Testimony: a meeting with belief

August 3, 2009

For years during my mission, and for many afterwards I believe I understood what a testimony was for me.

It was simple, heartfelt and about Christ.

For years I have found myself tuning out of fast and testimony meeting because so much of it is none of those things.  They are not what I consider to be testimonies.  They often are faith promoting stories, on their best days.

So usually I confess to being a bit skeptical of what members can and do give.  During my time however I have found a real connection with the testimonies of those who I know have had trials.  I know that what they have been given has come with struggle, with a fight and a fierce sense that they have come through the test.

Honestly, when I see those people give a testimony I am finding myself a little bit weepy and emotional, or spiritually charged.

My wife yesterday did both to me.

For more than two years she has been struggling.  Our life has not gone to any sort of plan, and as these things go they start with a life changing experience.  I was fired from a previous job.

Nearly three years later I still do not see a happy ending on the financial front in sight.  Though I completed my degree I have not made the progress from that I thought I could.  As I have chronicled here it left me feeling wasted and weak in spirit.

For the last year I have been fighting an uphill climb.  All the while knowing that my wife had fought a deeper and more emotional one.  For her the past six years have been extremely difficult.  She has been fighting depression for a long time and at times it has made life difficult for her and all of us.  It is not an easy road, the past year has been my deep row to hoe.

So it surprised me, knowing what I know, to see my wife get on her feet and bear a strong sapling of a testimony.  I was both strengthened by it and brought to a great deal of emotion.  It reminded me of how much she had been my rock for the much of our marriage.

The reason for all this introspection comes as our eight year old twins got baptized this weekend.   They were originally born in Wales and were our shock which changed our life forever.  Little did we know that out family would go from two to four overnight in 2000 when my wife discovered she was pregnant.

But now, so many years later I had the great pleasure of taking them and baptizing them.  I felt the spirit stronger than I had in a long time.

I think my wife did too, it created a feeling of warmth and love that we both missed in our church attendance over the last year.

So returning to where I started, I found that my testimony remains simple.   It is best.  It should be unencumbered by dubious “faith promotion” geared in the Saviour and our link to our common family here on earth and to our heavenly parents.

I love that idea I still find in all the years that simple is best.  For me I met my testimony once again, no longer the weak man, stumbling along the road, barely clinging for dear life against the flood of “the world” instead it sits proud and above waving the standard of Zion.

It is good to have him back.

Llyfr Mormon finally in my hands

August 3, 2009

So after a number of years of searching and deciding I have finally gotten a Welsh language (Cymraeg) Book of Mormon.

First shock when looking at it.  No chapters or verses.  I was slightly bemused until I looked at the date of publication.  The date in the copy is 1852.

In other words the Church simply authorized a book that has been in circulation for 157 years.  My thought was almost one of disappointment.  In fact it almost looked like a reproduction of the original version which we have thanks to the yeoman work of John Davis a Welsh convert who was in charge of the Welsh printing for the LDS church.

So it is wonderful to have the book regardless.  But considering the great work by the church to publish Books of Mormon in so many languages I would have hoped some more modern work would be done to bring the book in Welsh out in a manner people are familiar with.

While all Welsh people can speak English, and not all Welsh can speak their mother tongue I think how beneficial it would be in North Wales to bring out a book that my relations can read in their original language.

Anyway, even if I am never going to be able to read it front to back I am thankful to Brother Davis who worked so hard, along with all the Welsh saints who helped fund the first publication.  Also, I think it is wonderful that the Church did put it out regardless.  It is an amazing thing to see this wonderful book with words I can only partially pronounce, and barely have any concept of what they mean, sitting on my shelf.  It fills me which a quite sense of historical wonder.


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