Doctrine & Covenants 62:3
3. Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.
A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. We can gain a testimony that we are children of our Heavenly Father, and that he loves us. We can gain a testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and because of Him, our sins can be forgiven. We can gain a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Jesus Christ’s restored church on the earth today. By the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truthfulness of these things. We can share our testimonies with others.
“Of all God’s remarkable creations, only we, His children, are created in His image and likeness. Only we, His children, have the capacity to develop our own spiritual convictions. And only we, His children, can give voice and expression to our witness of Him. We, His children, rejoice in our privilege and sacred obligation to bear record of Him and His gospel.”
Susan L. Warner
What is a testimony? (Discuss ideas.)
How can we know that the following statements are true?(Discuss ideas. When you are moved upon by the Spirit you can know that these things are true. This is a testimony of the restored gospel.)
a. Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Lord once again speaks to His prophet on the earth.
b. The priesthood was restored to the earth.
c. Christ’s church has been restored to the earth and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s only true church.
d. The Father and the Son live and they appeared to Joseph Smith.
e. Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni and he translated The Book of Mormon and it is the word of God.
What does it mean to “bear testimony”? (Discuss ideas. To make a solemn declaration of truth based on personal knowledge or belief.)
Is Sacrament Meeting the only place where we can bear our testimonies? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize It is important to testify wen we are moved by the Spirit. It can occur in Testimony Meetings, but it is just as likely to be appropriate and meaningful when borne at home, during Family Home Evenings, at youth conferences, with friends, etc.)
How do we learn how to bear our testimony? (Discuss ideas. See activity for help in teaching your children to bear their testimonies.)
Six-year-old Benji listened as his older brother, Ammon, bore his testimony. Benjiidolized his big brother and wanted to be just like him. “I going to bury my testimony too,” he thought. “I know the Church is true and that President Monson is our prophet!”
Benji thought about asking Mommy or Daddy to help him, but Mommy was standing way in the back of the chapel holding baby Zachary and Daddy was clear on the other side of the bench trying to keep four-year-old Kevin quiet.
“Ammon didn’t ask if he could bury his testimony,” Benji reasoned, as he slipped off the bench and shyly walked up the aisle. Ammon caught the helpless expression on Mother’s face when she realized she couldn’t reach Benji in time to help him. Nodding at Mother, Ammon turned and walked back to the pulpit with his little brother. Whispering in Benji’s ear, Ammon asked, “Do you need help?”
Benji shook his head no, but when he looked down at the congregation, he suddenly felt very frightened. “There must be a million people here,” he thought. With his knees shaking, Benji pulled the microphone down toward his mouth, but instead of words coming out, his voice cracked and the microphone made a loud whistling sound. Benji tried to hold back his nervous giggles, but a loud snort escaped. Muffled laughter rippled throughout the congregation.
Ammon felt his cheeks turn hot and red. He was humiliated by his little brother’s actions, but he couldn’t think of what to say to make things better. He also knew that Benji didn’t mean to be silly. He was just scared! Not knowing what else to do, Ammon grabbed Benji’s hand and quickly led him from the pulpit. “I’m never going to bury my testimony again,” Benji whispered loudly to Ammon, as they made their way down the aisle.
“You shouldn’t have done that!” Ammon said, feeling even more embarrassed, “And you don’t bury your testimony, anyway!”
A tear slid down Benji’s cheek, and he hung his head. When Ammon scooted him back onto their family’s bench, Benji wanted to hide.
Mother took Benji’s place at the pulpit. “Sometimes, little boys feel that same burning inside that we do and they have a desire to share their young testimonies, too,” Mother began. “But, sometimes when they get up here, they get frightened and things don’t quite go the way they planned. And sometimes big brothers want
“Thankfully,” she continued, “We all have a big brother who always knows what to do, and I testify to you that He will always be there for each of us as we face challenges in our lives. He is our Savior,” Mother said. “He lives and He loves each of us. He knows the desires of our hearts and He knows that Benji just wanted to share his love of the Savior with each of us…”
Mother’s sweet testimony and her loving concern for Benji quickly brought a spirit of reverence back to the meeting. Benji looked up at her and smiled, snuggling closer to Father.
After church, Mother and Father took Benji aside quietly. “We’re proud of you for wanting to share your testimony, Benji,” Father said. “But, it’s very important that we don’t do anything that will distract or take away from the spirit in Sacrament Meeting.”
“We know that wasn’t your intention,” Mother continued, “but maybe you weren’t quite ready to share your feelings in front of the whole ward. Let’s work on teaching you how to bear you testimony at home first. You can practice in Family Home Evening and Primary until you feel more comfortable. Then, when you’re ready and the Spirit prompts you to bear your testimony in Sacrament Meeting, it won’t be so scary. Okay?”
Benji nodded. “After what happened today, I didn’t think I ever wanted to bury my testimony again!” Benji exclaimed, “but Mommy is right. When she buried her testimony, I could feel Jesus wrapping His arms around me and telling me He still loves me. When I get bigger,” Benji proclaimed, “I’m going to bury my testimony again and tell everyone that I know how much Jesus loves me!”
Mother and Father smiled. “For such a little boy, you already have a very big testimony,” Father said, “But I think we had better start on those lessons right away.”
Benji looked confused. “If you buried your testimony, Benji,” Mother explained, “No one would ever know you had one. To bury something means to hide it. The word for sharing is bear.”
“Oh, yeah,” Benji said, picturing himself throwing dirt into a hole with a shovel. “But, what does a bear have to do with testimonies?”
by Margie Nauta Lee
Based on a true story by Jennifer Steele Christensen
A testimony is very personal and will be a little different for each person, but a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ should be anchored to the first principles of the gospel. This BEARING TESTIMONY Activity will help your little ones begin to anchor their testimonies to these principles.