Subject: Types of Mormon Testimonies
Date: May 26 2004
Author: Lost and Found

Even as a TBM, I have always been irritated by and enjoyed pointed out the oddities of mormon culture. One of the most fascinating to me was Fast and Testimony meeting. I hated (and still hate) this meeting. From where I am now, I can see it for what it is . . . an opportunity for members to brainwash each other. To convince each other that the absurd is true by pure repetion of the same phrases, only occassionally in a different order.

However, I found it most amusing to categorize the testimonies. I used to have a whole list of the types and make marks next to each one as I heard it. Then I would summarize it for my roommates back at the apartment (while attending BYU). They would try not to laugh, because it was borderline heresy.

Here are a few samples:

1. The luvimony - common at BYU and in singles wards. This is where two starstruck lovers get engaged and take every opportunity in their 6 week engagement to "thank the Lord for finding the perfect woman (or priesthood holder) etc, etc, etc. "I Love Him/Her SO MUCH!!" Sob, sob, sob.

2. The travelogueimony - this is where someone took a trip and finds a way to relate every single event (including the greasy french fries at Denny's) to the gospel. Can go on for ever . . .

3. The fightimony - one of my personal favorites. This is when friends or family take private disputes public under the guise of expressing gratitude for learning patience, etc. Becomes especially exciting when the other part comes up to bear THEIR "testimony." Great fun . . .

4. The I'm-available-imony - again, common in singles wards (I was single a long time and somewhat of an expert on LDS singles living). This usually occurs when someone is new or at the beginning of the semester. Almost every guy or girl that speaks will make sure to add a tag line somewhere about their available status.

5. The cryimony - my least favorite. It seems that some members are either hormonally impacted by the pulpit, or they can simple turn on and turn off the tears at will. But some people will begin crying the moment they reach the stand and you can barely understand what they are trying to say. Everyone gets to sit uncomfortably through a 10 minute emotional break-down brought on by the truthfulness of the gospel.

6. The trialimony - you can bet that anyone who has recently had a surgery, an illness or just felt that they had a tough week will get up to tell you all about it and how the Lord either A. blessed them to overcome the challenge or B. is showing their love to them by how much He is trying them. Amazing how it usually seems to be the same people that always start with, "This past (week, month, year) has been a really difficult one for me . . . "

7. The gratitudimony - seen most often amoung single girls expressing their gratitude for their righteous roomates. However, it is also seen in family wards with spouses expressing overwhelming gratitude for their perfect partner, children, pets and whatever else. Usually coincides with baptisms and blessings.

8. We're movingimony - the mormon goodbye. Almost every family that moves out of a ward will take the last Fast Sunday as a chance to say thank you and so long.

There were several more, but I can't think of them right off. Anyway, every single one, regardless of the topic, will end with, "and I KNOW the church is true. We ARE led by a prophet. Joseph Smith DID restore the true gospel. in the name . . . " Often as if these statements had something to do with the previous ten minutes of talking. Sometimes someone would slip up and mention Christ, but it wasn't very common.

Any other types of testimonies I've left off?

Subject: The "fullofcrapimony"
Date: May 26 15:49
Author: Roman

Any person who gets up and says they "know beyond a shadow of a doubt" the church is true.

That person is full of crap.

Subject: I have 2 more...
Date: May 26 15:50
Author: Searcher68

It seems that older men like to use the F&T mtg as a forum to give that talk that the bishopric never asks then to give.

The speaker will chastise the members for not doing better in: family history, temple attendance, home teaching, FHE, and on and on and on and...

Subject: Excellent! Yes, I had those as well . .
Date: May 26 16:00
Author: Lost and Found

I called them the "I've got something to say"imony and I attributed it to the same group. Older men basically giving a talk.

The other I called the "chastisementimony" for the same reasons. How funny! It only shows that they are very obvious and real.

Subject: Yes...
Date: May 26 15:51
Author: pwalters forot the Therapymony.

People who get up to the stand and all of the sudden think you are their therapist and that they have to tell you all the details of their pathetic life so that you will come up to them later to give them a hug and tell them that they are all right.

Subject: The check-out-my-testimony-imony
Date: May 26 15:59
Author: anon

Most common in singles wards/church school wards...

This is the male version I'm talking about, about how strong their testimony has grown since their mission (or preparing for it). How much the spirit guides his life. I love families. I love the Lord (just like all you lovely ladies do, hey! we have something in common). sniffle sniffle I've just been so blessed. I want to follow the Lord and serve others, including you, singles-ward girls. Amen.

Subject: That's kind of like the "Overly-confident-imony"...
Date: May 26 16:19
Author: MySongAngel

I remember this older guy bearing his testimony to the Young Single Adults, and at the end, he got really serious and leaned forward and said, "I KNOW this church is true... I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord called Joseph Smith as a prophet of God...yada yada yada" He was so sure, adding emphasis to all of the "know"s. He was staring us down. I mean this guy was SURE. That was just as I was beginning to doubt. I remember wondering how he could be so sure, and I remember thinking that maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough.

Subject: Re: As long as I'm on a roll . . . types of testimonies
Date: May 26 16:02
Author: Anon

The repentimony - someone is being guilted into asking for forgiveness for some offense, real or imagined. Usually the person was right on target for telling someone off but we can't have that in Mormonism so the person has to apologize for telling the truth.

Subject: if-i-don't-get-up-this-month-mom-will-ground-my-a**-imony : (


Subject: The "I'm-only-four-but-my-mom-told-me-everything-to-say-imony" 

Subject: Too funny!! Didn't see to many of those in the singles wards
Date: May 26 16:17
Author: Lost and Found

but I sure see a lot of them now. Hadn't even thought of it. I'll have to add it to the list.

Subject: How about the "phony-imony"?
Date: May 26 16:23
Author: MySongAngel

My bishop does this every month. This guy is the biggest phony, but he thinks he's extra speshul or something. He stands up and tells the congregation how he loves each and every single one of us, and how we are all speshul, and he even goes so far as to say that he gets the ward directory out and prays for every single person one by one. Oh for puke! Then he starts weeping. This guy really should have been a politician. He even looks like Bill Clinton, who is the king of what my bishop does. Everyone in the chapel just sits spellbound by his spiritual highness. Gag.

Subject: or the "today-is-fast-and-testimony-imony"
Date: May 26 16:35
Author: anon

When a member of the bishopric gets up and does his thing, starting with, "I'd like to take this opportunity to..." and ending with "we will now turn the time over to the congregation to say what I just said, or try to one-up me with a more spiritual experience."

Subject: Show-and-tell-a -mony.
Date: May 26 16:37
Author: Dagny

This is the type where they show the new baby, tell "I almost died in the hospital" stories, discuss the wonderful apple pie recipe, tell how they watered a houseplant that leaked onto the stereo thereby learning a lesson, had to decide to buy a piano or new tires, or something similar.

Usually the person telling the story has several children around: one standing on the pew picking his nose, another with Cheerios stuck to his hair going through someone's purse, one playing dots with a friend, another pawing at the mother's blouse while she tries to speak, another crawling under the bench discovering gum underneath.

The woman is just happy to have captive adults to talk to, and by gum she thinks she is interesting.

Subject: "since-nobody-is-scrambling-to-get-to-the-pulpit-i'll-relieve-the-crushing-silence-imony"

Subject: The Show-off-imony
Date: May 26 17:05
Author: Zim

This is usually a young person, senior in high school or pre-mission college. He/She has a captive audience and takes advantage of it. One guy I knew actually said, "I know you've all been wondering what I've been up to in college." :::shudder:::

The fightimony is a personal pet peeve of mine. Maybe I'm too uptight, but I hated when someone used the pulpit to apologize for yelling at his wife or smacking her kid. The luvimony irks me too. If you love your wife, tell her in private we don't care.

Subject: Jesus-loves-you-imony
Date: May 26 17:12
Author: anon

I heard this one at every youth conference testimony meeting. Short and sweet.

"If anyone out there needs to know it, Jesus loves you, and I hope you know it like I do. isaythesethingsinthenameofjesuschristamen."

Subject: Speakin' for God...
Date: May 26 17:38
Author: Dagny

It bugs me when people get up and presume to speak for God. Apparently they know all about Jesus and Heavenly Father, right down to His favorite soft drink choices.

Jesus LOVES you (but He doesn't love so and so of course).
Heavenly Father likes it when you do this or that.
Heavenly Father is sooo happy when you use 2 squares of toilet paper instead of three.
Satan likes it when you turn off the lights in your bedroom.
Jesus just loves children so much!
Heavenly Father needs your money.

I've wanted so many times to ask them exactly how they are privy to such information.

Testimony meeting is a revealing mental masturbation group-think experience for the participants. They need to convince themselves over and over their beliefs are valid. It is a gold mine for the psychologist or anthropologist to observe.

Subject: Oh!!!! What about the "repeat-the-same-testimony-every-month-imony"?
Date: May 26 18:06
Author: MySongAngel

OMG. There is this lady in my ward that drives me nuts. On the weekdays, she is a very friendly, genuine, sweet lady. I just can't stand listening to her testimony every stinking F&T meeting. She's a convert, so I think it is just tragic how badly she's been sucked into all this nonsense. Anyway, she stand up every month and goes on about how JS is a prophet, and how thankful she is for the gospel in her life.... Then she closes by saying that she always bears her testimony because when she dies, she wants her children to remember that their mother had a testimony. I'd be like, "We know Mom!!" Her girls are all hyper-active TBMs, but her boys are all very, er... lukewarm. I guess they got sick of hearing the same old testimony every month for as long as they'd been alive.

Subject: Re: As long as I'm on a roll . . . types of testimonies
Date: May 26 18:24
Author: Mikey

Home Teacher-imony
Baby Blessing-imony
Garments saved my life-imony
I left the iron on and the holy ghost turned it off-imony
I know this church is true because my mommy and daddy told me so-imony
I got up here because Jessica said she would-imony
I'm going on a mission-imony
I just got back from a mission-imony
Life Story-imony
and last but not least..........
Met a dead ancestor in the temple-imony

Subject: I have a really annoying example of that last one...
Date: May 26 18:32
Author: MySongAngel

This lady in my ward was in the temple, and she felt the spirit of her great great grandma "Julie". Then she realized that it wasn't her great great grandma, but her future daughter!!! So she had her ninth kid and named her "Julie". OMG. And she really believes it. I hate to speak ill of her, she's a very nice lady, but wow.

Subject: The thanks for your help, I am here to return the favorimony
Date: May 26 18:49
Author: Fedelm

This was one my ex-husband did, mostly out of guilt for having him and his mom rely on the church welfare for some assistance after she had an accident and near-fatal infection that prevented her from working for almost a year.

The bishop was always reluctant to help with the utilities because they weren't able to pay tithing because his mom was stupid enough to buy a house that her teacher's salary alone couldn't pay the mortgage.

Anyway, I've heard the other stock testimonies, and the F&T after my baptisim, I faked one myself that the gullible Mormons thought was real, when I was full of crap. If you say the stock phrases, they think you really mean it.

Subject: The Bishop-is-so-inspired-imony
Date: May 26 18:51
Author: Fubeca

This usually occurs in Singles Wards in the F&T meeting AFTER that person has confessed some moral sin to the bishop and the Bishop let it slide. Or it takes place just after that person could start taking the sacrament again after a month or so probationary time (during which the males refrain from spanking the monkey and the females refrain from the doing the blue jean slide).

Occasionally on those fine moments when someone has just been rebaptized or un-disfellowshipped, this is especially poignant.

It's usually transparent to most of the ward who has no clue, but the bishopric and especially the ward Exec Sec (me, formerly)know what's going on.

Subject: Just though of another one...
Date: May 26 18:56
Author: Fubeca

The I-never-attend-church-but-I'm-here-today-because-I'm-going-to-ask-the-bishop-for-welfare-assistance-imony

There are the regular welfare families who are normally inactive but who seem to always be there to bear their testimonies so that the bishop will feel their sincerity and fork over a food order after the meeting.

These are also transparent to most of the ward who don't know the scheme.

Subject: The called out of the congregation at
Date: May 26 19:17
Author: Charley

stake conference to bear your testimony imony.

Happened to my entire seminary class. Me first.

Subject: my bishop once said to the y.a. group, If the holy spirit doesn't move you up out of your seats and to the pulpit, I will !!!!!

Subject: Predictions
Date: May 26 19:01
Author: Fubeca

Anyone who has been an Exec Sec for a bishop could pretty easily tell you who is going to bear their testimony each fast Sunday.

All he has to do is look at the past month's bishop interview schedule and that's pretty much the lineup, give or take another regular or two. Anyone who's not on his calendar will be the next month...they're bearing their testinomies to prime the pump before the big confession.

Subject: I'm-the-music-director-and-sit-up-here-anyways-so-I-might-as-well--bear-my-testimony. 

Subject: I thought I would not be able to attend today--imony... .usually because
Date: May 26 20:04
Author: SusieQ#1

of some illness. The one that sticks in my mind is the organist who said she overcame-something-you-women-know-all about-- to be able to sit on the bench..yada yada. We figured it was a yeast or bladder infection!

Subject: the "this is how you bear a proper testimony" imony
Date: May 26 20:03
Author: spinner

When I was living in a small midwestern branch where nearly everybody except my family was converts, my mother would often bear 'model testimonies' that she hoped would show others how to give testimonies. Since she'd grown up in the church and she usually held stake callings of one sort or another, she clearly believed it was her job to show the rest of the sisters the way things were supposed to be.

I don't know if anybody else saw it, but as her child it was easy to tell when she switched into her "I'm teaching you something important now" voice as she gave testimonies. She would proceed to testify how faithful service and obedience in some church-affiliated activity had strengthened her testimony. She would then, at the end, become suitably choked up, finishing her testimony composed but just slightly misty-eyed.

It was always a fine moment of instruction on the proper manufacture and distribution of church-approved emotions.

Subject: The "I have a thick foreign accent so everything I say is either cute or very important-imony"
Date: May 26 20:16
Author: toon

We have this old lady from England who gets up occasionally to bear what is usually a very long story about something. I don't think anyone in the ward has the ever listened, but it sounds cute, so they all smile like the care.

Likewise, there a middle aged man with a thick Italian accent. Again, I have no idea what he ever says, but it sure sounds like he's very wise.

Subject: The event-imony...
Date: May 26 20:21
Author: Surreal_Zen

that huge mob of people who always flood the stand the day after some big event in the ward, or the stake, or their family, or whatever.

Usually: girls camp, boy scout camp, ward campouts, ward firesides/youth activities, stake conference, general conference, family reunions, missionaries leaving, missionaries coming home, someone getting the priesthood, someone coming back from college, whatever.

Related Topics:  71. Testimony Meetings     107 Fast and Testimony Meeting


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