Pages from the Hartle Playbook: Sharing a Testimony

Sharing a Testimony
“Pages from the Hartle playbook” are posts usually designed to share a little about me and my family as well as our experiences in dealing with blindness on a daily basis. But this post is going to be a little different. While I share insights to my thoughts and personal life in these posts, I’ve aimed to make this blog more of a resource than just a personal “about me” one. But, I hope that you will indulge me with this post as it is something I feel very strongly about.
This past week at church we were issued a challenge to
Have a “missionary” experience during the upcoming week. “Missionary” experiences are moments when we take an opportunity to share with someone not of our faith our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, something about our church, and/or our religious beliefs. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often known by its nickname of “The Mormon Church.”) I have to admit that I’m not very good about sharing the gospel with people not of my faith. I know and love what I believe, and am willing to share my beliefs with others, but I guess I am reluctant sometimes to invite others to learn more about my faith—mostly because I am afraid of offending others, or having others mock what I believe and hold very sacred. In any case, I was thinking about how easy it is for me to go up to people I see who are blind and start telling them about my philosophy about blindness and high expectations for blind people and yet something that is far more important to me, (my testimony of Jesus Christ and my religious beliefs) is really hard to speak openly about with others not of my faith. So, I wanted to take this missionary challenge and thought maybe I could use this blog post as a vehicle for that today.
I would like to invite any of you reading who may be curious to know more about “The Mormons” to visit http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org to learn more about our beliefs. I would also welcome any personal questions which I will do my best to answer.
This next part is where it gets hard for me as it’s not perceived as “cool” in our society to talk about God sometimes or to share our religious beliefs openly without being thought of as a fanatic or “ultra-Christian” (which usually has a negative connotation), , but here goes. I want to let you know that I have a very strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know he lives, loves us, and knows each of us individually. I’ve seen his hand in my life and been blessed in more ways than I could ever imagine. I know that he came to earth and suffered for our sins thus making it possible for us to return to live with him and our Heavenly Father again. The atonement is something I know I only understand less than a fraction about, but I continue to see its power in my life on a regular basis. I believe this is his gospel restored to the earth today as he taught during his time on earth, complete with all the keys and principles he instituted. I have a testimony of the Bible as a sacred, inspired book of scripture. I also have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and believe it to be another testimony of Jesus Christ written for our day to be a companion book of scripture to the Bible. I have read it and prayed about it and know for myself that this is true scripture from God. I believe that we do have living prophets today who still receive direct revelation from God for us and our world today. I believe that Joseph Smith, a prophet, was called of God to restore Christ’s church to the earth and to bring about the Book of Mormon. I think a lot of people believe that we worship Joseph Smith, and not Jesus Christ, so I want to clarify that we respect Joseph as a prophet, but believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. I also have a very strong testimony of prayer and know it works and that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayers—maybe not always as we want, or when we want, but he does hear us and bless us, and he loves us.
So there you have it. I hope that none of you will take offense at this or stop reading my blog as result, or even ridicule my beleifs. This took great guts for me to post this. Instead, I hope you will receive this in the light that it was meant. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share something of great importance to me.


3 thoughts on “Pages from the Hartle Playbook: Sharing a Testimony”

  1. I don’t think there is anything “uncool” or bad about you sharing your faith. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for you because you hold your faith so strongly. Your blog is your space to express your views. Take the feedback people provide, but don’t be afraid to share what you think, especially about the things you hold so dear.

  2. Mary Jo,
    I found your blog quite by chance and have enjoyed reading through it. It is thought provoking. Wow, what you just said, rings so true. Why are we more cautious about sharing the Gospel than about sharing the NFB, Braille or blindness? They are all important, but the most important of all i the one we are more hesitant to share with others.

  3. I can related to you about sharing your feelings and love for your religion practice. I am a Catholic and my immediate family was brought up Catholic, but a few of my family members have switch over to Baptist, but they make it very hard for me and my feelings at times. I just hate when they make an effort in front of other people to say we worship the statue of the Blessed Mother and the Saints instead of praying to our Father in Heaven, which is far not the truth. We actually asks these Saints to pray for us and our love ones. Because people don’t understand things or was told something that is not the truth when they were a child they seem to keep hold onto a false fact forever.

    I have always been interested in knowing why The Church of the Latter Saint got there name. Why is the name Latter Day Saint is used?
    Also, I often wonder why the Church of the Latter Day Saint are so involved in family research so I got on the web site you suggested and I learn a lot what a great service and belief about our past and future.
    Now I have a question about the Church of the Latter Day Saint: Do your church promote multi wives I don’t think they do, but I want to finally know for sure anyhow, since I am not really educated about your church and was told in the past that this is one of the practice of the Latter Day Saints.
    I am not an extremely church goer person and its almost impossible with taking care a multi handicap person with no help, and I am single, black, 65 years old; but I love learning about people and new things when I have the time. It seems like the people from The Church of the Latter Day Saint are very peaceful and happy people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s