Methods for improving testimony meetings

On another blog (BCC) a recent post suggested a method for having more Christ centered testimony meetings.

I would recommend another possible method that can be used for all Sacrament meetings:

Those sitting in the front row are given small signs with the numbers 1-10 on them. Those on the front row will then rate the testimony or talk, changing their numbers up/down as the testimony or talk continues.  Since the raters are on the front row, only those on the stand will be able to see if a person is receiving good scores or not, preventing any undue embarrassment.  This will strongly encourage members to step up the quality of their discourses.

A second benefit to this idea is that members will begin coming early and clamoring to get to the front pew first, versus the current action of arriving late and taking the back seat.

Any other methods you would like to see implemented to improve the quality of Church meetings?

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

12 thoughts on “Methods for improving testimony meetings

  1. Nice. 🙂 Reminds me of a stake conference where Elder Faust presided. The Primary children were singing and the chorister stood in the back of the chapel with a happy face and a frowny face (or some such marker of quality). Elder Faust invited her to use the same signs for his talk….

    (BTW, he would have gotten happy faces all through — it was an outstanding talk: he was personable, light hearted and still quite spiritual and even a little stern in some of his counsel, but in such a way that it was received in love.)

    As for improving sacrament meeting — how about attending with a prayerful and charitable heart?

  2. When I go to church alone (my family is out of town and I stay home to work) I always sit in the front row, on the side that the speakers sit on. You can make faces at those waiting to speak and get to sing loud or quiet in front of the chorister. If it is someone I know well giving a talk, I will give them subtle hints of feedback. All without the bishopric being able to see you. I also get to sit by my children’s nursery teacher who always comes alone unless her adult daughter is in town.

  3. “Any other methods you would like to see implemented to improve the quality of Church meetings?”

    Any quotations longer than a paragraph are to be banished. It is your talk, not whoever story or sermon you are reading verbatim.

  4. I’ve always wanted to implement a 2 comment electro shock comment policy. You get two comments per three hour block. If you say anything more you get buzzed. It would really cut down on the pontificating in our ward. 🙂

  5. Dismiss the meeting and have everyone go down to the county hospital or some other suitable place and show faith by works. Do it once a year at random times as a surprise .

    If I had the Joyce electro shock button in my hand there would be a noticeable increase in the electric bill in my ward..

    Never, never bring non-LDS friends to testimony meeting, unless you definitely don’t want them in the church.

  6. Not if we had the deacons and the beehives out on the hamsterwheel in the back generating our own electricity. I’m sure it would make a fantasitc project for someone’s portfolio.

  7. Would the hamster wheel generate more electricity if we just put the nursery and 3-5 year olds in there instead? They don’t really pay attention to the Sacrament talks anyway. The deacons are needed to pass the Sacrament, and it keeps the toddlers from escaping mother’s grasp and running up to the podium in the middle of the stake patriarch speaking.

  8. You do have a point Rameumptom…I volunteer my two year old for the first shift…but I do have to say, being the Sunday School teacher to a hive of bees, those girls have energy!

  9. I look forward to Testimony Meetings. It is an important and unique part of our Mormon heritage and culture, and usually the testimonies are uplifting and inspiring. So what if at times there are off the wall comments made by ward members. Strange things can occur during regular Sacrament Meetings as well.

    We all have the opportunity to bear our testimonies and none of us are professional pastors–thank goodness. We are all amateurs, striving to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think most of us have experienced a flub or two while speaking at the podium and said things during a testimony or talk that in hindsight we would have changed– but that is part of our mortal development. I think most of us are understanding and patient when we see mistakes or hear strange things at the podium, because we have all been there.

    One suggestion I do have for improving Sacrament Meetings: Have the congregation always STAND when there is a rest or intermediate hymn. This is the recommended procedure in our Hymnbook on pg 380, and of course is common practice during stake and general conferences. It seems like many wards these days, don’t follow this practice anymore. When we stand for the rest hymn, it first of all feels good to stretch the legs, and secondly we tend to participate more and sing louder.

  10. This reminds me of a couple of posts I made here on M* in the long-forgotten ancient history of Mormon Blogs (2005):

    Basically, it was an attempt at crowd-sourcing to get an idea of how often testimony meetings reference Jesus and the the core doctrines of the church.

    Looks like when they migrated from B2Evolution to WordPress the images and documents were lost, but you’ll get it most of it from the post text.

    I’ll see if I have a backup of the orginal chart images and docs and try to restore them when I have time.

    It would be interesting to try it again, now that LDS blogging has grown.

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