Have you ever felt nervous about sharing your testimony? You’re not alone. I know I have and the first young single sister missionary did too. Her name was Inez Knight. At twenty-two years old, she was called to serve a mission in England.
Just a few days after her arrival, one of the Elders announced that “real live Mormon women” would speak at church. Upon hearing the announcement, Inez had a “sickly feeling.” When it came time for her to speak she did “mid fears & trembling, but did surprise myself.” Over the coming days she testified more frequently and shared her love of the gospel, but she was still nervous. “Still it seemed to me I was more frightened every time I was called upon to talk. “Oh those fearful trembling feelings I shall never forget.” On a later occasion she said, “I spoke in the evening to large crowd, but was blessed with prayers of other missionaries.”
I appreciate how honest Inez was as she recorded her thoughts and feelings in her journal. It was apparent that Inez loved the gospel…she loved it enough to preach in England for twenty-six months. But, she had moments of fear and doubt just like you and me. As I read Inez’s journal, I noticed two things that helped her overcome her nervousness:
She faced her fear head on. Every day, Inez woke up, tied up her boots and headed out the door to share the gospel. I’m sure there were days when she wanted to stay curled up in bed reading a good book, but she kept moving.
When we are faced with the decision to share our testimonies and speak out we can either stay silent (essentially stay in bed) or we can open our mouths. I remember being sixteen years old. I was working in Washington D.C. for the summer and was the first time I lived away from my family and surrounded by peers who were not members of the church. One Sunday, a few of my roommates and I were walking around Capitol Hill. One of my faithful Christian roommates told me how she was feeling lost and like God wasn’t there. I was prompted to testify of the power of prayer, but I ignored that prompting for fear of coming across preachy. It would have been simple to say, “When I feeling lost, I find peace and comfort from praying.” Sadly, I will never know the outcome of that what could have been a faith-building experience.
She relied on prayer – both her own and others.
When she spoke, she prayed for ability to share the Gospel and the other missionaries prayed for her too. Inez knew she was receiving strength from Heavenly Father and support from the individuals she served with.
At times when you may have opportunity to share, say a little prayer in your heart that you will know what to say. As you kneel in family prayer, pray for missionary experiences and express your support for your parents and siblings. That way they will know your cheering them on.
I think Inez Knight is an incredible example for us. She was faithful girl just like you and me and she was called upon to do hard things. All of us have been called to testify of Christ and share our light with the world. Just as Inez shared her testimony with the people of England, we can share our testimonies with our friends, the kids we babysit, our families, and other peers.
What experiences have you had sharing your testimony outside of church? What things help you overcome the fear of sharing your testimony?