Our Eight-Year-Old’s Testimony
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“Our Eight-Year-Old’s Testimony,” Ensign, June 2000, 65

Our Eight-Year-Old’s Testimony

Our family has a tradition to gather each Sunday evening for a family devotional. We each bear our testimony, tell a favorite Church story, or sing a favorite Primary song.

One Sunday evening some years ago, five-year-old Daniel eagerly raised his hand and asked to be first. He jumped up and ran over to stand on the living room fireplace hearth, the “pulpit” the children always used. After singing “Book of Mormon Stories,” eight-year-old Ryan bore his testimony, followed by our 11-year-old daughter Chanelle and Mom and Dad. Andrea, our toddler, fell asleep next to us on the couch.

We were about to close our little testimony meeting with a family prayer when Ryan raised his hand and matter-of-factly announced, “I know all about life.” I was a bit surprised and wondered what he was planning to tell us. It was past bedtime, and we were all getting tired, but I let him go ahead anyway.

I asked, “What do you know about life, Ryan?”

Ryan then taught us one of the clearest descriptions of the plan of salvation I have ever heard. It was pure and simple. It reminded me of the account in 3 Nephi when the Savior ministered to the little children, who then taught their parents such marvelous truths they could not be written (see 3 Ne. 26:14–16).

We all listened intently as Ryan touched on every one of the major points of Heavenly Father’s plan. It was as if he had spent hours in memorization.

He was beaming, proud of newfound knowledge. Speaking with power I never thought I would feel from an eight-year-old, he described how, after the Resurrection, the Savior will judge us and we will receive one of the kingdoms of glory. He then told us the importance of being valiant so we can live eternally together as a family in the celestial kingdom. Tears filled his eyes, and he had a look of satisfaction on his face.

Astounded, I said, “Ryan, that’s beautiful. Very well done.” Feeling prompted by the calm, sweet spirit that filled the room, I looked him in the eyes and quietly said, “Ryan, you’re feeling the Holy Ghost.”

He said softly, “I know. I’ve felt the Holy Ghost about six times before. This is just like it.”

I said, “Ryan, I’m proud of you. Right now we are all feeling the joy and happiness that comes when we have the Holy Ghost in our lives. It’s this kind of spirit that will help us live together forever as a family.”

We feel grateful for the teachers who helped our children understand the gospel. But even more, we are grateful for the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives, teaching and guiding us in the paths we should follow.

  • David D. Hoefferle is a member of the Tucson Sabino Canyon Ward, Tucson Arizona East Stake.

Illustrated by Gerald Rogers