The other day I was giving the kids their lunch and I was telling them about Fast Sundays. For those of you not of our faith, the first Sunday of each month is Fast Sunday. We are encouraged to give up 2 meals that day as a sacrifice. Through this practice, we are putting aside the temporal to help bring the spiritual to the surface. Through fasting, we also learn how to better serve those less fortunate. Whatever we would have spent on our own food during that period, we are encouraged to donate. Along with fasting, church members are given the opportunity to share their testimonies during our Sacrament Meeting (the first hour of our church meetings). I was telling the kids (mostly Sawyer) about bearing testimony, and why we do it. When I was done explaining it to him, he looked at me, rather perplexed, and asked, "Mom, after we bury our testimony is it gone forever?" :) It made me smile. I proceeded to explain that the word was actually 'bear' not 'bury'. But as I sat in Sacrament Meeting that day, I realized that I often 'bury' my testimony as I ignore the promptings of the Spirit that are urging me to get up and share my testimony with others. It's not easy for most people to speak in front of a crowd, and I get nervous about it too. But I went up that Sunday and shared my testimony with my family, and with the members of the ward. I really wanted to be a good example to my kids and do the things that I teach them to do. Thats the amazing thing about parenting. Not only are we taking care of and nourishing these young souls...but we are nourishing our own through the process. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mother. I am even more grateful for my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides me with the direction I need to be a good person, and a good mom. It gives me an eternal perspective that is vital to our ability to endure and grow. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints is the true church. That it was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. How grateful I am for its guidance. I know that we are led by a true prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson. And I know that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent his Son to die for each one of us. I know that families are forever--what a beautiful thing! Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He lives. His atonement is there for each of us to use, if we will only accept it. Through it, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I know these things are true, because the Holy Spirit has given me that knowledge. I have felt that sweet burning in my heart...that peaceful feeling. This testimony--my testimony, is my foundation. It is the reason for my happiness, the reason I am able to endure the trials of life, the reason that I want to be a mother. It is who I am. It is why I am.
Thanks to little Sawyer for getting me thinking more deeply about my testimony lately. The sweetness of a child can do great things. And to add some humor to that, a couple of weeks later, Sawyer was telling Nathan and I that he felt like he was ready to 'bury his testimony' soon. We smiled, and said, 'ok', but what would you say? what do you believe? what do you know is true? (we have made it clear that they are only allowed to get up and share if they can do it by themselves and be reverent about it) He said, "I believe in Jesus. I know everything in the Book of Mormon is true". We said, "Great, how do you know that?". He said, "Well, cause you guys told me that (?)...or wait, maybe I just made that up?!?!". Haa....we chuckled and decided that maybe he should give it some more time. So cute, though. I love that boy.
I had to add this picture of Sawyer. He loves his little baby sister. At this moment, he was saying to us, "Mom, what's wrong with Isla? Why can't she walk yet, I mean, she has two legs, she's not an animal." LOL
If anyone who read this post is not a member of our faith and would like to learn more about it, please visit www.mormon.org. You won't be sorry! :)