Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Mormon Testimony Meeting



On the first Sunday of every month some Mormons go without food and water for two meals. Then at their worship services they set aside about 45 minutes to talk about the ways that Jesus has impacted their lives. Then they donate what they would have spent on those two meals they didn't eat to comfort the afflicted. A famous Mormon Church defender and Mormon Church critic, Hugh Nibley, adapted the saying about newspapers to the church that its purpose should be to: "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". I think this fasting and testimony is supposed to operate along those lines at multiple levels: going without food and water, donating some money, and then sitting through the meeting on an empty stomach. At least I think that is the way it is supposed to work. Velvy and I usually forget to not eat. I get the impression most people donate the equivalent of two meals of rice and water for the afflicted. And then, despite the best efforts of the Church, people talk about their latest vacation, or their latest surgery, or some other crazy off-topic subject. But it is an awfully democratic meeting. Anybody can get up and talk about whatever they want, like a religious open mic. And if the crazies didn't get up, would we recognize the sane? Those professing true and honest faith and authentic religious feelings? So while we groan about Sister So and So gets up to talk about her gallstones, I think we'd miss her if she didn't do it next month. 

5 comments:

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

What a great description of your Fast Sunday. This belongs in the Ensign. Me and mom give a lobster size donation however. Eldon

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

That's a pretty fair description. Only I hope you were kidding about the gallstones. Last month I got up and urged them to learn the new.familysearch program. It sounded like an advertisement instead of a testimony. And it didn't bring any results. This is the first calling I've had where you have to "sell" your services.

Mom

Los Bluemels said...

so you had a good day and you can't wait for next month, is that what you're trying to say?

Tiffiny said...

HA HA! I love it!

brenda said...

I thought you were supposed to give 10x the cost of the two meals. Our last bishop suggested 1%, (like a tenth of your tithing). I almost asked for a refund.