We had Family Night tonight.
The boys were in charge of the lesson. Miles introduced everyone to family night and conducted the order of things in a "man voice". Tyson & Emmett tag teamed the lesson with our family night lesson pack. They found the story of the healing of the blind man from the Bible. It was fabulous. We remembered there was so much more to this particular story than what was able to be portrayed in the short healing & teaching scene that showed pieces of several miracles that Jesus performed.
At the end, they bore their testimonies.
Emmett said that by the last night of the Easter Pageant, he felt a giant spirit in his heart. He also said that when he was two, three, and four, his testimony wasn't very good, but that as he's done a lot of good things, it's gotten bigger. He also said that he knows Jesus is REAL. Emmett then said that he knows he will get baptized someday and get his own scriptures and scripture case. :)
Tyson bore his testimony, too. It was simple, but from the heart - about knowing Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on earth today, and that we're going to be together forever as a family.
The other night driving home from the Easter Pageant, Tyson shared a profound thought. He said that during the scene of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is praying, he was listening to the narrator. The narrator said that no event in the history of the world had more significance for mankind than Jesus' selfless sacrifice. Tyson said that part really "grabbed [his] attention", and he knew that "there really was no other event that was more important than what Jesus did for us."
Miles wanted to bear his testimony tonight, and Emmett was so excited to help him. He started him off with the words, "I would like to bury my testimony..." :)
Earlier today, Miles told me he wanted to go to the Easter Pageant and see the fire. :) We were in the group that sat closest to the torch bearers this year, and we watched the fire every night. When I told him Easter was yesterday and that the Easter Pageant was over for this year, he was crestfallen. Then he said, "I want to see the fire at the Easter Pageant - it looks like marshmallows on fire with a stick." :)
After Emmett helped Miles by giving him the best testimony he could help him say, Emmett decided he wanted to bear his testimony with even more things to say, so he did.
When Emmett wanted to add more things, Tyson said, "Oh, expanded form." He's such a brainiac, whiz-kid. That's such a nerdy joke. :) It's totally a Borden kind of thing, too. He does things like that all the time. For example, just the other night he told me he loves me "more than the perimeter of space". I love my kids - when they try to express themselves, I get these enlightening little glimpses of the way they view the world. They are amazing little people.
Mitchell shared his testimony about how one night on stage, it felt like it was just he and the other actors - that no one else was around, and they were all just there together telling this amazing story. It wasn't until after that he realized there were so many other people there watching...thousands, even. Another experience he shared with us was the way the Roman Centurion must have felt - he realized that Jesus was "more than just a man" and that they did something terrible by crucifying him. Mitchell explained the relief he felt at the end of the Pageant each night as the Centurion comes to know that Jesus Christ really was resurrected...that after playing such a part in Christ's death, that because of the guilt that must have tormented him the truth of Christ's resurrection was something he truly needed to know. What promise and hope and RELIEF that must have brought to him. Mitchell likened that to the way our sins have all contributed to Christ's suffering & sacrifice, but that we can all experience that relief when we turn to Jesus Christ and repent.
I also gained a stronger testimony this year of Jesus Christ. I portrayed a follower in the crowd. I got to see Jesus perform miracles and bring the dead to life. I got to see the blind man healed. I got to stand on the grass with my kids shouting, "Hosanna", and hear my oldest yell, "He is Christ, the King!" One of those nights, my own father even joined us in the multitude and sang "I know He lives" right by my side during the Finale. That was the 1st time in 18 years of our family's participation that we ever got to share a moment like that as father and daughter on the stage. It was so special to see him turn and smile at me right before the ascension. On some of those nights, while we were standing on the grass, the actor who portrayed Jesus would ride the donkey right past us. Sometimes when he went past us, or when he was on the main stage during a freeze, or sometimes during the final ascension, for just a little bit he would look into my eyes. I felt the Spirit every time. I can't perfectly describe how it felt, but it felt like for just a moment the real Jesus was there and that he knew me - He knew my heart, that I believed in Him, and that I wanted to be close to Him. It reminds me of the song our ward choir sang in church for Easter Sunday -- "He knows I will follow Him - give all my life to Him. I feel my Savior's love - the love he freely gives me."
For me, nothing quite compares to the beauty of an Easter morning. Knowing that my Savior lives has changed everything for me. It has made my life beautiful, it has brought healing, it has brought hope, it has brought happiness, and has given me the strength to endure all of my trials. It is the very thing that I know will get me through anything else that I may have to experience in this life. I know Jesus Christ lives and that He loves me, and that he doesn't just know my name - that he knows EVERYTHING about me. And I know that's how he feels about you, too. It's the most beautiful thing.