I wanted to teach the children about the 4th article of faith and how these principles and ordinances can help us build and strengthen our personal testimony. To do this I needed to build a small table. I was able to cut a piece of particle board into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle. Then I found some wooden doweling and cut four, four inch lengths. I then drilled an appropriate size hole that the doweling would squeeze into, and made the depth of the hole about half way into the wood and placed these holes at the four corner locations. Now I was ready to install and remove the legs as needed.
I showed the rectangular piece of wood to the children and asked them what it was. Of course, I received answers such as ‘a piece of wood’ and so forth. I told the children that this was a testimony table. They all looked at me kind of funny, but that was ok. I explained that if I set this table down, I could still eat from it. I could set things on it, but, it did not yet look like a table as it was missing legs. This is kind of like the testimony of our parents (or of other members of the church). It can work for us, but our own testimony is still not yet developed.
I then asked the children to recite the first principle of the gospel. Of course the kids already knew the 4th article of faith and in no time I had the answer of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So I explained to them that this is the first leg of the testimony and I placed the first wooden dowel into one of the holes. I demonstrated that the table was starting to take shape but it would not yet stand on its own. We talked about the importance of faith and so on before moving on.
I then asked in order for each of the other principles and ordinances upon each correct answer placing another leg of the table in place. We would discuss as we went about the importance of each. Pretty soon, we had a table built that was sturdy and strong. I placed the completed table and related each of the principles and how our strong it made our testimony table.
Then we talked about how life brings challenges to us that will try our testimony. To demonstrate I had a series of fishing weights weighing from one ounce all the way up to 48 ounces. I was able to stack almost 5 pounds worth weight on this table (I had to use a plate to keep all weights from rolling off). I also placed books and other items to demonstrate that no matter what I threw at this table, if it was properly supported on the foundation of these principles in the 4th article of faith, that it withstood the challenge.
Then I removed all of the weight and told the children that sometimes, people became over confident in their abilities and would not maintain their testimony. Say they would not repent of some wrong doing such as getting in a fight with a brother or sister and not apologize, or say their personal prayers. I then removed one leg of the table. I set the table down and it still stood on its own. I talked about how this appeared on the outside to still be a testimony but really it was weakened. Then I talked that if a person stopped repenting that the gift of the Holy Ghost would leave us and I removed a second leg from the table (diagonally across from the first removed leg). Then I set the table back down and it still stood. I showed the kids that some people would still be prideful and say that, of course I still have a testimony. See, it is still standing and looks like any other table or testimony. Then I placed my smallest challenge or trial fishing weight on one of the corners of the table and of course, the table fell over. The simplest of challenges caused this problem. We then talked about how to maintain our testimony. I asked them to recite the entire 4th article of faith and we discussed the importance of living these principles every day.