I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Don't Turn Testimony Meeting Into a Rameumptom Speech
Diligent and Concerned “Three ways to become more diligent
and concerned at home: 1. Express love—and show it.
2. Bear testimony—and live it. 3. Be consistent.”—
Elder David A. Bednar, Accessed November 27, 2017, from
“More Diligent and Concerned at Home”
Who the Zoramites Were and What the Rameumpton Was
First, a short history of the Zoramites. They were Nephites, but had fallen away from the truth. The term Zoramites was a subcategory of Nephites. Their leader was Zoram and they resided in Antionum
They built a Rameumptom in the middle of their synagogues, their local churches. This was a raised platform that could hold only one person.
The Zoramites would each climb this platform once a week, on their Sabbath, and all recite the same speech. This was all of their worship. They did nothing else.
Alma and his brethren were astonished by this practice and behavior. Alma 31: 8-14, 21 supplies a short description of these activities. Chapter 28: The Zoramites and the Rameumptom is a short video of the story.
The Rameumptom Speech Itself
What is interesting for our purposes is in the content of the short, recited speech itself. From Alma 31:15-18:
Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever.
Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ.
But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.I don't believe any current testimonies given in our meetings assert that God is a spirit or there is no Christ. However, many of the other testimony comments seem quite self-congratulatory and similar to the Rameumptom speech.
Below is the content of the Rameumptom speech. Following it may be our modern incarnation of it or an assumption that underlies the phrasing we so often hear.
I've tried to put myself in the position of someone unfamiliar with the church, whether visiting or investigating, and what they might assume about what is being said in individual member testimonies.
Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren;
"We are the luckiest people in the world." This suggests that others are unlucky. Luck has got nothing to do with it.
"I'm/We're so proud of the people that are here." This implies that we are devalue people who aren't here.
We have a prophet at the head of our church. This assumes that other churches don't have a prophet. It's hard to know how someone would react to this. Their idea of prophets may be rather limited, entirely to the Old Testament.
I'm/We are grateful to be members of this church. Does this imply that others are ungrateful to God, otherwise they would be members?
and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers;This implies that other people are deluded, specifically those in other churches and faiths.
It also implies that we are smarter and more competent than other people. It even implies that other churches and their members are infantile.
but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children;
This implies that we think we have some sort of special status on this earth that others do not. Further, it implies that we achieved this by being chosen by God. It has nothing to do with our individual effort or behavior.
and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell;This suggests that predestination saves us and condemns others to hell.
Saying something like, "I'm grateful to have the gospel in my life." infers that other people don't have the gospel in their life and/or they will not be saved in heaven. They will go to hell.
Saying, "I wouldn't be a good person if I wasn't a member of this church." infers you can't be good, unless you are Mormon and a member of this church.
for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us,
This suggests that we are so thankful for our predestination, chosen by God and that we aren't like other people. God has blessed us and not others. We are special.
that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren,which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
Again, this is an inference that we are the only privileged ones, smarter than others, and the only ones with the true gospel and true church. Other people spiritually wander. We don't.
And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people.
This idea about us being the luckiest people in the world gets mentioned too often. Luck really doesn't have anything to do with it. Here's another inference that we are righteous and others aren't.
(Rameumptom speech is arrogant and self-congratulatory.)
"I say this humbly."
There is nothing remotely humble about inferring we are God's chosen people and others aren't.
There is nothing remotely humble about inferring that other churches and religions are inferior to us and ours.
There is no way you can infer someone is inferior to you and others and do so "humbly."
We know that anyone can become a part of God's chosen people through keeping the commandments which include Christlike behavior. Anyone may join His church and receive the same blessings as anyone currently in it can. Nothing in our testimonies should infer otherwise.
Let's keep to testifying of gospel truths in our testimonies.
Gratimonies, Thanktimonies and Such are NOT Testimonies
Many years ago in a youth conference I attended, we were told to bear our TESTIMONIES. Being grateful is great, being thankful is great. However, these emotions have nothing to do with our testimonies.
Our testimonies should be testifying of eternal truths. We know Heavenly Father exists. We know He loves his children. We know Jesus Christ has reestablished His church in these modern days. We know Heavenly Father reveals his will through the prophets he chooses to guide us on this earth.
We can be our own personal witness of these truths. Don't fall into the testimony trap that resembles the Rameumptom speech!