A little child asked his mother what the word believe meant. The mother explained it the best she could. Finally the child looked up with understanding on his face and said, “Oh, I see—to believe is to hear in my heart!”
The feeling in your heart that Heavenly Father lives and that Jesus is the Christ is called a testimony. You can have a testimony that the gospel is true and that Heavenly Father and Jesus love you and want you to be happy.
A testimony is gained little by little, just as a building is built brick by brick. We can compare gaining a testimony to constructing a building. For example, one brick could stand for having a testimony of the importance of attending church; another brick, a testimony of the Book of Mormon; and yet another brick, a testimony of prayer.
Our testimonies are often strengthened by our experiences. A young girl named Jenny had an experience that helped her testimony to grow:
One day, many years ago, a country fair was held. Families from miles around visited the fair. The balloon ride was the fair’s biggest attraction. Jenny and her family were there. Jenny was very excited about riding in the balloon and was the first one to climb into the basket. Before the rest of her family could get into the basket, a gust of wind blew the anchor rope out of the attendant’s hands. Up, up, up went the balloon. The people, river, houses, trees, and animals seemed to grow smaller and smaller and smaller as Jenny watched from the basket.
Jenny was terribly frightened. How high would the balloon go? What was going to happen to her? All she wanted then was to be with her family on the ground again!
Then Jenny knew what she should do. She asked Heavenly Father to help her. After she prayed, she noticed a rope and felt impressed to pull it. As she did, some of the gas in the balloon was released, making the balloon descend just a little. Jenny pulled the rope again, and the balloon went down a little more. She pulled it again and again, each time letting a little more of the gas escape. She felt impressed to pull only a little bit at a time so that the balloon wouldn’t go down too fast. As she went lower and lower, she looked over the edge of the basket and saw the people, river, houses, trees, and animals appearing to grow larger and larger.
The balloon landed safely in a meadow not far from the fairgrounds. How happy everyone was to see Jenny! How happy she was to see them! As she hugged her mother, she learned that her parents, too, had prayed for her safety. They were all grateful to Heavenly Father, and Jenny gained a testimony of prayer because she knew that Heavenly Father had heard and answered their prayers.
Instructions: Cut out the stones. Write a few words about your testimony of the thing referred to on each stone. A few stones have not been labeled; add your testimony about additional principles of the gospel on them. As you glue the stones in place on the fortress, think about how your testimony gives you strength and protection. Sing the song listed on each stone, or another song about the topic.
Have the children take turns at the chalkboard, illustrating words or concepts having to do with strengthening testimonies. Make it fun to see how quickly the rest of the children can identify the picture. Some possible words and concepts: praying, missionaries, going to church, reading the scriptures, family home evening, giving a talk in Primary, singing in Primary.
Younger children could play charades and act out the words or concepts suggested above.
Have children sing the songs listed on the bricks. (See Sharing Time, page 20.) At the conclusion of each song, have the children tell why they believe in the thing they just sang about.
Construct a building out of blocks that have been labeled with things we can gain a testimonies of. (Examples: the Church, fasting, the gospel, Heavenly Father, the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, prayer, prophets, revelation, scriptures, tithing, the Word of Wisdom.) As you add each building block, ask children to explain how they can gain a testimony of their own about it.