Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Children and Testimonies in Sacrament Meeting

I love the beauty and purity of a child's heartfelt testimony.

I don't like Sacrament Meeting as the time and place for most such testimonies, but I have known and know some very mature children whose testimonies are not rote or coached and are just as valid as mine. I love hearing those testimonies in Sacrament Meeting. 

My youngest daughter is twelve, and a couple of years ago she had been telling us she wanted to bear her testimony for a few months. We simply told her that when she knew what she wanted to say and really wanted to say it, we would support her - but that she had to do it completely on her own and that we wouldn't tell her what to say or suggest anything to her.

She bore her testimony one month, and it was simple, sweet, sincere and moving - and very much a reflection of her and who she is. There was nothing that was rote or formulaic, largely, I believe, because that's not how her mother and I talk when we bear our testimonies and because we've never "practiced" bearing testimony with our children or coached them about what to say.

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