Note: This post was originally published on September 17, 2010. I'm reposting it because I'm on vacation! And because it was one of the first posts I wrote on this blog, before people actually read this blog - by the way, shout out to my readers - you guys are awesome, and not just because you read my blog, but for the awesome insights you share. That's what I want this blog to be about anyway - about sharing our thoughts about the scriptures. I love to learn from others and hear/read their perspectives, especially about the scriptures. So please! Keep sharing! I love your thoughts!
One of my favorite scriptures lately has been 2 Nephi 25:26:
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (emphasis added)
As a mother I am always striving to find ways to teach my children the gospel. More than anything, I want my children to know “to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer – He has taken upon Himself the sins of the world and has conquered death. It is to Him that we must teach our children to look.
We Talk of Christ
In General Conference back in April, Elder David A. Bednar of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:
Parents should be vigilant and spiritually attentive to spontaneously occurring opportunities to bear testimony to their children. Such occasions need not be programmed, scheduled, or scripted. In fact, the less regimented such testimony sharing is, the greater the likelihood for edification and lasting impact. “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man” (D&C 84:85).
Elder Bednar’s talk about “bearing testimony spontaneously” really hit home to me. Growing up my parents didn’t really talk about the gospel outside of family home evenings, and maybe when “special” events came up, such as when my oldest brother was endowed. But there were people in my life who did talk about the gospel outside of those times, and now I find that even more.
When we are in the car, I try to talk to my children about all the things Heavenly Father created, and bear testimony of His love for us, and His love of variety and good things. The world is such a manifestation of God’s love for us.
Now that my oldest is developing a more active imagination, I have the opportunity to bear testimony to him of the power of the Holy Ghost to bring comfort to us when we are scared. I also have the opportunity to bear testimony to him of the power of prayer, and that God hears and answer him – even a little child.
These moments are not scripted – I simply talk to him about how to calm his fears. “You know, V, if you are scared, you can pray to Heavenly Father and He will send the Holy Ghost to help you sleep and have good dreams.” Even though I didn’t start out with “I’d like to bear you my testimony...” that is my testimony – loud and clear.
We Rejoice in Christ
In order for me to have something about Christ to share with my children, I have to be having experiences with Christ myself. I need to be rejoicing in Christ every day, gaining a testimony that I can share with my children.
“When we are on the path our Savior has taught us to follow, additional gifts from our Lord will be manifest in our lives, both in blessings upon us and in the blessings that we share with others through service. Charity will motivate us, and we will have reason to rejoice in Christ, ... I have had opportunities to see this truth verified over and over, in many different areas of the Church.” (here)
“Rejoice in the power you have within you from Christ to be a nucleus of love, forgiveness, and compassion.” (here)
We can rejoice in Christ by having charity, being forgiving, serving others – there are so many ways to “rejoice in Christ” and receive that testimony.
We Preach of Christ
The definitions of preach in the Merriam-Webster dictionary are: 1. to deliver a sermon, 2. to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action, 3. to set forth in a sermon, 4. to advocate earnestly, 5. to deliver (as a sermon) publicly, 6. to bring, put, or affect by preaching.
I made bold the definitions I like the best. Preaching of Christ, to me, is urging our children to accept Him as their Savior. As the Savior is our advocate with the Father, I imagine that we are something like His advocate with our children. There is a “public” feeling to the definitions of “preach” – whereas “talking of Christ” has a more private connotation. So not only should we be talking of Christ in our homes with our children, but we must preach of Christ – around us, to our friends, to our neighbors, to the world. As our children see us unabashedly declare the divinity and mission of our Savior Jesus Christ, they will come to understand that divinity and mission themselves.
We Prophesy of Christ
Joseph Smith wrote in the articles of faith that “We believe in the gift of ... prophecy.” Prophecy is not just limited to the President of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson, and Christ’s apostles. We can prophesy of Christ in our own lives. The dictionary says that to prophesy is “to utter by or as if by divine inspiration.”
In Revelations 10:10, we learn that “...the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” So, if we have a testimony of Jesus, then we can prophecy of Him by bearing testimony.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “’We prophesy of Christ’ means that we express our testimony of Him by the power of the Spirit... As those who anciently prophesied of His first advent, we also confirm in word and deed the prophecies of His Second Coming.”
So we prophesy of Christ by echoing in testimony the prophesies of the Bible, of the Book of Mormon, and of Latter Day prophets.
We Write According to Our Prophecies
My children are young right now, almost four and almost two, and they do not understand (nor would they appreciate) some of the trials that I face in my life, and my testimony that guides my approach to these trials, and grows in the aftermath of the trials.
In order to preserve these experiences for my children, and for my posterity, I write in a journal, and I write on my blogs. Some day I will read to them from my journal, or allow them to read from my journal, and I as we publish our blogs into books, they will be able to read those at their leisure as well.
“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”
I am working on writing more of the “rich passages” that my posterity might quote, and talking about my “triumphs over adversity, [my] recovery after a fall, [my] progress when all seemed black, [and my] rejoicing when [I] had finally achieved.”
It doesn’t do to be negative or belittling of your life in your journal. “The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story.” (Pres. Kimball) It also doesn’t need to be made to seem more glamorous than it really is. “Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are ‘made up’ for a public performance.” (Pres. Kimball)
I don’t think I have a problem with painting a more glamorous picture of myself, but occasionally I do dwell on the negative, without talking about how I overcame the negative trial. My goal for my journal writing from now on will be recording those things President Kimball talked about – the triumphs, recoveries, progress, and rejoicing.
I testify that as we talk of Christ, preach of Christ, testify of Christ, prophesy of Christ, and write according to our prophesies, our children will come to know to “what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” I have seen it in my own life as I testify to my children, and I know you will see it in your life with your children.
In what ways to you bear spontanteous testimony, as Elder Bednar counseled? Do you keep a personal journal? What kinds of things do you write about? How do you rejoice in Christ? Have you seen your children look to Christ because of your living this scripture?