I'm with Lynnette: I always love testimony meetings in which people stand up and tell stories, rather than those in which people simply recite a number of propositional statements about their beliefs: I know the Church is true. I know Jesus is the Son of God. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know the latter is what we are encouraged to do, but those meetings often seem dry to me, lacking anything I couldn't get from, say, reading the Articles of Faith, or even the Nicene Creed.
(I went to Catholic mass this morning before church, so it was on my mind.)
Really, what sets our testimony meetings apart from a recitation of doctrine is the opportunity to glimpse the human who believes those doctrines, the stories that human tells about those doctrines, and the way those doctrines affect the life and mind of that human. I love hearing personal testimonies, even the kooky ones that I laugh about later.
All this means that today was the sort of testimony meeting that I love. The relatively new convert sitting behind me whispered to the guy next to him, "What should I say?" and then ascended to the pulpit to tell us of his pre-conversion days of wine, women, and song; my visiting teachee, after slamming the Boston-area wards she had just visited, told us that "hurry up" was the worst thing you could possibly say to a person; and a quirky mid-thirties Tongan (I think) fellow apologized for not making it to church the past few weeks--there were some rock concerts he just had to go to--rambled for a few minutes about who knows what, and told us that without reading the Book of Mormon, you can't be a Mormon.
Fun as it might be to mock this last one, and I suspect many people were, especially given that last month he stood up and bore an equally eccentric testimony, these glimpses into his life and personality increased, for me, the value of the statements he made, those doctrinal pronouncements we are supposed to limit ourselves to. I could see that he wasn't just reciting, that he honestly meant them, and it was, for lack of a better word, touching.
Add all that to the fact that Catholic mass was pleasant, Lynnette taught Sunday school, and I persuaded my visiting teacher to skip the last hour of church and come with me to the "How Berkeley Can You Be?" parade (counting it, of course, as her visiting teaching for September), and I'd say that I had a pretty good Sunday.