Evelyn Tells Thilda’s Conversion Story

Evelyn bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting for the first time today.
This morning, when we were in the school room doing our personal scripture and journal time, I told the kids that today was fast and testimony meeting. A minute or so later, Evelyn said “I’m going to bear my testimony today.” I asked her what she wanted to bear her testimony about and she told me that she would talk about how “my ancestor prayed behind a lilac bush. …. and I learned for myself.” (talking about Thilda)
I didn’t know if she would actually get up during Sacrament meeting this time or not because she has mentioned before (at least once) her plans to bear her testimony, but then she got nervous and didn’t go up. I guess the difference with this one was that she knew what she was going to say this time.
She did a really good job. She did make Jershon go up to the stand with her, but he didn’t help her at all. He stayed in his seat and she went up to the pulpit all by herself.
This is what she said…
“I’d like to bear my testimony. My great-great-great-grandma prayed behind a lilac bush. She wanted to know if the church was true. And so she asked Heavenly Father. And Heavenly Father said yes that the church was true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
She first said “I’d like to bear my testimony. My great- great-grandma. … My great-great-great grandma prayed…” She corrected herself because I had told her this morning that Thilda was her great-great-great grandma (3 greats).
Just a few minutes ago, we were all sitting in the living room and I looked over and saw her get the Swenson family history book off the bookshelf and go over to the couch and start flipping through it. She turned to a page with a photo of Swen and Thilda on their wedding day and showed it to me.
Then she said… “I bet that Thilda was with me while I was giving the talk.”
I asked her if she could you feel Thilda next to her and she said “Yeah…. I felt good.”
I thought that was really neat that she recognized that Thilda was probably there next to her. I had been thinking about it earlier (without ever mentioning it to Evelyn) that I wouldn’t doubt if Thilda was there with me.
I suggested to Evelyn that maybe we could find a picture of a lilac bush to print out and put on her wall so she could remember this. She liked that idea. We went on the computer and found a painting that’s perfect (and in the public domain so we could print it)! It has a woman laying beside a lilac bush and she looks like she’s deep in thought.
I love how learning this family history story helped Evelyn with her own testimony and also gave her the courage to share it with others.

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