Sharing the 5 points of a testimony with 'The Testimony Glove'

Published: Thursday, June 30 2011 4:00 a.m. MDT

People from California to Hawaii to Canada contacted her, and just about every organization, including Young Women, Primary and Relief Society groups at both the stake and ward level, wanted to be involved, as did individuals.

Lillian O'Neil, of the Olympus 3rd Ward, Olympus Utah Stake in Holladay, Utah, heard of the gloves as ward members who served in the Philippines had heard about the gloves from Sister Oaks.

"I really enjoy finding service projects that people can do in their homes," O'Neil said. In addition to church groups that helped put together the testimony glove kits, her 89-year-old parents, Leonard and Mildred, helped, too, along with others who were homebound and one woman who was legally blind.

"This has been a lot of people helping and a lot of youth groups would want to do them for a service project," O'Neil said.

Sister Oaks and Phillips were at a fireside with about 800 Young Women at Christmas time.

"Their testimonies changed making them," Sister Oaks said. "There is story after story about people who are working on them.

"The people who make the gloves, it changes their lives," Sister Oaks said.

Teaching about testimony

As she travels, Sister Oaks takes the gloves with her, leaving only a little bit of room in her suitcases for her personal items.

Sharing the gloves is more than passing them out. Primary children put on the glove, which represents the Holy Ghost. Then, they put the pictures on the appropriate finger as they discuss each of the five points.

"You have to be a participant," Sister Oaks said of the glove and sharing a testimony, adding that the glove is not just something nice to look at.

She has passed out the gloves and kits in many countries — Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Romania and Samoa — as well as to mothers in places in Africa. Others have shared testimony gloves in their own wards across the United States. She has also used the concept when she has spoken at single adult conferences. The gloves have also been given to missionaries and mission presidents.

"It's not that you just get a glove and say it, you have to teach it to someone else," Sister Oaks said. At singles conferences, she would have them share parts of their testimonies with the person sitting next to them.

"They were sharing something really meaningful with each other," she added.

It's not just a rote testimony. She's seen how children have made the five points into their own testimonies as they've understood the principles that also help prepare them for baptism.

"All other things fit into the (five points)" Phillips said. For example, in discussing Heavenly Father, prayer can be discussed.

During a visit to Samoa, Sister Oaks asked Becca Winegar, who has Down syndrome, to help share the gloves in the area. Winegar, who was with her parents in Samoa as they were performing humanitarian service, shared the gloves with Primary children and at zone conferences.

"These gloves are special and have helped me realize the important values that they teach to each of us," said Winegar, 33, of the Foothill Ward, Edgemont Utah North Stake in Provo, Utah.

Since returning home, she and Sister Oaks have shared the gloves with sister missionaries at the Missionary Training Center and with Primary children.

Kyle Stevenson, the teenage son of Elder Gary Stevenson, president of Asia North Area, takes the gloves with him as he travels with his father, Sister Oaks said. He's been to Micronesia and all over Japan sharing testimony gloves.

"When young people teach, the Spirit is so strong," she added.

She also hears stories from people about the impact of the gloves in Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., Delta, Utah, and California, to name a few.

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