There are some who’d say that their “testimony of the gospel” is an anchor. I’d say, that’d be true during the stormy times of life. That’s when you need an anchor the most. It keeps you grounded, in place, while turbulence tries to unpeg you. And the deeper you’re rooted, the stronger you’ll hold. Anchors are the best when you want to stabilize during unstable times.
However, life isn’t always stormy. On the sunny days of life, you know…the more mundane, everyday, regular walk and talk of life…what usually happens to anchors? They’re often just dead weight.
And that’s what I’ve noticed whenever some people “bear testimony”…or declare what they claim to believe to be true. They just say “I know…” just for the sake of saying “I know…” There’s no life to it any more when it comes to regular, day-by-day living. For example, the statement “I know that this Church is true” is said more out of habit than out of conviction. Dead weight. So what!? The claim is true. There’s just no life to it. “I have a strong testimony of…(insert whatever)” Another “Dead weight”.
What’s the difference between a weak testimony and a strong testimony? What’s a strong testimony anyway? And what’s a testimony to begin with? Well, you either witnessed something, or you didn’t. If you did, what’s your claim and declaration? That’s A TESTIMONY! Are you sure you witnessed it? Was it confirmed by a second witness? Then that’s a SURE TESTIMONY, backed by a witness! No strong or weak about it. It happened, you witnessed it, and it’s backed up. If that witness was the Holy Ghost….EVEN BETTER! Because now you have a member of the Godhead to back you up! No one can tell you otherwise…and you’d better not change your mind. That’s a HEAVEN-STAMPED TESTIMONY!
But, you know what…we don’t go around telling people, “I have a Heaven-Stamped Testimony!” for the same reason we really shouldn’t be saying “I have a strong testimony.” Because then we’re focusing on ourselves….like saying “na-na-nah-na-na-nah! I got a Testimony and you don’t!” We shouldn’t place nor attract attention on ourselves when it comes to what we know. We just live by what we know is true…quietly, firmly, consistently, and with full expectation that the Lord will back you up whenever it’s needed. And when people ask us why we’re so immovable, we can then tell them, quietly, humbly, “Here’s what I know that the Spirit of God has told me is true….” And we go and tell them what we discovered. And we tell them how they can do it for themselves. And we tell them that God can send his Spirit to let them know what we know. And we let them know for themselves.
And then, we leave it at that.
I KNOW – I SHOW
For a testimony to come alive, there comes a point when “I know…” has to become “I show…”
You live what you know is true. Each day. And when you do, it affects you: You’re not as worried. You are at peace. You have hope and anticipation. You are anchored in times of distress, joyful in moments of happiness, enduring and patient in times of trial, comforting in times of sorrow, and firm in the face of derision and persecution. You love when there is none around. You forgive when it is lacking. You are trustworthy when none are to be found. You are faithful when others cower behind weakness and fear. You are repentant and humble when you’ve done wrong. You are meek and teachable. And you understand your place before God.
Why? Because You KNOW. You KNOW that you’ll get through it. You KNOW that the Lord is with you. You KNOW that you’ll eventually get the help that you need. You KNOW that you can be forgiven. You KNOW that God is watchful and mindful and loving. You know that you’re loved, that you’re important, especially to Him. And soon, what you know not just affects you…but others around you. And that’s when you know that there’s POWER in a HEAVEN-STAMPED TESTIMONY.
You KNOW. Not “You Just Know”. But “You Now Know”.
And that’s when your Testimony turns from an everyday Deadweight…into a ROCK, A FOUNDATION TO BUILD UPON. And when you have a Testimony of Jesus Christ and all that He’s done…for you and all around you…then He becomes YOUR ANCHOR, YOUR ROCK, YOUR FOUNDATION…upon which you cannot fall.
The LDS Lamplighter