The last testimony

She stood up slowly and started to speak. Her voice was as weak as her body. Fear probably bubbled close to the surface but she fought it with hope. Surely, she was going to get better. Her time could not be running out.

It was Autumn 2011. I dropped mom and dad off in the parking lot of the church as close as I could get to the door. I helped them into the chapel. She was walking slow but refused to use a cane. “Once you start using a cane,” she said, “you always have to use one.” It took both dad and me to help her to her seat.

I ran back to the car to park it. By the time I got to the chapel, the doors were closed and the Sacrament hymn had started. Since I consider the hymn part of the sacred ordinance I waited in the foyer until the Sacrament service finished. Then I slipped in and sat next to mom.

I’m not sure how she managed to sit on the typical church pew. I’m sure she did it out of sheer determination.

It happened to be Fast and Testimony meeting. When the testimony portion of the service began she stood up and bore her testimony. She spoke of what I refer to as the Tripod of Testimony. Her voice was weak but her words were strong. In her nearly 70 years she knew of God’s love, of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and the restoration of the gospel. She did not doubt. Even though at that time she was in a fight for her life, she did not doubt God loved her.

When she finished she sat down. I’m not sure half the congregation even heard her but I did.

It turns out it was the last Sunday she was able to attend church and the last testimony she verbally expressed.

And I had the privilege of hearing it.

I wish I could remember her exact words but maybe that’s not so important. The important thing is I had the sacred and wonderful experience of hearing a beautiful testimony from a beautiful person.

I am forever thankful for that opportunity.

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