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“I Know this Church is True”

INDEX:

 

This lesson will teach your children that bearing testimony isn't simply reciting memorized words, but expressing feelings as directed by the Spirit. A touching story, faith building video clip, reverent activity and cute "Bear" cookie, will help their young testimonies to grow and when the time is right they too will be prepared to testify of the truthfulness of the restored gospel.        

 

SONG

SCRIPTURE

VIDEO CLIP


LESSON SUMMARY

POINTS TO PONDER

 

STORY

TREAT
TIME

ACTIVITY

ACTIVITY PAGES

 

VIDEO CLIP:
The Docudrama of the Restoration: New York: The Church Restored ch 16
(click on above for full screen)

PRINCIPLE:
Testimony


 

PRINT THIS ENTIRE LESSON

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

   

SONG

 
 

Children’s Songbook #77 “The Church of Jesus Christ.”

 

 

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

SCRIPTURE

Doctrine and 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.

VIDEO CLIP

Watch chapter 16 from The Docudrama of the Restoration, New York: The Church Restored DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP

 

LESSON SUMMARY

 
 

For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:

 

What is a testimony? (Discuss ideas.)

“A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel.” Gospel Topics © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

After David Whitmer traveled with Joseph Smith from Harmony to Fayette he was convinced that the Lord was once again speaking to a prophet. This was the beginning of his testimony.

Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Lord once again speaks to His prophet on the earth?


Do you believe that the priesthood was restored to the earth?


Do you believe that Christ’s church has been restored to the earth and that The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s only true church?



 

Do you believe that the Father and the Son live and that they appeared to Joseph Smith?

Do you believe that Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni, that he translated The Book of Mormon and that it is the word of God?

How can we know that these things 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.)

What does it mean to “bear testimony”? (Discuss ideas. To make a solemn declaration of truth based on personal knowledge or belief.)

Bearing your testimony should be a spiritual experience. We do not bear our testimonies because our friends do or because we want to attract attention. When giving a true testimony we do not mimic others, but express our feelings as directed by the Spirit. A testimony is individual and so are the words used to express it. If we speak only to be heard of others we will earn the praise of others, but not of the Spirit or the Lord. Read: Alma 31:22-23.

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.)

 

POINTS TO PONDER

 
 

Did David Whitmer have a testimony of the restored gospel? (Discuss ideas.)

“During a visit with David Whitmer, Brother James Moyle asked: ‘Please tell me the truth concerning your testimony as one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon.’ David Whitmer then told this young man: ‘Yes, I held the golden plates in my hands, and they were shown to us by an angel. My testimony concerning the Book of Mormon is true.’ David Whitmer was out of the Church, but he never denied his testimony of the angel’s visitation, of handling the golden plates, or of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.” James E. Faust, Ensign,
Nov 2000 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Why do we bear testimony? (Discuss ideas.)

“Being a witness of Jesus Christ in the most fundamental sense is to possess a sure, personal testimony that He is the divine Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Our witness of Christ typically begins with the testimony of others—people we know or know about and trust. ...As you feel the Holy Spirit’s testimony of Him, confirmed and reconfirmed to your spirit in many different experiences and settings, as you strive to hold up the light of His example in your own life day by day, and as you bear testimony to others and help them learn of and follow Him, you are a witness of Jesus Christ.” D. Todd Christofferson, Liahona, Mar 2008 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

How do we learn how to bear our testimony? (Discuss ideas.)

“Parents and teachers should help children learn what a testimony is and when it is appropriate for them to express it. It may be best to have younger children learn to share their testimonies at such times as family home evening or when giving talks in Primary until they are old enough to do so in a fast and testimony meeting.” From First Presidency letter, 2 May 2002 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Can a child have a testimony and should they bear their testimony? (Discuss ideas.)

“I remember bearing my testimony when I was just a child in Primary and in Sunday School. ... We have critics who say it is silly to have little children bear their testimonies and that they cannot know it is true. Undoubtedly their knowledge is limited, but they can have [spiritual] feelings, and testimonies are feelings [of the Spirit], not merely the accumulation of facts.” Spencer W. Kimball, Tambuli, Jul 1978 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved

Quote: “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, Ensign, Nov 1998 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

STORY

 

 

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

page 2

 
 

“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

 

TREAT TIME

CLICK TO PRINT “Chocolate Bear Cookies” recipe

Chocolate "Bear" Cookies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Chill Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 6 minutes

 

 

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter or margarine, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Add the eggs. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  3. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and blend.
  4. Chill until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Treat Time:

Give each child 1 ball for the body (1-inch), 1 ball for the head (3/4-inch), 4 small balls for arms/legs (1/1/2-inch), 2 smaller balls for ears, and 1 tiny ball for the nose. With a toothpick, draw eyes, mouth and a heart (fill in heart with red colored sugar) or use a candy heart. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool 1 minute.

While the cookies bake talk about the importance of feeling the Spirit in your "heart" before you bear (share) your testimony.

 

ACTIVITY

 

Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.

 

Activity: YoYounger children will need help from an older sibling or

1. Explain: “We often hear some members, and especially children, bear their testimonies, listing things for which they are thankful: their love of family, the Church, their teachers, their friends. For them, the gospel is something that they are grateful for, but testimonies need to be much more. They need to be anchored very early to the first principles of the gospel.” M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, Nov 2004 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The Spirit can witness to us in church, Family Home Evening, reading the scriputres, listening to others bear testimony, while listening to church music, etc., helping us gain our own testimony. A testimony is very personal and will be a little different for each person, but a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will include these truths:

a. God lives. He is our loving Father in Heaven, and we are His children.
b. Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and the Savior of the world. c. Joseph Smith is the prophet of God through whom the gospel of Jesus
Christ was restored in the latter days.
d. The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
e. The current President, his counselors, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the prophets, seers, and revelators in our day.

2. Sing: Children’s Songbook #5 “I Know My Father Lives.” If you wish to have an online music file to accompany you visit: http://www.lds.org/cm

3. Show pictures one at a time and have family members share their feelings about the pictures. If necessary, read the brief description to help with ideas.
Examples: (Family picture: I know that Heavenly Father has given me a family who loves me and I love them; I know that I am a child of God; etc.)

4. Explain: When you express these feelings of faith to others, you are sharing your testimony. When you share your testimony it grows stronger and the church your also grows stronger as you touch the lives of others.

5. Keeping in mind the pictures, bear your testimony. Ask family members to bear their testimonies. Younger children will need help. Be sure to help them use their own words and feelings.

 

What you need:

A copy of the “Testimony” activity, a 4x6-inch family picture and scissors.

 

Preparation:

  1. Print out the artwork.
  2. Cut along dotted lines.
  3. Fold picture description to the back.
  4. Place pictures in a pile, along with your family picture.

 

 

 
 

ACTIVITY PAGES

 
       
 

 

 

   

 

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

CLICK TO PRINT "20-MINUTE" LESSON NOTES

 

1. Sing: Children’s Songbook #77 “The Church of Jesus Christ.”

2. Read: Doctrine and Covenants 62:3
“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.”

3. Watch: chapter 16 from The Docudrama of the Restoration, New York: The Church Restored DVD.

4. What is a testimony? (Discuss ideas.)

“A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel.” Gospel Topics © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

5. After David Whitmer traveled with Joseph Smith from Harmony to Fayette he was convinced that the Lord was once again speaking to a prophet. This was the beginning of his testimony.

6. 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.

7. What does it mean to “bear testimony”? (Discuss ideas. To make a solemn declaration of truth based on personal knowledge or belief.)

Bearing your testimony should be a spiritual experience. We do not bear our testimonies because our friends do or because we want to attract attention. When giving a true testimony we do not mimic others, but express our feelings as directed by the Spirit. A testimony is individual and so are the words used to express it. If we speak only to be heard of others we will earn the praise of others, but not of the Spirit or the Lord. Read: Alma 31:22-23.

8. 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.)

9. How do we learn how to bear our testimony? (Discuss ideas. See activity for help in teaching your children to bear their testimonies.)

“Parents and teachers should help children learn what a testimony is and when it is appropriate for them to express it. It may be best to have younger children learn to share their testimonies at such times as family home evening or when giving talks in Primary until they are old enough to do so in a fast and testimony meeting.” From First Presidency letter, 2 May 2002 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

10. “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, Ensign, Nov 1998 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.