Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday thoughts

Today I taught a lesson in YW on testimony. It was one of those rare lessons where I come away feeling like it went really well. My favorite part was that I gave each member of the class a piece of paper that said, "What I know:" on it. They started writing right away and after about 4 or 5 minutes I had to stop them to move on, and they were all still writing! Pretty impressive.

I found it to be a very valuable experience personally, as there is something very different about writing down elements of my testimony as opposed to bearing it aloud. Here is a sampling of things that came immediately to mind:

  • I know that Heavenly Father loves me.
  • I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • I know that Christ atoned for the sins of all mankind and died that we all might live again.
  • I know that Christ knows how to succor us, because he knows what it feels like to experience shame, disappointment, betrayal, sickness, loneliness, fear, and pain of all kinds, despite the fact that he never committed any sin of his own.
  • I know that we have a true and living prophet on the earth.
  • I know that the Holy Ghost guides, comforts, and protects me.
  • I know that families can be together forever.
  • I know that Heavenly Father wants me to be happy.

I loved this exercise and I hope it was valuable for the girls as well. We talked about how a testimony, once gained, is not a permanent possession. It can be lost or forfeited if not nourished frequently. The way to lose one's testimony is to stop doing the things one does to gain it in the first place: stop praying, do not read the scriptures, rely on your own voice rather than the will of the Lord, listen to the world's ways rather than following the prophet, being prideful rather than humble, etc.

The girls' favorite part might have been when I asked them the most delicious taste they could think of. Then we talked about Lehi's dream and the fact that he wanted to share the delicious fruit of his journey with all of his loved ones. I gave them peanut butter bars and we talked about the benefits to ourselves and others that come from bearing pure testimony.


Marie said...

What a great YW lesson. No wonder you felt like they got something out of it. I did, and I wasn't even there!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

This is profound, Michelle: "We talked about how a testimony, once gained, is not a permanent possession." Thank you for writing that.

Susan said...

I love reading your testimony. Our testimonies give way to happiness and purpose.

I hope Ryan will read it.

Thanks for sharing.

Marie said...

Beautifully said Michelle!

Jill said...

This sounds like a seriously great lesson! I think writing things down allows for more thoughts to come to mind and helps me realize what I really think. My mind often goes blank when it comes to actually speaking my testimony. How wonderful for the girls to learn this now!

Jen said...

what a great lesson- and one they'll likely remember for a long time to come. i think writing things down cements it in our hearts and our minds...i should remember to do that.
i stayed active when i was a teenager because of my yw leaders- you have so much influence on those girls and i'm so excited you're there!

Amie said...

This would be a great family night... we could use one of those.

Kelly said...

Remember when you were so worried about being in YW? It seems like it's the perfect fit. What a great lesson!

rebekah said...

I'm going to set some time aside to do this on Sunday. What a good idea.

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