Growth Spurt

by Hannah Douglas

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    Want your testimony to bloom? Do what I did.

    I had heard the same story over and over again in church, the one about testimonies and planting seeds. But on fast Sunday, I usually just slumped down in my chair and thought about how boring testimony meeting was. So of course I didn’t think that a recent lesson in my Sunday School class about testimonies would affect me any differently than any of the other things I had heard, but I was wrong.

    During class I was asked to read the familiar story in Alma 32:26–43, in which Alma compares faith to a seed. I had read or heard that story many times before, but for some reason, this time I couldn’t get the line that says “Because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed” (Alma 32:33) out of my head. I thought about the seed of my own testimony, and how I had never really “tried the experiment” to see if it would grow.

    Near the end of the lesson our teacher brought out the most beautiful plant I have ever seen. It was full of bright red and orange flowers. Then she brought out another plant, except this one was brown and wilted. Our teacher explained that the flower that was beautiful and bright had been nourished and looked after, while the wilted one had been forgotten about and neglected. She then handed us a pot of dark soil and a single seed. She challenged us to nourish the seeds as a reminder to nourish our testimonies. She also challenged us to bear our testimonies often.

    By the next month my seed had bloomed into a bright, flowering plant. On fast Sunday, my Sunday School teacher bore her testimony right after the bishop, and it made me think about her challenge. I also thought about my beautiful plant and how I wanted my testimony to be just as beautiful. I knew that I had a testimony, and that part of helping it grow was sharing it with others. I had butterflies in my stomach, but I finally got enough courage to stand.

    As tears rolled down my face I looked down at my Sunday School teacher, and I could tell that she was proud of me. As I sat down I thought that even though my testimony didn’t seem like much right now, I knew within myself that my testimony was the beginning of the most beautiful thing I would ever grow.

    Illustrated by Ron Peterson