In the Religious Society of Friends, the word "testimony" is used to refer to the ways in which Friends testify or bear witness to their beliefs in their everyday lives. In this context, "testimony" refers not to the underlying belief, but the committed action which arises out of our beliefs, and testifies to our beliefs. Commonly Friends are said to testify to simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship.
Quakers’ experience of the Divine affects:
• What we do in our personal lives.
• What we believe.
• Changes we work for in the wider world.
“Testimonies” are what Quakers call the ways we have found to live and act based on our
beliefs. As a group, we find that listening to and following God leads to:
- Integrity—living as whole people who act on
- what we believe, tell the truth, and do what we say we will do.
- Simplicity—focusing on what is truly important and letting other things fall away.
- Equality—treating everyone, everywhere, as equally precious to God; recognizing thateveryone has gifts to share.
- Community—supporting one another in our faith journeys and in times of joy and sorrowsharing with and caring for each other.
- Peace—seeking justice and healing for all people; taking away the causes of war in the ways we live.
- Care for the earth—valuing and respecting all of God’s creation; using only our fair share of the earth’s resources; working for policies that protect the planet.
We do not always hear and follow Divine guidance; being in community with other Quakers
helps us to be faithful.
If you are interested in learning more about the our values, history, and customs, a very good place to start is the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice.