About a year ago, a couple of my children came home on a Friday afternoon from school visibly upset because of some things they had heard. They were confused and sad. As the other three came in the door, I asked them how they felt, and they were also confused and had many questions. I saw this as an opportunity to have an impromptu Family Home Evening…or family home “afternoon”. I gathered all five of my children in the living room and I silently prayed the spirit would direct my words and that we could have a short, successful lesson that would bring peace to my children’s hearts and help them to understand.
I immediately thought of an old bulletin board, about 3 feet by 4 feet that has laid under my bed for the past 4 years collecting dust. I finally knew what it could be used for. I quickly typed up the words “Baril Family Testimony Board: What We Know Is True” on the computer, printed it off and tacked it to the top of the board. Then I cut up a few dozen pieces of white paper, 2″ x 3″ and put them on the coffee table with a pile of tacks and pens and asked the kids: “Kids, what do you know?” They all looked at me for a minute and then my 7 year old asked, “What do you mean, mom?” I said, “I mean, tell me something you know is true.” One answered “I know that God loves me.” I said, “Perfect! So because God loves you then what else do you know?” Another child said, “I know He has a plan for my life.” “Good”, I said. “Give me another one….” And the conversation went like that back and forth for awhile as the kids wrote down their thoughts on the little pieces of paper and added them to the board.
I then explained how when we are confused, have doubts, or have trials, we can go back to the simple truths that we know. We talked about how each truth we know leads to more and more truth and that truth hinges upon truth. We learned that we can lean on the small things we know and build from there. I taught them that our testimonies of the gospel are built upon small and simple truths – and that truth is so important in this crazy, mixed up, confusing world that we live in. It is important that we seek it, and when we find it, hang on tight to those things that we know and share them with others. I taught my children that truth is like an anchor and that as we are tossed about in the waves of the world, we must stay on the ship, hold on tight, and trust that the truths we know will anchor us tight. I taught them them that truth may not always be popular or politically correct but that there are unchanging constants in this world that we can depend upon.
They looked into my eyes and and I could see that they understood. They got right to work, especially the younger three little sponges of spirits who added paper after paper to the board. Even a few neighbourhood children added some as well.
This wasn’t a super profound exercise, but I feel it was an important one for two reasons. 1) It strengthened the testimonies of my children to vocalize and to articulate their impressions and the simple and pure knowledge they have by writing out what they know. 2) It gives opportunity for sharing because we have chosen as a family to have our children expand on this exercise by writing short articles to share with the world. On my blog, I have added a new tab under articles called “Our Testimony Board” where you can go and read short testimonies of my children that they have agreed to share. These are candid. The spelling may not be perfect, and they are in their own words with little to no editing. They are all theirs. We will be adding more as we go and hope to have one each week.
We hope, as a family, that this will lift and inspire others to reflect on what they know and maybe – just maybe – by shining our little lights, we can inspire others to shine theirs, or even ignite someone’s light that has gone out.
We hope you enjoy our family’s testimony board. If you would like to stay up to date with our project and with any other articles here at To Lift and Inspire, please subscribe! 🙂
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