Growing up my favorite testimonies were the funny ones: When a young boy announced that his mom was having a baby- information that as I recall wasn't supposed to be shared and the best part, that he'd learned how she got the baby got in there and that's just gross. And my all time most memorable, the sister who was recalling a mission experience where she dropped a peeled, boiled egg on a floor covered in cat hair and the woman of the house popped it in and out of her mouth to clean it off for the sister, who, to be polite, ate it- I should mention I was 5 when I heard that story, it's stuck in my head for almost 40 years (Yes, I just gave a hint to my age.) I'm sure she related it to something spiritual but I don't remember that part.
When I was still young, sometime in elementary, a friend (who I thought was THE coolest around) bore her testimony and really cried, hard. She couldn't stop even after she'd sat down. I'd seen ladies cry at the pulpit but not kids. I remember wondering if something was wrong. My mom told me that my friend just really felt the spirit, she was crying because she was happy. I remember thinking I, too, wanted that experience someday.
And I have had it. I've had that feeling when I've born my testimony and when I've had spiritual experiences. And a few times I've had that feeling when I have heard others bare their testimonies - that feeling when you feel the spirit, felt that persons passion, love and conviction and get tingly, a testimony where the spirit isn't just in the room but seems to be all through you, where love, joy and peace overwhelm you and all your desires become Christ centered. I've been fortunate enough to have felt it twice in a week. The most interesting part? They were both memorized lines from Joseph Smith's first vision. These are lines I've heard many times but but in both instances they weren't just borrowed lines, they came from the barer's heart.
"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me... When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other- This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
The first time occasion was when we were sitting in on a discussion with sweet Makenzie and one of the missionaries, Elder Bloomfield softly spoke those same words then humbly let us know that he believed them to be true. That feeling poured through me and I couldn't stop the tears. Their words (Joseph Smith's and Elder Bloomfield's) moved me and I am grateful. There was no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith was a true prophet who as a young boy desiring to know which church to join, did as the scriptures say and prayed to our Father in heaven about what to do. I also knew in that moment that our Father and His son answered Joseph's prayer in person.
The second time I heard this was this past Sunday. A sweet Sister in our ward said that when in the mission training center she and her husand were challenged to memorize those lines from Joseph Smith's account so that they could share it with investigators. She then recited it to us, with quiet feeling. And the spirit was strong. I wasn't the only one who felt it. The spirit testified to me in that moment those same things that I'd felt one week prior. It's significant that Joseph's question was of such importance that for the first time our Father didn't just send his Son but they came together.
I've decided I must memorize those words. I hope someday the time will be right that I can share them with someone and that Joseph's words will effect them in the same way they did me.