Lesson Helps

FHE: Testimony


Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read "Knowing That We Know," by Douglas L. Callister, Ensign, Nov 2007, 100-101.

If you want to know that you know that you know, a price must be paid. And you alone must paythat price. There are proxies for ordinances, but none for the acquisition of a testimony (Douglas L. Callister, "Knowing That We Know," Ensign, Nov 2007, 100-101).

"I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" Children's Songbook, p.78, verse 2.

Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me (Alma 5:46).

Object Lesson:
Materials needed: A flashlight, a lamp, and a candle.

Display the items on a table. Ask your family what they have in common. (They provide light). Ask when they would probably be used. (At night). Discuss why and ask your family what they would do if the light suddenly went out at night. Ask how easy it would be to find a source of light in the dark. Discuss how knowing where the source of light is and what condition it is in helps us to be prepared. Explain that our testimony is like the light. We seldom appreciate or even look for it in the daytime (good times). We really depend on our testimony during the difficult time in our life. Discuss why it is important to keep our testimony strong during the good times so that we will be prepared for difficult times (Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, More Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 99).


I learned a long time ago that spiritual knowledge is described in a different language than is secular knowledge. On this I had a valuable experience before I was a General Authority. It affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who ridiculed my belief in God. I bore my testimony to him: "There is a God. I know He lives!" He said: "You don't know. Nobody knows that. You can't know it." When I would not yield, the atheist posed perhaps the ultimate challenge to testimony. "All right," he said in a sneering, condescending way, "you say you know." Then, "Tell me how you know." I could not do it. I was helpless to communicate. When I used the words "spirit" and "witness," the atheist responded, "I don't know what you are talking about." The words prayer, discernment, and faith also were meaningless to him."You see," he said, "you don't really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know."Perhaps, I thought, I had borne my testimony to him unwisely, and I was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience.

A thought, a revelation, came into my mind, and I said to the atheist: "Let me ask you a question. Do you know what salt tastes like?" "Of course I do," was his reply. "When did you taste salt last?" "I just had dinner on the plane." "You just think you know what salt tastes like," I said. He insisted, "I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything." "If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar, could you tell the salt from the sugar if I let you taste them both?" "Now you are getting juvenile," he said. "Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. I know it as well as I know anything." "Then," I said, "assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like. "After some thought, he ventured, "Well-I-uh, it is not sweet, and it is not sour." "You've told me what it isn't, not what it is." After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said: "I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words alone how this knowledge has come than you are able to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He lives! And just because you don't know, don't try to tell me that I don't know, for I do!" Since then I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually, or tell just how I received it. From such experiences, we will surely suffer some humiliation, but that is good for our faith. And we have an ever-present guide. We will be tested, but we will never be left without help (Boyd K. Packer, Memorable Stories and Parables, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 57).

Give each person a pencil and paper and have them trace their hand. On each finger have them write something they have a testimony of (such as Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, or current prophets and apostles). Have each person take turns and share their testimonies.

Lead image from Shutterstock

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