It was family home evening, and everybody had a part to do. Mom was conducting. Dad was giving the lesson. The kids were in charge of prayer, music, and activity—except for Thomas. This week it was Thomas’s turn to bear his testimony, and he was feeling kind of embarrassed.
Thomas had shared his testimony before, but it had been a long time, and he couldn’t quite remember what he was supposed to say. So when the opening song was over and the prayer had been said, Thomas frowned.
“It’s your turn,” Mom reminded him.
Thomas looked out the window at their evergreen tree, wishing somehow it could tell him what to do.
Dad sat down next to Thomas and asked him what was wrong.
“I don’t know what a testimony is,” Thomas said quietly.
“Well, I can help you,” Dad said. “It’s telling us some of the things you know are true or things you believe. You could talk about how you like reading scriptures. That always helps you feel the Spirit.”
But Thomas wasn’t feeling ready. Everyone was looking at him, waiting for him to do something. He shook his head. “I can’t. I don’t know what it is.”
Dad patted Thomas’s arm. “It’s OK. You can do it another time.”
Later that evening Thomas sat in bed holding his Book of Mormon. Dad was right—reading the scriptures always did make him feel better. He tried to read a chapter a day, but the chapters were starting to get really long. He opened his scriptures to 1 Nephi 17.
“That’s a long one!” Thomas whispered. He said a little prayer to Heavenly Father asking for help. Then he was amazed at how quickly the time passed.
Just before Thomas turned out his light, Dad came in to say good night.
“Guess what, Dad?”
“What’s that, buddy?”
“I haven’t read my scriptures for a whole week because the chapters were getting too long. But tonight I wanted to, so I said a prayer, and Heavenly Father helped me. I read the whole thing, and it felt like only five minutes. Prayer is a good thing.”
“Thomas, do you know what you just said?” Dad asked with a smile. “You shared your testimony!”
“Really?” Thomas asked. “What do you mean?”
“When you talked about prayer and how it helped you—that’s a testimony of prayer.”
Thomas’s mouth dropped open in surprise. He thought about all the times people had taught him about testimony. He realized he had shared a testimony!
Thomas felt so good he felt like laughing. He gave Dad a hug.
“Wow, I did it!” Thomas said. “Dad, can I bear my testimony next week in family home evening? I know it’s not my turn, but I want to talk about prayer.”
“I think that’s a great idea,” Dad said.
As Dad left the room, Thomas thought about all that had happened that day. He was grateful for family, scriptures, prayer, and many other things. Right then, he was most grateful for a testimony. He knew how to share one and what it meant.
“You will find when you share your testimony it becomes stronger.”1
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 22.