Monday, January 14, 2013

Teaching Youth to Testify


This year I am teaching a youth Sunday School class which happens to be 9, 13-14 year old young men: Future Missionaries!!  My goal is to make each Sunday a mini-MTC experience for them.

From Preach My Gospel, you'll find these Baptismal Interview Questions:

  • Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father?
  • Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
  • Do you believe that the Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
  • Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
I asked 4 youth to pretend one of their friends or non-member family member asked them one of those questions. How would they answer?  I also told them to put their answer in the form of a testimony.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?

The young man assigned  shared several important truths about Christ, then ended his remarks with:  "so, ya"  Which has an open-ended, non-convincing feeling to it.
Me: "Very good, but are  you going to end it with,  so ya?"
Young man: awkward
Me: How would be a better way to end your testimony?
Young man: silent
Me: How about, I KNOW...testify.   I know that Jesus Christ lives...
Now, try it again. Let's practice it.
Young man: I know that Jesus Christ lives.
Me: Great!
Young man: big smile

Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father?

Young man: "Uh...I know that God is real" [said in almost a question form] ...that He is there. [another question form]
Me: Very good, but How do you know? What experience have you had?  When has the Lord shown you that He is real?  I'd like you to share an experience.  Have you had a prayer answered? 
Young man: Recognition across his eyes...Yes I have!.
Me: Could you share it with us right now?
Young man: shares experience of praying for help during a time of trouble, and his prayer being answered.
Me: So what did you learn because of that experience?
Young man:  That God  answers my prayers
Me: And because He answers your prayers, what does that mean?
Young Man: That He is real and that He cares about me.
Me: And if you know that He is real and cares about you, what do you know?
Young man:That He lives. 
Me: Exactly!  Now how are you going to end your testimony?  Do you need to say, "in the name of Jesus-Christ, amen"? 
Young man:  giggles..."no"
[Because in a setting with friends you are not going to be that formal]
Young man: I know that God does live and answers prayers.
Me: Perfect!
How are  you teaching the New Curriculum?