Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Scriptures with Children - WHY?

I gave a talk last night for our Relief Society on reading scriptures with young children, getting them excited about the scriptures, etc. I thought it might be fun to share on here.

First of all, why does it even matter? Even after being diligent about this for over a year, the kids still have their whiney moments or choose to disrupt. Every so often when it gets really bad I make them chant, "We're doing this every day! We're doing this every day!" It's as much for me as it is for them, reminding myself that even though it feels like nobody wants to do this and nobody seems to care, we need to keep going.

From President Ezra Taft Benson:
“I challenge all of us to prayerfully consider steps that we can personally take to bring this new witness for Christ more fully into our own lives and into a world that so desperately needs it.

“I have a vision of homes alerted, of classes alive, and of pulpits aflame with the spirit of Book of Mormon messages.

“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.

“I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon.

“Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.”

From Gordon B. Hinckley:
“A week ago a conference of the young women was held in this tabernacle. It was an inspiration to look into their faces, thousands of them. One could not do so without a feeling of peace and certitude concerning the future of this work. The theme of the conference was an appeal to the young women to read the scriptures.

“I look back to my own youth. Neither young men nor young women were doing much scripture reading at that time. What a marvelous change has been wrought. A new generation is arising who are familiar with the word of the Lord.”

From Boyd K. Packer:
"The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.

“This shield of faith is not manufactured on an assembly line, only handmade in a cottage industry. Therefore our leaders press members to understand that what is most worth doing must be done at home.”

From Marion G. Romney:
"And so, I counsel you, my beloved brothers and sisters and friends everywhere, to make reading in the Book of Mormon a lifelong practice... I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness."

To be quite honest, we don't have angels singing in the background in our home, but I do feel like our children are getting their own testimonies, and that our family is blessed for our efforts.

The prophet Haggai rebuked the people with a description of scarcity, saying that the Lord had this message for them: “Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages…put[s] it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5-7).

The people had poured their efforts into projects that had not paid off. Even when it gets hard, reading the scriptures in our home is something that will pay off. It definitely takes commitment and sometimes even creativity to make it happen, but we’ve been given promises by prophets that it will be worthwhile. Doesn’t make it easy, but we do have that promise.

Hebrews 10:35-37 states “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

I've got a neighbor that tested the "spirit of contention will depart" promise. She told me they were having one of those night where it feels like everyone is grumpy. She finally told everyone to go grab their scriptures, it was scripture time. They moaned and groaned, but they gathered together and read a chapter. "Are we done?" she asked after each chapter. If there was any griping, they kept going. After four chapters everyone was calm again, the spirit was back, and they stopped.

Trust in the promises of the prophets, and get started!

Next - what are your scripture goals?


  1. Oh I need help in this area...I am not doing well in this war....hmmm maybe because I look at it like a war.

    My goal is to start looking at Family Scripture reading as something other than an headache inducing chore.

  2. Thanks for the reminder to get back on this. I started working on the second and third posts about this and got busy.

  3. I love these quotes. I think I'm going to try to get the kids memorizing this summer. We'll see how it goes!