Start 'em young

Two weeks ago, our Bishop told a story about his father's futile attempts to gather the family together for scripture study. He lamented the fact that because of his own resistance, he didn't establish the habit of daily scripture study at a young age, and wondered at the knowledge and blessings he missed out on.

I remember my own family's on-again off-again stabs at consistent study. As a family, we had many strengths, but that was not one of them. Jared didn't grow up with daily family scripture reading either, and I suppose we've used our own childhood experiences as an excuse not to try it with our children. "It's too hard" "They're too young" "Maybe next year".

After the Bishop's story, we decided to finally give it a shot.

This has meant that at 7:00, we tell the kids to get their pajamas on and brush their teeth. By 7:30, we start reading. Everyone takes a turn {except the baby}. Little Miss C has impressed us with her ability to decipher complicated words, and E has asked to be in charge of saying "And it came to pass" every time we come across the phrase {which is VERY frequently}.

It hasn't been perfect. The kids ask how many more days we plan to do this. They get bored at times. They squirm, they talk over us, they act like the little kids that they are.

But they listen.

One night, while I was conducting scripture study without the help of J, who was working late, we came to the verse in 1 Nephi where the young prophet is instructed to kill the evil King Laban in order to obtain the sacred brass plates. Little Miss C read "he smote off his head" and suddenly E was all ears.

"Does that mean that he cut the king's head off?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied, explaining that it was necessary in order to save a whole nation from dwindling in unbelief.

"Ewwww," Little Miss C exclaimed, though she wore a huge grin.

"COOL!" E yelled.

The next day they couldn't wait to tell their daddy all about it.

Maybe someday they'll be equally excited by the powerful testimony of King Benjamin, or the appearance of an angel to Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah.

For now, I have a feeling that they're really going to like the chapter where Ammon protects his king's flocks by cutting off all the arms of his enemies. :)


Apis Melliflora said...

My oldest was (still is actually) really interested in the plagues Moses inflicted upon the Egyptians. He also knows that "Jesus is the biggest and best of all the action heroes."

The Dragonfly said...

My family did not study the scriptures together when I was young. My husband's did. For the first ten years of our marriage {eight with children} it was not a top priority. In the past five years we have made it a priority and it has made a marked difference in the atmosphere in our home. I am always amazed at the armor we are able to shield our children in each morning as we read together and find personal, modern day applications from ancient prophets. Do kids fall asleep? Yes. Do kids goof around? Yes. Is it totally imperfect? Absolutely! But I love it anyway!

The Queen Vee said...

2 1/2 years ago my nephew and his wife had quintuplets. They already had two other children. For the first 7 months of the quints life the Wilkinson's had a about 70 volunteers a week in their home. I was able to go to Austin and help for two weeks. One of the things that so impressed me while I was there was Rachelle's determination to have scripture study every morning and family home evening every week. Despite the chaos and exhaustion of daily life (it was overwhelming chaos and exhaustion) Jayson and Rachelle stayed committed to doing those two things. I learned a valuable lesson, make the choice and then DO IT, no matter what.

If you would like to read more about their quint birth story (it's amazing) go to:

And keep reading those scriptures, it will pay huge unimaginable dividends.

Mo-Reen said...

I need to jump on your train! : )

hukolb said...

We never had regular scirptures or FHE for that matter. Its been a struggle with young kids but a habit we started from the day we were married which has carried over. Even if the kids are jumping on the bed or running around, we are reading. I liked your ideas for engaging them a bit more. My brother just reads a verse or two. My husband sometimes will just focus on the concept after we're done reading and explain that to the kids, even if they didn't hear the actual reading:). Someday they will start reading on their own we hope, and someday we will work on getting them all sitting at the same time:). Until then, we take it a night at a time! Thanks!

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