“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father- That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”
Doctrine and Covenants 76-22-24. The glorious appearance of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. When I memorized these verses 39 years ago in Seminary, I had my first true, recognizable brush with deity. The spirit stirred my soul, and via the Holy Ghost I learned that God was real and that he loved me.
Until recently I thought that basic witnesses like this were all there was to a testimony. Then the Mormon Third Eye discovered… Kung Fu Testimonies!
The concept of a Kung Fu testimony originated in the counsel of a wise young member of my church family (which you can read more about here), a rabid reader of the Mormon Third Eye, and Kung Fu aficionado:
“After being taught some of the most basic movements, it was explained to me that the masters often used these very same movements but they do so in ways that are incomprehensible to someone who has not achieved their level of experience.
“I think of the relationship between Master and Apprentice, of Mentor and Student, across numberless applications of physical, mental, and spiritual endeavors. There is one aspect of the training that almost always holds true: The competent Master never provides clear answers. The Master provides the path, the questions, the puzzles that provide the opportunities required for the Apprentice to learn the principals themselves through experience.
Why then do we expect the same from God? Why then, from the greatest of Mentors, do we demand simple answers, clearly defined statements of complex spiritual learning that requires years of experience at the Master’s side?”
Now I’ve been given the privilege of teaching early morning Seminary. At the end of a lesson on D&C 76, I bore my testimony of the Savior to students by repeating the same verses written in the tablets of my heart 39 years earlier. However, in that intervening 39 years, I’ve endured countless rounds of sins and sorrows, of changes and challenges, all of which was experience needed to grow closer to the Savior and rely on his grace for redemption, peace, and joy. The words haven’t changed, but the spiritual wisdom that accompanies them has increased exponentially. I don’t claim to be a Master, but I am no longer an Apprentice.