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I am a brand new parent. BRAND NEW. My newborn son was born 2 weeks ago and I am unable to explain the amount of love that I have for him. With that being said, a growing concern that I have for myself as a parent is how to plant a seed in him that will foster a love of the gospel.
So here's the question: how do we help our children grow their testimony?
While forcing a testimony on a child never has a good outcome, creating an environment and creating opportunities for them to grow one will always win.
One of the best ways that I was able to learn about the gospel and the many scriptural stories was through children's books. My parents were able to read these stories to me as a kid, and when I was able to read, I was able to read these stories over and over again on my own. Familiarity with these stories led to me connecting doctrine with scriptural references.
A good example that I could use is The Ten Leopards by Nina Harris.
In this story we learn about 10 leopards who all of a sudden start losing their spots. In fear of what this will mean for them, they find a healer who is able to put their spots back on. At the end of the story, only one of the leopards comes back to thank the healer, while the other nine run off. Does this story sound familiar? It should. The Ten Leopards is essentially the story of the ten lepers who Jesus Christ healed.
Stories like this are what will help grow your child's knowledge of the stories of the scriptures, and will allow for them to relate these stories to other aspects in their lives.
Other books that really helped were activity books that were not only FUN but also informational. Another example that is great is the upcoming book Turning Little Hearts which teaches children how to love doing family history and learning about their ancestors.
The ultimate point that I want to make is this. We as parents can't force our testimony's on our children. What we can do though is create multiple opportunities and experiences for them to plant their own seeds of growth that will eventually turn into testimony's, and I believe that children's books are a great way to start planting those seeds.
If you're looking for some amazing children's books, go to cedarfort.com where we have some amazing children's books!