Help your children understand the importance of growing their own testimonies using the example of Alma and the Zoramites; a story about growing a garden and growing testimonies; and a delightful activity and treat called “Dirt Cake.” Also included is "The Word is a Seed”sing-a-long.
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/churchmusic
26. Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so
it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
27. But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28. Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
29. Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
30. But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
Watch chapter 6 from the Animated Complete Learning System, Alma and the Zoramites DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
A personal testimony is a wonderful thing, a gift from God to man.
“A testimony is a conviction, a quiet inward certainty of the reality of the living God, of the divinity of His Beloved Son, of the restoration of Their work in this time. It demands that we do what He has asked us to do.”
A testimony of the Savior and His gospel is essential to our exaltation.
“A testimony in our day consists of three things: It consists of the knowledge that Jesus is the Lord, that He is the Son of the living God, who was crucified for the sins of the world; it consists of the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God called to restore
the gospel truths and be the revealer of the knowledge of Christ for our day; and it consists of knowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth...”
Reading the Book of Mormon will strengthen your testimony.
“While the Book of Mormon speaks with power to the issues that affect our modern society, the great and stirring burden of its message is a testimony, vibrant and true, that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah....Read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not,for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” (Ether 12:6.)
What are some of the things we can do to gain a testimony?
How does one know when they have a testimony?
“President Joseph Fielding Smith said: The Holy Ghost makes an impression on our soul that is more significant than ‘a visitation of an angel’.”
Can everyone receive a revelation from the Holy Ghost?
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Mormon 10:4.) President Spencer W. Kimball made this comment about Mormon’s promise: “That is no casual promise. It is a positive one, and every soul in this world may have a revelation... Every soul may have this assurance, and when he gets this testimony, it will have come from God and not from study alone. Study is an important element, of course, but there must be associated with study much prayer and then this revelation come.”
Our testimonies grow as we share them and as we hear the experiences and
testimonies of others. We bear testimony not only in words but in the way we act—even in the way we dress.
End by sharing your testimony.
"By Their Fruits..."
“There are perfectly good vegetables at the grocery store. I don’t know why we have to grow our own,” 14-year-old Randy thought to himself as he helped his dad prepare the soil for planting.
Father stood and wiped his brow. “It sure is getting hot. Let’s take a break.”
Randy dropped his shovel and plopped down in the shade of the big oak tree. “Gardening just isn’t worth it Dad. It’s too much work. How come we can’t just buy vegetables?”
“We could do that,” Father replied, “but remember a man cannot endure on borrowed light.”
“I want to buy vegetables. Not borrow them!”
Father laughed. “Come on. Let’s get back to work.”
As they worked Father talked about how testimonies are like gardens. The ground is cultivated and the seed is planted and it grows or dies depending on its care. Father explained that a man can’t borrow a
testimony from another, but must gain it for himself.
All through the summer Randy and his family worked in the garden and Randy thought about what his father had taught him about borrowed light. He watched with pride as the plants grew taller and the
blossoms turned to miniature tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Every day he helped weed and water the garden. “How come we have to weed everyday?” he asked mother.
Mother leaned on her garden hoe. “Everyday remove the sin, so gospel light can enter in.”
Randy rolled his eyes. “What does weeding the garden have to do with sin?”
Mother reached down and plucked out a weed. “By plucking it out before it has time to crowd out the seed that is good.” Holding up the weed she asked, “It was easy for me to pull this little weed, but see the weeds on the other side of the fence in the vacant lot?”
“Ya. Some of them are taller than Caleb,” Randy said, referring to his younger brother.
“Go see how easily you can pull one of those weeds that have been growing all summer.”
Randy smiled and flexed his muscle. “Piece of cake!” exclaimed Randy as he hurried through the gate. It had been a hot, dry summer and the earth in the vacant lot was as hard as a rock. Randy pulled with all his might, but the weed would not budge.
Mother giggled as Randy tumbled backwards with the tip of the weed in his hand, but the root of the plant stuck firmly in the ground. “Not as easy as you thought, is it? How about I and the other kids keep the weeds out of our garden and you weed the vacant lot?”
“What? I could never pull all these weeds by myself. I’d need a backhoe!”
Mother continued to compare the garden to a testimony and weeds to sin. “Repent every day. Don’t let your sins get big and smother your testimony. Seek help from our Savior and the atonement and work hard to grow your own testimony.”
As summer passed the vegetables began to grow larger and riper. “Everyone grab a bucket and come help pick tomatoes before they’re overripe!” Father called one Saturday morning in August.
“My back is breaking and I’m starving,” complained Randy. “Can’t we pick the rest on Monday?”
“By their fruits ye shall know them,” quoted Father. (Matt. 7:20.)
“Can’t anyone ever give me a straight answer?” moaned Randy.
Father searched the rows of tomatoes looking for an overripe tomato. He carefully picked the decaying tomato. “Mother and I are going to go fix lunch. We’ll eat on the patio. You kids get washed up. ”
The children sat at the picnic table as Father carried out a platter of bacon and tomato sandwiches and mother poured glasses of lemonade. After saying a blessing on the food Father placed a sandwich on
everyones plate. Randy eagerly took a huge bite of his sandwich. Father and Mother watched as he choked and spit it out.
“The tomato on my sandwich is rotten!” sputtered Randy.
Father took a bite of his sandwich. “Bacon and tomato, my favorite. Mmmm, there’s nothing like a home-grown tomato. Thanks Mother, this is wonderful.”
Randy looked around the table. Everyone was enjoying their sandwiches. “What’s going on?”
“I just wanted you to taste what the most of the tomatoes would taste like if we wait until Monday to
finish picking them.” Father then placed a fresh sandwich on Randy’s plate. “Randy, our fruits bear
testimony of our devotion to God and our commitment to carry on His work. I pray that each of us will work hard to grow testimonies that bear good fruit!”
Randy took a bite of his sandwich. “Mmmm. You can’t get tomatoes like this in the grocery store.” Then smiling at his parents he exclaimed, “Growing gardens and testimonies take hard work, but it’s worth it!”
Crush the cookies until they resemble potting soil and set aside.
Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy and set aside.
Mix pudding and milk until well blended and starts to thicken.
Fold whipped topping into pudding.
Mix pudding mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
To assemble cake, layer flower pot with 1/3 of the cookie crumbs, 1/2 of the pudding mixture,
1/3 cookie crumbs, remaining 1/2 pudding mixture, and then top with the remaining 1/3 cookie crumbs.
Refrigerate for 1–2 hours.
1 Flower pot ( 8" diameter or two 6")
1 16 oz. package of Oreo-style cookies
1/2 Cup butter or margarine, softened
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 12-oz. tub whipped topping, thawed
3 Cups milk
2 Large boxes of instant chocolate or vanilla pudding
Plant flowers in dirt cake. Serve your dirt cake with a new small garden trowel. (We purchased ours for 89 cents at a local store.)
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
Explain that a testimony motivates us to live righteously, and righteous living causes a testimony to grow.Have each family member take turns choosing a petal or leaf, reading the question, answering the question (with help if necessary), and then taping it to the yellowcenter and stem to create flowers. When activity is completed. Plant the flowers in the "Dirt Cake."
What you need:
Dirt cake (recipe included in the Treat Time section of this lesson)
3. A testimony of the Savior and His gospel is essential to our exaltation.
There are three things that need to happen in order to grow a testimony. First you need to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and atoned for our sins. Second you need to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he was called to restore the gospel. Third is the knowledge that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church upon the face of the earth.
4. Do you have to grow your own testimony or can someone give you a testimony?
If can not rely on someone else’s testimony. Listening to others testimonies can help your testimony to grow, but it is up to you to gain a testimony for yourself through prayer and study.
5. Reading the Book of Mormon will help your testimony grow.