Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Manly Man Training #13: Testify

When I was a child listening on Fast and Testimony Sunday I had a hard time connecting with what people were saying.  I needed something to help me pay attention and not get energetic and rambunctious.  So I started keeping a tally of the number of men versus women bearing their testimony to keep me somewhat focused.  I quickly noticed that repeatedly, month after month, women were more likely to bear their testimony.  I began to wonder why that was the case.  For years that seemed to be the case.  Why were more women bearing their testimony than men, I wondered.  Was there some difference between men and women that led to this inequality month after month?
In the past couple of years I have noticed that more men are bearing their testimony as well as more boys and young men.  The numbers have equalized by my counting and it is not uncommon for men to actually outnumber the ladies in bearing their testimony. 

Manly men need to bear their testimony.  Of course I don't mean just in Fast and Testimony meeting, but in life.  Men need to bear their testimony to their family.  Manly Men need to make a stand and declare what they stand for.  I remember hearing a talk in the last couple of years about the importance of fathers bearing their testimony to their children and I decided to write mine and put it in a book for my children.  The example of a man bearing his testimony both in his own home to his children as well as in the meeting are important to his family and to other observers. Just the action of bearing our testimony can influence others for good, irrespective of what we say.   It could be that there is a little boy like me that is keeping track and wondering why a testimony is important especially for a man.   

When I was a teenager it became accepted practice, for a while, that if one of us stood up that we could encourage a specific individual to do so after us.  So a teenager might stand to bear their testimony and mention a friend in the congregation and encourage them to bear their testimony too, while at the pulpit.  Of course that would be embarrassing but we figured if we had the courage to go up and do it then our friends should too.  I believe our action of verbalizing our testimony in a meeting helps others think that they could do the same thing, we literally encourage them by our example.

It is important that men strengthen their testimony by bearing it as well as living it.  I think I understand how that works now.  If we develop a testimony but keep it to ourselves, it tends to never get strong enough to have power in our lives or other's lives.  Similar to faith without works, there are action parts to the testimony.  If we put our testimony into words it requires that we think about it and that process of thinking and delivering helps define what our testimony is and isn't to ourselves as well as others.  The delivery also serves as a declaration of our belief and makes others aware of it and consequently we can receive support in living up to it. 

In a marriage our wife likes to hear us bear our testimony.  She knows our beliefs probably more intimately than any other person and would be the one who could most accurately measure our testimony, outside or ourselves.  She will appreciate hearing our words of testimony especially when they match our actions that she sees in our life.  The testimony we bear verbally as well as the one we show through our actions in our life, and especially in our home, will bear great dividends.  It will assure and comfort our family that we are trying to do the things that they know we should and that we likely teach them that they should do.  Our actions in this regard strengthen our words and indicate that they are truly meaningful to us, consequently making them powerful to our families and friends.  [Naturally if we tell our testimony at church and then do not show it at home then those actions will weaken the power of our words and weaken the faith and hope of our families.]

So as a Manly Man please bear your testimony of the Savior, the gospel, the church, the importance of families and the reality of a meaningful daily religion and it's power to help us in our daily trials.  The dividends are that your family will be strengthened and be more unified in the Gospel and that other people will be influenced for good through the Spirit of your testimony. 

1 comment:

  1. amen!!! :) i remember noticing that when i was younger as well. as a result i think i've been more impressed by men who are willing to get up and bear their testimonies, and it tends to catch my attention a bit more when they get up behind the pulpit. bearing testimony is definitely a manly man trait :)


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