Prepare yourself spiritually
Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What do you find that will inspire the young women to gain a testimony?
John 7:16–17 (If we do the Lord’s will, we will gain a testimony)
Alma 32:27–34 (Begin with a desire to believe)
D&C 9:7–9 (We must study for ourselves before we ask)
Thomas S. Monson, “Believe, Obey, and Endure,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 126–29
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 20–23
Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Be Ye Converted,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 76–78
Craig C. Christensen, “I Know These Things of Myself,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 50–52
“Testimony,” True to the Faith (2004), 178–80
At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.
Introduce the doctrine
Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to introduce this week’s lesson:
- As a class, read Elder Craig C. Christensen’s comparison between a testimony and a redwood tree in his talk “I Know These Things of Myself.” If possible, bring a picture of a redwood tree and explain that this tree grows from a seed that is only a few millimeters long. Ask the young women to share what this comparison teaches them about strengthening their testimonies.
- Ask the young women to write down a definition of the word testimony. Invite them to share their definitions with the class. You may encourage them to read “Testimony” in True to the Faith.
Each of the activities below will help the young women learn how to gain their own testimonies. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:
- Show the young women seeds and a potted plant. Ask them what needs to happen in order for the seeds to grow into a plant. Read Alma 32:27–34, and ask the young women to compare growing a plant to gaining a testimony. How are their testimonies growing? What can they do to nourish their testimonies? Invite them to write in their journals how their testimonies are growing and what they can do to strengthen them.
- As a class, make a list of individuals in the scriptures who gained a testimony. Discuss what these people did and how they received their spiritual witness (see 1 Nephi 10:17–19; Alma 5:45–46). Invite the young women to share experiences that have strengthened their testimonies.
- Invite each young woman to make a list of things that might weaken her testimony and ways she can keep it strong as she reads the scriptures in this outline or the 12th and 13th paragraphs of President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Believe, Obey, and Endure.” Invite the young women to share some of the ideas on their lists, and then discuss as a class how the young women can help others strengthen their testimonies. How can they help family members? friends?
- Invite the young women to think of someone they know who may be struggling with his or her testimony. Encourage them to search President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth,” looking for things that could be helpful to that person. What could they share with that person?
- During the week, ask one of the young women to come to class prepared to relate the story of Agnes Hoggan from Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson’s talk “Be Ye Converted,” including how Agnes’s testimony influenced her decisions. Give each young woman a slip of paper with one sentence from Sister Oscarson’s talk that teaches a principle about strengthening testimony. Ask each young woman to share her sentence with the class and to discuss what she learns from it and any insights she has to share.
- Ask each young woman to read one of the scriptures in this outline to find ways to gain and strengthen a testimony or things that prevent us from gaining a testimony. After they have shared some ideas, ask them to think about ways they can help others strengthen their testimonies. How can they help family members? friends at school?
Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to gain their own testimonies? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?
Live what we are learning
Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:
- Bear their testimonies in class.
- Set a goal to strengthen their testimonies by living one of the principles they learned.
- Share their testimonies with a friend or family member in the coming week.