Friday, May 15, 2009

Scriptures with Children - How We Do It

We start our scripture reading with music. We've got a stereo with a timer on it, so I set it to got off at scripture time and let the music call everyone to scriptures. It was a huge help when we started our latest push to read the scriptures almost a year and a half ago. The music reminded me on days when I wasn't thinking about it, and helped make it a habit. It also helps to set the tone, and gives the kids a couple minutes to finish what they're doing and gather. When people start getting slow, I will give a surprise reward (small treat or something) for those that show up on time.

We start with a prayer, and read together for about 20 minutes, taking turns as we go. Even the two littlest get their turn, repeating a few words at a time after me.

When we're done with our reading, we work on memorizing a scripture. Our original goal was one a month, and we were doing it so the kids could learn the Articles of Faith, but they learned those surprisingly fast working on them just a couple minutes a day, and we just kept going. In about 14 months we've learned 28 scriptures, involving about 38 verses.

I got a new perspective on our memorization a few months ago when Jamie read President Benson's vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon during family home evening:

“I have a vision of thousands of missionaries going into the mission field with hundreds of passages memorized from the Book of Mormon so that they might feed the needs of a spiritually famished world."

Adam has seven years left before he turns 19. I wonder how many we'll have by then. We just finished learning the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood, we'll do the Young Women's Theme sometime, and we keep talking about doing the Family Proclamation. So far the hardest to learn (I never got really good at it) was Alma 7:11-12. If you memorize it really well let me know the trick.

The cool thing with memorizing scriptures is that even if the kids aren't listening to anything else in church, when they hear a scripture they've memorized they'll look over at me and mouth the words. Of course I make a mental note of the scripture and what they were talking about that included it, and we can talk about it when they get home.

I'll finish this off with a few final thoughts next.

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