Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Friends' Testimonies

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For more than three hundred and fifty years Friends have acted upon shared concerns through practices that historically have been distinctive and definitive. While the specifics of Friends’ practice have varied as times have changed, Friends today continue to have concerns and beliefs similar to those of past generations. The word testimonies is used to refer to this common set of deeply held, historically rooted attitudes and modes of living in the world.

Testimonies bear witness to the truth as Friends in community perceive it. They arise from our way of worship, which evokes within us an affirmation and celebration of Light that illumines the spiritual longing of humanity. Through the testimonies, Friends strive for unity and integrity of inner and outer life, both in living with ourselves and others, and in living in the world.

To be a Friend is not to subscribe to doctrines, but to be convinced that one has personally known an ultimate reality from which those beliefs arise. Our lives today can only testify to the truth that we come to know through our own experience. When we give testimony, it is only valid if it comes from our own first-hand experience of continuing revelation, not from anything that we have been told, nor from any standard that we hope to meet.

Today, Friends strive to live up to the following "testimonies" - Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community,Equality, Stewardship.