Definitions

testimony meeting

Fast and testimony meeting

Fast and testimony meeting is the common term for the Fast Sunday sacrament meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during which those members, who feel prompted, share (or "bear") their testimony with the other members of their congregation or ward.

While individual "testimony bearers" are directed by the feelings of their heart or by the spirit (Holy Ghost) as to what to share when bearing their testimony, the formula for a "proper" testimony includes a personal witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ or the truthfulness of the Church, Joseph Smith or of the Book of Mormon. Often, however, testimonies take on a less strictly LDS tone and may include personal stories of overcoming trials or other faith-promoting experiences. There is sometimes the problem in testimony meetings of emotionalism, which has led to statements such as the following (from an official LDS publication):

President Howard W. Hunter offered this counsel: "Let me offer a word of caution....I think that if we are not careful..., we may begin to try to counterfeit the true influence of the Spirit of the Lord by unworthy and manipulative means. I get concerned when it appears that strong emotion or free-flowing tears are equated with the presence of the Spirit. Certainly the Spirit of the Lord can bring strong emotional feelings, including tears, but the outward manifestation ought not to be confused with the presence of the Spirit itself". (Preach My Gospel, p. 99).

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