“A Solid Testimony,” New Era, July 2019, 8–9.
Gaining a firm testimony of the gospel for yourself is no small feat. It takes patience, persistence, and faith. You may know lots of gospel principles, but gaining a testimony requires you to act on what we’ve learned.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “If we have to work hard to obtain a testimony, it will make us and our testimony even stronger.”1
In this activity, you can teach your family about building testimonies by showing them how to make butter out of cream. You would never try to spread liquid cream on bread—that would just turn into a soggy mess. But with the right ingredients and some time and effort, you’ll have a toasty treat!
An important step in developing a testimony is learning more about the gospel. Try asking your family for examples of simple gospel doctrines and principles. Then talk about how it is essential to start out with the right “ingredients” before you try to make the final product, just like in a recipe.
Now you can gather your mason jar, heavy cream, and salt (optional) to prepare for your butter-making journey. When you’re ready to start, pour cream into your jar until it’s about halfway full and, if you’d like, add a dash of salt.
Make sure the lid is screwed on tight, because the secret to turning this liquid cream into solid butter is a whole lot of shaking. Tell your family that the shaking represents acting on gospel principles you’ve learned. While you’re doing this, discuss what it means to “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
Shake it forward and backward, left and right, or like a maraca. You can sit, stand, or dance around the room, but keep going!
As the cream thickens, it becomes increasingly difficult to shake, so feel free to pass the jar around to give everyone a turn. Plan for the process to take 6–8 minutes.
When you see a solid lump of butter form, open your mason jar to reveal the final product. Don’t worry about the liquid in the bottom of your jar; that’s just buttermilk (which, by the way, is great to use for pancakes).
Making butter from cream teaches you that it takes hard work to achieve your goals. Shaking the cream causes the fat cells to stick together and form clumps. But this would never happen if you just left the jar of cream on the table. You have to pick it up and shake it.
It takes time and effort to form butter from cream, and the same goes for your testimony. Elder Uchtdorf suggested strengthening your testimony by searching the scriptures, keeping the commandments, fasting with a purpose, and praying consistently.2 Make goals with your family that will push each of you to actively strengthen and solidify your testimony.
Nice work! Your family has created butter out of cream. It’s time to toast some bread so everyone can enjoy the result. Top off your buttered toast with your favorite jam, honey, or even cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.
When you have a strong testimony, you can use it to improve your life and the lives of the people around you. As you strengthen and share your beliefs, remember that developing a “solid” testimony requires you to be willing to put in the work.
The author lives in Utah, USA.