The power of teaching through stories cannot be understated—for the young, the old, the teachable, the defiant, and everyone in between. Stories reach everyone. They grab our interest and they’re fun. They also create a safe place to learn, because listeners aren’t in trouble or being lectured to. They are free to recognize right from wrong, and they can decide objectively what they would do in the same situation.
One night we were sleeping over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. As we were tucking our young children into bed, we asked Grandma to tell them a bedtime story. She thought for a few seconds and then began telling a little-known story about Peter that she had listened to while working in the house that day.
I’m so glad my husband had the foresight to pull out his phone and record the precious interaction. As you take a peek into this story time scene, notice the overall feeling in the room, and what the kids were actually learning
That night, we heard a story about Peter’s miraculous escape from jail. However, we learned many invaluable lessons: the scriptures are exciting, God works miracles to deliver His servants, angels are real and can help us, there is power in group prayer and fasting, and—maybe most impactful—our Grandma loves the scriptures!
When we hear stories, the Spirit testifies of truth. He plants it deep into our hearts, and attaches it to our feelings, thus making it a memorable part of us. This enables us to recall those truths later on. Our girls may not remember all the details of Grandma’s story, but they’ll retain the eternal truths they felt while Grandma shared her testimony in story form.
In our world of escalating wickedness, we are constantly bombarded with lies, deceptions, and distractions. But we also find goodness and light, which come from Christ. When we experience Christ in our lives—either from our own experiences or those of others—we begin to see His influence everywhere, and He becomes the Central Character in our life story. Then we are able to help others recognize His abiding influence in their lives as well.
Don’t let a testimony building story come your way without passing it on to your loved ones. If you hear something that nurtures your belief, share it. Tell them your faith-inspiring stories while you’re riding in the car, as you’re gathered around the dinner table, as you do dishes together, or while tucking them into bed. As you do, you will be witnesses of God “at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
A young mother decided to look for daily opportunities to teach her boys through scripture stories. One day she seized a moment in the car to tell her son the story of Samuel, and after the third time through, she decided to capture it on video with her hidden phone. Watch how she lovingly teaches him, and how willingly he helps with the story:
Do your family members know your favorite scripture stories? Do they know about your personal experiences with Christ? If not, then you have an opportunity to strengthen their faith through stories. The Lord expects us to remember and share the times He has blessed us, in order to retain and strengthen our faith, and the faith of those we love.
Take a few minutes to record your most powerful spiritual experiences: the whisperings of the Spirit that have guided you, the moments of clarity as the Spirit has testified of truth, your trials and how God helped you through them, and the times you’ve been protected from physical or spiritual danger. Then pray for opportunities to share them.
Don’t worry about perfection in your delivery. Your love for them and for the Lord will be heard and felt. I promise the Savior will work through you to reach the hearts of those you love, as you testify informally through stories.