"I'd like to bear my testimony; I know this church is true. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I love my mom and dad. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
That's nifty, but what does it really mean?
I remember giving a similar testimony all through my years where my age was comprised of one digit. But when people say they "know," how are they really using that word?
By Common Consent has a post on this phenomenon, posing this problem:
I have noticed over the last several decades that, increasingly, expressions of faith are no longer perceived as good enough. Only expressions of KNOWLEDGE!, with its greater perceived certainty, are considered the normative form of discourse in a F&T meeting.
The diminution of expressions of hope/belief/faith/trust in our church culture has, it seems to me, given rise to a rather unfortunate if unintended consequence: faith just isn’t what it used to be.
|Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who "knew"|
As we left church with him, we had to point out to our investigator that hey, some of that stuff you heard isn't church doctrine, it's just Brother So-and-So going off.
Testimony meeting can be whatever the members make it. I think everyone has that person in their ward who gets up almost every month and starts with "I would be an ungrateful servant if I didn't come up here today." No, you wouldn't. But it's very rare that anyone gets up there without saying "I know" two or three times.
I'm going to pay attention next month. My hope is that I hear the words "believe" and "faith" more than "I know." After all, to have faith is better for your soul than to know, isn't it?