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I Know This Church Is True: Repeat -- Writer's Poke #204

Once a month, the LDS do something called a Fast and Testimony meeting. For one hour, members of the church have the opportunity to share their testimonies, either at the podium up front, or with a portable microphone at their seats in the audience.

Sometimes these meetings start out quite slowly, but go on they do. Even if no one volunteers to speak, everyone will remain seated for the entire period. If the silence goes on for too long, people tend to look around, wondering who will break the tension by sharing their testimony.

So what is an LDS testimony? Basically, it is a statement of belief. Everyone that gives a testimony shares their individual stories, but all assert the following: 1) I know the church is true, 2) I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and 3) I know that Book of Mormon is the word of God.

Some people give their testimonies every month, while others rarely speak, but when they do, they sometimes get pretty emotional about it. Why the emotion? Perhaps they're overcome by the spirit, or perhaps they just have a fear of sharing a public testimony.

Can you really "know" a belief? Does the little kid that goes up to parrot his testimony really know what he's saying? And why do all testimonies end with the three part assertion noted above?

How is the use of repetition key to developing a belief?

"Creative minds have been known to survive any kind of bad training." -- Anna Freud

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