Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Actual Mormon Testimony

From infancy, Mormon children are indoctrinated with "their" testimony. It is heard and repeated thousands of times. It involves "knowing". Notice in the following testimony how this person "knows". It is never believed.

This is a cookie-cutter testimony. This person has been brainwashed with it their whole life. Mormons change the order around sometimes but it always involves knowing that 1) Joseph Smith was a true prophet, 2) the Book of Mormon is true, 3) we have a living prophet on the earth today, 4) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church, 5) god lives and loves us, and 6) being grateful that "I know" all these things.

If you've heard one testimony, you have heard them all. Check it out:

"I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church. I know that it is Christ's church restored to the earth in our day by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a testimony that God answers our prayers, that He loves us, and that He sent His Son to die for us. I bear testimony that our Savior is our perfect example, that He did perform the atonement for us, and that through Him we all may be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. I am so grateful to have the Book of Mormon so that I can continually feast upon the Word of God. I know that this book is true and can give us direction in our lives. I am grateful for all scripture, including the Bible and the words of our living prophets and apostles. I know that our modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is a true prophet of God who leads and guides us in these days. I am so grateful that I have been able to grow in this knowledge through the guidance and assurance of the Holy Ghost. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a member of the church. My hope and prayer is that all might have the opportunity to gain this knowledge for themselves."

Becoming LDS

Pretty sad... and I am embarrased to admit that I spouted this crap too, almost word-for-word.

Mormons are under the false impression that repeating their testimony will make everyone have an orgasm with desire to join the church. It will confound the wise and the learned. Children will silence professors. It will trump any and all arguments that can ever be forged by the enemies of the lord.

A testimony is bullet-proof armor to a warrior, now repeat after me, "I know..."


Smorg said...

I never could understand the mentality. :o( The missionaries that worked on me kept doing it (repeating their testimony), and the fact that the various different missionaries stated the same testimony pretty much verbatim over and over again was one of the things that creeped me out about the LDS church. I mean... I'm used to hearing parrots do that, but humans? Grown up college educated humans??? :oP And the look in their eyes when they do it... like they're trying to hypnotize you or something.

It got worse when I started going to church with them (out of curiosity) only to find that all the Sunday testimony givers ended their speech the same way... and at least 3/4 of them could hardly finish the 'testimony' ending part without cracking up (they started to cry or all of the sudden increased their speech speed to get it over with ASAP). I had a distinct impression that those guys (and some gals) didn't really believe what they were saying but felt compelled to say it (because it was expected of them), and they cracked because they knew they were being dishonest.

Come to think of it, this verbatim a-dime-a-dozen testimony thingy might make a good America's Funniest Home Video if someone thinks to tape it at various Sunday meetings... :oP

postmormongirl said...

Testimony meetings always made me feel anxious; spouting all of those rote phrases "I know" while only "believing" ending up making me feel really crappy about myself. I felt like a bad person.

Tyson Devereux said...

The irony

AngryDuck! said...

I think the easiest way to approach the religious with the gnostic claim of "I know" is with "prove it." Nearly everything in our world is based on belief. We can say that "I know an airplane can fly" because I see airplanes flying. But when I say "I know this airplane will fly", it's a belief, not knowledge. Granted, it's a belief based in reason, previous experience, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Thus, I think that "knowing a plane will fly" is more likely to be true than "knowing a god exists, and it's the god I've been taught to believe in."

Whenever I hear a theist make such a claim, I always challenge them to prove it. Knowledge can be shared through demonstration, and if they cannot demonstrate the knowledge they claim to have, and its veracity, then I point out to them that it's not knowledge, it's belief.

Johnson H said...

I had some Mormon missionaries over. At one point, one of the missionaries gave his testimony, and followed it with the challenge, "Do you believe it?"

I answered that I accept that he believes it. I then asked him if he could tell me a bit more about how he arrived at his testimony. He refused, and said, "That's all I'm going to say."

I wasn't trying to 'gotcha' him. I was truly curious.

As a follower of Jesus the Christ (purely the Biblical one, so not meaning LDS), I have a testimony. It involves how God revealed Himself to me in my life, how He demonstrated His reality, and how He radically changed me from the inside out. Scripture tells me that I should, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).

I have trouble giving my testimony without tears, because even to this day the echoes of those events cause intense emotions.

It's like asking me about how I met my wife, or how I felt when my children were born.

I rejoice in telling those stories, because they are about people I love, and these stories bring out all that love. God's story most of all.

A testimony is not something that you build by repetition.

If it is real, it erupts from you because you cannot keep it locked inside.

I think you can guess my opinion of Mormon testimonies.

Agnostic NOT Atheist said...

The most effective method I've found in dealing with the LDS is the compassionate and reasoned application of Huxley's agnostic principle.
Very short summary ----

Unknown said...

Most of us get lost in story that does start at the beginning or understand the beginning. Once we begin to understand that Astronomy, History, Mythology and Religion are all One Store not only of this world but of pass worlds, our percent world, and even notes of a future world or worlds that are to came, to us in many ways. For one we can now see worlds in the making just like the Bible states by looking at the Hubble Telescope videos and see the gathering of materials from other worlds into a Black Hole and then exploding into new galaxies, with solar systems with worlds, some just like ours.
Mythology and History [Prehistoric life] some of what’s recorded in this earth may well be from other planets that help to make our planet which could make both Science and the Bible right at the same time if we use the time of Kolob as recorded in the scripture [both old and modern] and in some of the structures of this world and understand that the 7 days of creation according to Kolob’s time, equals thousands of years if translated right or millions. So now both atomic and other scientific dating could all be right. And that Gnostic scripture and Orthodox scripture [Bible] and even Mythology are part of the one complete store of our earth and do not need to separated in to different fields of study because in reality it all the same history or that include history that came from other worlds like ours but maybe not so good as ours form which we are lead to believe is some way that, that prehistoric history with creatures that were never of this world but embedded in earth of ours.
The truths of the manor are that world [men, its people] has always understood and/or believed in God and gods. That the truth is that there were many gods but that our Heavenly Father, God, of this world, as we know it from the Bible is our GOD that we believe in and that the other gods that have been part of this world are his sons or daughter and/or angles and/or maybe even ourselves in spirit from. For God said; “Let us go down and make man” and that why we are a little different but yet we are the same.
A lot of the prehistoric life that we think of that belongs to this world in reality, they are part of other worlds that help to make this our world. And the sooner we put these time lines together in the right order the soon we’ll learn the truth about ourselves. I am publishing a book “Astronomy, History, Mythology and Religion are All One Story” hopefully to be completed by the end next year and before that “The Christmas Story According to Grandfather, Grandfathers” that knew or work for a Magi had a different Christmas story; a new testament that starts at the beginning before His birth, [Jesus’] and on to what happen to the two Mary and other of His company and the Magi’s children that were born during their journey to Bethlehem. And can be confirmed by obtaining or learning to obtain personal testimony not from the works of men but from our Heavenly Father, God and Jesus Christ words and the Comforter that will give you a personal testimony that men will not be able to affect or change like in times of old.
If we learn to make science and religion right together without agendas to make one right or others wrong but to pull out all of the right thing out each one and remove the wrong things, then we will learn to live in peace for that is what God, Jesus, and all the world truly want which is freedom to chose what is right and not forcing anyone into an one science or religion or from of government. For force is of the Satan and Nature before our God and/or Satan there were and are laws, Natures Laws that world, men and even the universe, and God have to follow and each has a immune system built in to; you, the world and beyond that will destroy that which try to destroy that which is good and made by the nature of the gods and even our God has to follow. Some have even said that the caller of the immune system is Satan. I Know my testimony but you have to learn and earn your own just test the laws and you'll know for your self!

Unknown said...

I noted the some of my words came out wrong. First Sentence. Most of us get lost in story that doesn’t start at the beginning or understand the beginning. You have to truly want your own testimony mind doesn't matter and you don't needed from people that want to keep there theories alive because you can only get from God by ask God its not a reasoning thing but you'll only know that when you get it.

sentry said...

I think it is obvious and logical that the prime purpose of both the Mormon Church and Jehovah's Witnesses, has been and is, to give door-to-door witnessing a bad name, and to make discussion of the real Gospel, of the Bible, more difficult. Think about the net effect of the two cults. They make people shun anyone who comes to their door to bring them the real Gospel. They have done to real canvass witnessing, what telemarketers have done to telephones in people's homes. They don't answer until they can see its not a telemarketer. How many people don't ever hear the true Good News of Jesus Christ, because of the constant visits of cult fanatics? They don't answer the door.