Testimony is to say these are the formulas I use to calculate the projectory of my life, to guide all choices, and to process a firm belief that they are universally true. That these formulas, if used by all, would lead to maximum human progress, happiness, and salvation.
Bearing testimony is also a weight, a burden, which you have carried day to day, and you come to report that it’s worth it. A religious life often appears and is difficult. We stand to say it is the best way by every measurement. The main place and time you hear testimony is when no one is looking and no one is listening but God himself. A testimony is a character trait. It is how you operate.
There is a common Egyptian depiction of a king on a throne with a crown so large he requires a pole to help hold it up. This suggests, as the D&C puts it, an ‘eternal weight of glory’. The D&C warns that there are but few who are willing to bear that weight, and that only those who live the celestial law can gain the celestial glory.
Elder Holland reportedly responded, when asked by someone, ‘are you willing to give your life for the Lord?’ by saying, ‘I thought that is what I was doing.’ This suggests that rather than bold words and final stands, what really matters are the choices we make every day. Living for something is often harder than dying for it. Like Naaman told to do a small thing, so must we muster the strength to obey God when there is little public recognition or status symbols and circles for doing so.
Don’t be silly and stand at church and say, ‘I would be ungrateful if I didn’t stand to bear my testimony today.’ No, the reality is that you would be ungrateful if you didn’t stand to bear your testimony daily in the ways that really count. Don’t get up to say, ‘it’s been a long time since I’ve born my testimony.’ Goodness sakes, let’s hope not!