Here’s how it goes:
Make a chart (like a Bingo chart) of common phrases and occurrences five across and five down. Tailor it to your own situation or ward. When someone says or does something on your chart, you mark it off. When you complete a row, THINK Bingo really loud, and let your friends know with a thumbs up. If you shout BINGO, that’s going a little too far, and you might be escorted out by the Ushers.
Here are some suggestions (Note: you can tone down the sacrilege by avoiding using actual testimony or religious reference in the game. Stick more with the kitsch…):
“…with every fiber of my being…”
“…without a shadow of a doubt…”
“…I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…”
“…it says in my patriarchal blessing…”
“…I have had a revelation…”
You see the beauty of this game is that it actually helps you separate real testimony from the frivolous phrases. If you hear “I know the Church is true, without a shadow of a doubt…” you can listen to “I know the Church is true”, and then you can tune out the rest as you search your card.
But seriously folks…
What is a testimony? Let me back up to my old standard: the Holy Ghost. But then let me back up further by asking:
Do you believe there is a God?
Well? What did you feel at the split second when you read those words before your brain kicked in to really analyze it? Did you feel that there was a possibility that there could be? Did you feel that there definitely is? When you ask yourself those questions, the job of the Holy Ghost is to TELL you the answer (often by a thought in your mind that feels like it came not from yourself). Most of the time He confirms what you already know or suspect. But that feeling you get when you think of those questions, no, the combination of thought/instinct/feeling is the influence from a higher source.
I know nothing about God that the Holy Ghost hasn’t told me or confirmed to me. I have never seen God. I have never met Joseph Smith. But through the influence of, and through experiences of listening to the Holy Ghost, I can honestly say that I believe. I really feel that God lives and that he knows me individually. I really believe that Jesus Christ lives; that he actually suffered pain and death on MY behalf so that I could repent of my wrongdoings and be resurrected, as he was. I have had the experience (many times, too many times!) of sinning and repenting, and I know that the Atonement is real. It is a miracle. Even as I type these things, I feel that old familiar feeling, that peace of mind, that these things are so. I feel so content.
And that is only the tip of the iceberg.
There’s a lot more we could talk about. But I think that’s enough for now. I’ll be seeing y’all on Monday from now on. Have a great weekend.