I feel your pain and have felt it many times in my own life. I used to come
home from church and fret about the things I said in classes. Due to the grace
of God, I do not feel that way anymore. I made a conscious effort to overcome
my uncomfortable feelings by praying for the ability to overcome them. I also
pray that the things I say will be helpful and not hurtful to others. I found
that if I take the time to write down my testimony at home, in my own words, it
really helps. I don't memorize it, but I do refer to it some to remember
how to express myself. Sometimes all we need is to find the words that express
our feelings. It helps us to be more confident. It also helps to practice
bearing your testimony to others. Bear it to your family often. Bear it in
classes when there are subjects that strike near and dear to you. The more you
do it, the easier it gets.
Your talent may not be in extemporaneous public speaking, but your talent in
communicating with the written word is wonderful. I'm concerned with a
close relative who is so frightened at the prospect of even casual conversations
at church, that she cannot attend. I have tried to encourage her. I have even
given her a priesthood blessing to strengthen her, but she still can't work
up the courage to go. There are all different levels of fear, but this is the
worst I've seen. I imagine there are others in the same situation.
Many decades ago a school-friend got right in my face & told me everyone
thought I was a snob because I was so shy. I have no idea what prompted her to
do so, but from that moment on I became a verbal extrovert. Not always a good
thing :-) but it has kept me engaged with my world as nothing else could.
Speaking up in Sunday school & testimony meeting is a part of that.
Sometimes I fear if I stop I will never start again; sometimes I KNOW I talk too
much, but my heart is right & my words are always sincere. Just realize that
those of us who speak up may be battling demons of self-worth as powerful as
your own. LOVE is the key. Thank you, LuK, wherever you are!
I have no problem sharing my testimony in testimony meeting, or commenting in
class. But some of the most beautiful testimonies I have recieved from other
people were not verbal at all. The elderly spinster who, having no car, still
went to a young sister's house every day to help out with her young
children while she mourned her recently stillborn baby - or the shy, non-verbal
brother who has always shown up to help people move, get the elderly to the
doctor, etc. These testimonies touch my heart in a way words never can. You can
say you believe in the Savior's teachings and then go home and only care
about yourself, but when you sacrifice and go to great efforts to fill
another's need you're showing what is truly in your heart. Words
don't make you the salt of the earth - actions do.
If not for a teacher in Sunday School bribing us with candy to bear our
testimonies, I probably never would have ventured forth. Once I discovered-at
the ripe old age of nine-it wouldn't kill me, I never shut up. (I was a
little disappointed when the candy turned out to be Tootsie Rolls, but then my
sister was blessed. The Lord always balances things out in the end.) It may be important to you to know you are not judged when you turn red or
sweat. Those who watch you and listen are silently praying for your success. We
know it is difficult for some, and are always pleased to hear a new voice.
I've same problems, I been member of this church for 4 years, now I'm
High Priest, I'm sure our church and Heavenly Father made a mistake, you
see I've not giving blessed for sickness and afflicted for about 2 1/2
years because I don't know what to say on blessed, when members ask for
blessing, I usually make a excuses and told them talk to missionaries. Same way
to open and closed prayers, I usually skipped on sunday classes because
don't know what to say on prayers. Also I'm supposed to ordain on
young mens but I just couldn't do it and I let other priesthood do it. I
should stay aaronic priesthood rest my life, that way I don't have to worry
about to giving blessing and prayers. But I can prayers myself no problems.
My heart bleeds for all of you who struggle to find your public voice. The Lord
wants you to share your testimony, your impressions and thoughts, and to honor
your priesthood by giving blessings and ordinations. You may have social anxiety
to overcome. I was so quiet when I was growing up, but a blessing told me I was
to share my thoughts and impressions, and that gave me the courage in my
30"s to start raising my hand and giving testimony. But the Lord will help
you if you pray and ask for help to overcome that weakness. You may find the
weakness turned into a strength.
TLJKYLDS: You just did it! Thank you for "lett(ing) your light so shine"