost. Now according to the Bible, the Holy Spirit resides inside the believer, not the outside (John 14:17) and isn’t a glove used as a shield to protect against contamination? This entire thing is so odd.
The pictures include Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the temple and the current prophet, Thomas Monson. I’m not sure why they have six pictures when the typical human hand only has five digits, but there you go.
I was interested in seeing what their depiction of the Heavenly Father would look like considering I’ve never seen a drawing or painting of him (Mormon or otherwise) and much to my surprise the picture looks just like the white Mormon Jesus with graying hair. What a tangled web we weave. Jesus told us in John 4:24 that God is a Spirit, not some man with graying hair!
What is especially alarming in this whole scenario is the way the Church controls its members. A testimony isn’t something you need to go out and “work” on or “gain”. A testimony is something that is already there. It’s sharing the experiences of your life. It’s as if the kids and adults alike are put on display to show just how good of a Mormon someone might be based upon how many of those elements they interject into their testimony.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1471; “Latter-day Saint missionaries, in particular, rely on testimony bearing, rather than on logic or artifice, to reach their listeners. The impact of this faith and practice is illustrated by Brigham Young’s account of his own conversion to the gospel…”
And convincing people that you need to gain a testimony is another way the Church tries to change the meaning of words which in turn confuses its members and keeps them in the clutches of the evil one. Why is logic a bad thing? The quote above tells us there is something seriously wrong with this. When Mormon missionaries bear their testimonies I always tell people to keep interrupting them by making a noise or just talking. Testimony bearing is a way they self-hypnotize and just keeps them talking in circles, thus running the whole conversation off the proverbial track.
The word testimony means something that is evidential. The Greek word for this is “marturion” – 2 Thess. 1:10. Many believed because of the testimonies of those who had witnessed to them of their lives and the life of Jesus Christ.
In Christian communities worldwide today, just as they did then, the body of Christ shares their testimonies with each other to glorify God. They share how the Lord changed their lives and took them from an empty shell of a person to someone who is now enjoying eternal life with Jesus Christ each and every day. (1 Tim. 6:12) They speak of how they know and can feel the Holy Spirit’s presence inside of them and how it seems to them that they’ve lived two separate lives; the one before they got saved and the life they’re living now. (Paul’s life and his testimony is a great example in Phil. 3:8) As Oswald Chambers eloquently told us, “Many people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart—Jesus Christ, not religion.” I’m praying each day this is what will happen to every single member of the Mormon religion.
Please, pray for my people.
With Love in Christ, Michelle Grim