Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Brightest Generation

And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just – yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them --- therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. (Alma 31:5)

An amazing young mother named Jessica bore her testimony in church today. Despite a desperately rocky childhood (seriously troubled parents, every kind of abuse, and years of foster care) this resilient woman has found the gospel of Jesus Christ and is raising her own family in it. Her conversion is remarkable, not only because she beat the statistics, but how she beat them.

As a little girl, she was given her own copy of the New Testament, which she read regularly without prompting or reinforcement while growing up. And she prayed…without example or instruction. As I visualized Jessica growing into a young woman, holding those scriptures for dear life… her face morphed into many young faces…

In teaching four years of Seminary, I had proven over and over to myself (through trial and error) that though teens enjoy Scripture Jeopardy and gumdrop Rameumptoms, they will eat gospel meat, even at 6:00 a.m. Yet with that experience shoring me up, I still felt intimidated when I stood in front of hundreds of teenagers one summer morning with nothing more than scriptures in hand.

I had been a presenter on the Church Education System’s Especially for Youth faculty for a few years at the time, so it wasn’t the size or age of the audience that worried me; it wasn’t that they’d given me the giant gymnasium instead of a lecture hall to present in; it wasn’t even that the schedule had landed this class right before lunch, when the adolescent stomach would rather feast on food than scripture. What worried me most was the subject itself: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here is the actual class description from the printed EFY program:

“What is our greatest potential? Is it not to achieve godhood ourselves?” How wonderful that we know that the answer to President Kimball’s question is yes! But until the Plan of Redemption was presented to us in the pre-mortal life, we must have wondered how it was possible. This class is for the serious student of the gospel who is interested in exploring Father’s Plan of Happiness as we must have contemplated it preparatory to entering mortality. We can find our place in this world when we comprehend our beautiful beginnings and divine destination. Bring your scriptures.

Based on this preview (I had composed it more as a warning), I expected relative few to choose my class; after all, more popular and entertaining teachers were presenting the same hour. Ten minutes before start time, however, boys slouched and girls giggled through the gym doors - in droves – eventually filling every available chair.

Yiks! I thought. What a rambunctious crowd! Some of them look downright scary. Oh, WHY hadn’t I had put together a slide show or at least a personal anecdote or two - or a hundred?! Sweaty palms made my scriptures sticky.

Like the end credits of a disaster movie, the dozens of scripture references and prophet quotes I was about to discuss scrolled through my brain. I panicked that too many in a row would come across as dull and complicated, though I had definitely felt inspired when organizing them. The most earnest kids might stick it out, I thought. Maybe my best hope was to excuse the tag-alongs, the kids who would prefer a class on dating. I decided to offer an escape.

“Alright everyone,” I began, “You should know that this discussion is all doctrine – straight up. You will be expected to keep your scriptures open and to turn to every reference, and we will be trucking.”

I looked for discouraged expressions, but didn’t see any. In fact, I thought for a second that they all seemed to sit up a bit.

“There is a lot to cover,” I continued my disclaimer, “so we may go into your lunch hour some. If this doesn’t appeal to you, it’s perfectly alright to excuse yourself now and join another class. You won’t offend me in the least.”

That’ll do it, I thought; then braced myself for an outbreak of sidebar discussions and clanking metal chairs.

But nothing happened. No one stirred.

Whether it was genuine interest in the subject, peer pressure, too much trouble to move, or a wave of compassion for the lady shaking at the mic, I had no idea. There was nothing left to do but preach.

We did go over-time. We went several minutes over-time. No one left. No one even packed up early. They ALL kept their scriptures open and stayed intent. Afterward, they crowded around with questions and insights that were stunning.

I repented of having underestimated their spiritual intelligence, humbled by the Spirit which testified that these youth exceeded me - and my generation. It was clear - and many experiences since have reinforced the fact - that the class' success had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with serving the doctrine of Christ “straight up” to young latter-day minds, naturally inquisitive and basically brilliant.

Related Musings: Romance the Heart
and Come to Church

Muse with me: What evidence of spiritual talent do you see in the children and youth of the church today, including those in your own home?

Elisabeth's little one falls asleep with her Book of Mormon.

MORE: "Teaching True Doctrine" by President Henry D. Eyring

30 comments:

John and Laura said...

An EFY presenter. Wow! Though I'm not surprised. I'd love to hear you speak. :)

Today I told my 6yo that I would make cookies with her as soon as she cleaned up her room. She came back a few minutes later and told me: "Mom, we made a covenant. I promised to clean my room and you promised to make cookies with me." Very sweet and reassuring to see that something we talk about is sticking.

Thanks for the post.

Lois Brown said...

I did not know as well that you had been a presenter at EFY! However I too am not surprised. You have done some amazing things with all of your talents!

I did have 2 of my girls be EFY counselors and know that the interview process is intense and that it does say something about your childrens knowlege of the scriptures and the ability to be a leader to a bunch of youth while still keeping the standards and rules. I know I always felt very rewarded as a parent that Anne marie and Allison both were chosen out of the thousands and thousands of College age students who applied!

When I taught early morning seminary for 7 yrs I realized after the first 2 that all I needed was to teach from the scriptures, use the manual of lessons that the General Authorities have prayed over and approved, institute manual and bear my testimony every day. I did not need all kinds of outside resources! My goal was always within the first few minutes of class to have them "into" there scriptures. Of course the way I got them there everyday changed an was the challenge but they all loved it.

And the youth today are amazing! they are so much older then we spiritually. I was ready to have a break from teaching but I do miss it terribly!

Now that we are empty nesters we don't get to study scriptures with our children or have FHE anymore in the typical sense...but My husband and I are still the Patriarch and Matriarch of our family and still want to lead our family in FHE's and scripture study so we have instituted FHE emails every Monday night. Where Alan or I usually present a lesson and/or scripture passages to discuss and then everyone answers adds to it and comments on the lesson. It is a way now that we are all spread out to still have the gospel presented "straight up" as you have said. And if we miss a week for some reason, our girls ask about it. And sometimes they have been the ones to give the lesson and scripture study and the parents have responded. It has kept our family close though far apart!

I don't know if this was really what you asked, but I hope so!

Love all your posts! And miss you so very much! Love you, Lois

Elisabeth said...

Actually Mona I must have confused you as I often do to people when I ramble on. My daughter started sleeping with her Book of Mormon since she was 14 moths old but that picture you posted was taken a few weeks ago and she is now 3 years old. She sure does love her Book of Mormon. Last night she was taking her time brushing her teeth so I informed her I was going to start reading stories without her to my other daughter and the sooner she got done brushing her teeth the more stories she would get to hear. Well, it must not have been too much of a motivation because I had already read a few stories and she was still taking her time in the bathroom. But when she heard me say it was time to read the Book of Mormon, she said. “No, wait! You can’t read the Book of Mormon without me” and came running in to hear it. I am glad it is an important part of her life at a young age. And my other daughter who is 2 is growing in her connection to the scriptures as well. I am also grateful for those who serve in the church to help strengthen my children in the gospel. It is so fun to hear them walk around singing “Follow the Prophet” or “How Firm a Foundation” which I know they are hearing mostly at church because I do not play the primary songs or hymns in our house as often as I should. I am so grateful the church has given us so many tools to teach our children the gospel. For any of you who have young children I highly suggest the new nursery manual for FHE lessons. It is awesome!

Bob Walker said...

I have to remember to not read your musings while I'm at work. From time to time the spirit behind your words hits me deeply and I find myself dabbing at my eyes and hoping no one comes up to my desk to ask me what's wrong.

Thank you for sharing this insight. I remember growing up and being told what a great generation we were, but I believe we were the warm-up act for those that are coming now.

Bri... only she said...

I relate to Bob. I remember being told over and over that we were the greatest generation, but I believe we were being prepared to raise them. I look back on my YOUNGER siblings influence on me. My 8yo sister was the first in our family to take the 1st Presidency's challenge to read the Book of Mormon. My younger siblings actually begged Grant to sit down and study the scriptures with them while we were there this week. While subbing in sunbeams a few weeks back, I was amazed at the insightful gospel questions those 4yos were asking me!

This generation has a brightness in their eyes and a readiness to hold fast to the word of God and share it with others. I look forward to reminding the bright spirits that will be entrusted to my care of where they came from and where they are going. Thank you for sharing!

Bri Z.

The Seven Family said...

I think that I learned this most with my kids when we were inspired (when my oldest was still very young) to change from reading "picture scriptures" - you know the abridged, illustrated stories - to the scriptures as they are, unchanged. Wow - I couldn't believe what they were understanding. The connection was simple for them. They didn't need the "extras" found in pictures and simplification, they needed the word of God straight-forward!!

McAuliffe Bunch said...

I am always amazed with how much I see in my own children and also in the Young Women of my ward. My children love the scriptures. If there is a day that we are slow at getting to scriptures for the day, my kids always ask, Mom, are we reading scriptures today? It is such a joy to watch them grow. We too read the scriptures, not the picture scriptures. My kids have grown to love the words and the stories. We have had many discussions about the things we read.
The other thing I see with my children is their love for the Primary songs. When I hear them singing, it is primary songs!
I also see such strength in the Young Women in my ward. I often think that if I had been as strong as they are when I was their age, I would be so much better off now. I am so grateful for my association with the Young Women. It keeps me strong to be in the presence of such strong spirits! They are always amazing me with wonderful comments during Sunday lessons! We would all be better off if we could have strength like these young women.

Ashlee said...

I bet you were amazing at EFY! I went a couple years as a youth and one full summer as a counselor. It was an amazing time. Just after counseling I moved to southern Utah and attended Institute..about 3 classes a day..every day. I couldn't get into college yet (for paying in-state tuition) so I just attended LOTS of Institute. Then went on my mission. I think back to those days a lot. I miss them. I wonder how I can get them back! I love my little family now, and wouldn't trade them for the world. What could make it easier to study the scrips every day? I enjoyed the VT Message for this month very much too! -fits into your post perfectly!!

I love when we tell our son it is time for bed and he immediately folds his arms and says 'pray? pray dad?' or at the breakfast table when I get him set up and he says 'pray mom?' Even in the middle of the day, if I am sitting, watching a movie and folding my arms he will say.. 'pray?'..I think because he feels the spirit when we pray and he wants that! He is almost 2 and it's amazing to me how young they learn..how amazing these little spirits are. I can already tell he is so close to the Spirit, and it helps me! Thanks.

Mona said...

From Mattye (by email):

I liked your picture of the little girl asleep with the scriptures in bed. It reminded me of when my Aaron was a little boy. I caught him in his bed with a flashlight under the covers. It was suppose to be lights out but he was reading the Book of Mormon under his covers. He couldn’t get enough of the stories. He had to keep reading.

Mona said...

From Jessica (the young mom I refer to in this Musing) by email:

Thank you for sharing your comments with all of us. My children amaze me when we get together as a family for FHE or family prayer or even scripture study at the things that they teach me. For being so new in the gospel they know so much. It feels so good to know that they are listening and they are catching on even at such a very young age. Connor takes his book of mormon everywhere if he has the chance. Jenessa really does live the gospel to the fullest. She teaches me so much and although Karissa doesn't live with us all of the time she to has a testimony even though she is only here with us every other weekend. When the missionaries or our home teachers are over and asking our family questions, my children are the first one's to answer and surprisingly their answers are much better than mine ever would be. All of them would much rather listen to church music than any other kinds of music. I don't even know where to begin, they strengthen my testimony every single day. I am also so grateful to be a laural advisor. They all have such wonderful testimonies and it blows me away at how much they know and how strong their testimonies are at such a young and vulnerable age. They all have such great heads on their shoulders and it will get them so far in life.

Cougarg said...

I'm sure you have read Pres. Eyring's message from the April Ensign. It is all about teaching the simple doctrines of the Gospel. Being in the YSA program for the last 10 years, I haven't seen much in the teaching of the youth today. But I will say that taking the time to teach directly from the scriptures as opposed to quickly paraphrasing them for the sake of time makes all the difference.

When I was on my mission, we had it hammered into us to read the Joseph Smith-History account of the First Vision, word for word. So when I was in your home when Jill and Josue were being taught the discussions, I couldn't believe the missionaries kind of paraphrased the First Vision!

It wasn't my intention to step on those elders' toes, but I made a point to go back and have us read the passage. There is real power in those words, and I know the Spirit was present when we took that time. That was a confirmation to me that nothing beats simple doctrine and the scriptures "straight up".

Larsen's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larsen's said...

Very cute picture of the little one in her crib.

I think this is why the Savior always says come to me as a little child. How innocent and precious they are. I notice with my little ones how much they already love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
My oldest was in the car yesterday and was talking about being baptized. She so sweetly asked if being baptized would heal all of her ouchies. It was cute. I explained to her what being baptized means. Then she was trying to figure out how long she has to wait till she turns 8. She wants to show her love for them by choosing the right and being baptized. Way cool!

I do agree the children today are so amazing. HE has saved the strong for the last days. These children are wise spirits even beyond my years!

I was in the Primary Presidency and I loved it. Teaching the children is so important. It makes me think of a time I was preparing to teach the children about learning to recognize the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. While preparing I was being hit with such opposition...I concluded that this was such an important thing to teach so that the children could recognize the spirit, which testifies the gospel truth. I was so impressed that when I was sharing with all the children all the problems I was having to prepare this important lesson, The spirit was so strong in the room and I could feel just how much the kids were absorbing the wonderful message.

Another thing that surprised me is that last Sunday one of the Primary leaders came to me and told me that both my 6 year old and my 4 year old passed off another Article of Faith. I was shocked because we haven't been practicing them at home and I have no idea where they had learned them. They just have such a desire to learn as much as they can about the gospel. It is way cool.

I am always reminded by my Patriarchal Blessing that I will be raising children that will prepare the Earth for Jesus Christ. Their knowledge far surpasses my own. I am in aw of them.

Thank you for your message.

Trina said...

We were having some problems with our kids in the "honesty area". We had someone stealing from other siblings, and some kids who (we suspected) would make up things that others had done when they were mad at them just to get them in trouble.

One of my 5 kids, "K" was missing his collection of quarters from the various states. At this time it was about $18. He was pretty sure it was "T" who'd taken it. We'd been having problems and needed to get to the bottom of it. After asking, talking, begging, telling them that the guilty person wouldn't be punished just have to give back or earn back the money etc. we still hadn't a clue who'd taken it. "T" seemed pretty adamant that it wasn't him. We started to wonder if "K" was really missing the quarters at all or trying to get "T" in trouble. At this point we were sure he'd be too ashamed and prideful to admit if that were the case.
My husband and I did something we'd never done before (nor have done since). We grounded them all to the garage where their meals were served, only to come out for potty breaks, until someone came forward and admitted it. We let them know there would be no activities until they were released. No planned ball games, no babysitting, and no Carrie Underwood concert that my daughter "N" and my husband and I had tickets to. We let them know that the amount of time they made their siblings stay in the garage would be the same amount of time they'd be grounded to their room and they'd do the chores of the other kids to make it up to them. We knew that would make the guilty come forward....three days later we were second guessing ourselves wondering what to do. We couldn't keep them in there forever. Little did they know we were about to give up and release them. It was the day of the concert. We'd purchased tickets and really didn't want this daughter to miss it. She'd been DYING to go for months. That afternoon, she came forward, crying of course, produced a small portion of the quarters and let us know she'd spent the rest at school for candy sales for her and her friends.
With no job and no way to come up with the remaining $15 she owed him it was determined that "K" would go to the concert in her place. She needed to stay home and deal with the consequences of her actions. She was devestated yet agreeable. "K" later came to us and asked us to let "N" go. We explained that if we let her go she'd not be learning and that it was too important a lesson, too big a deal, the consequence would need to stand. Then he made me more proud as a mom than I could ever have comprehended. He asked if HE could serve the time in her room pay her consequence and allow her to go. (Remember he had his money stolen by her AND stayed in the garage for three days because she hadn't come forward.) Upon seeing the stunned looks on our faces he reminded us that Jesus payed the price for the sins of those very people who had hurt him and taken his life, that this was no where near that, he could handle it. He told us that justice and mercy could both be served.
We learned at the knee of our 12 year old son that day. This was such an amazing lesson for our family. "K" and "N" became much closer over it, the stealing stopped, and most of the other problem I mentioned as well. More than anything we all have a greater understanding of the atonement and the love of our brother Jesus Christ. I'm thrilled to be a mom of these incredible youth, who not only understand but practice the things they know.

Mona said...

Laura: I'll always think of cookies in association with covenants now!!!

Lois: It's exactly what I was looking for! I was hoping you would share some your perspective as a Seminary teacher! And THANK YOU for the FHE idea - we're implementing it pronto!! It's an answer to prayer.

Elisabeth: I fixed the caption -- sorry! Everyone LOVES the picture as I knew they would. THANK YOU so much for sharing.

Bob: I remember being told that too! But doesn't it seem like each new wave of babies is more and more spectacular?!?!

Bri: I can't wait either!!!!

Seven: THANK YOU for bringing up reading straight from the scriptures with our kids. They can and DO understand and the language of the scriptures becomes their "second" language - imagery and symbolism are natural to them.

McAulliffe: Hurray for the YW! and our leaders who work with them! And as a Primary Chorister - I LOVE what you say about the Primary music. Just yesterday I ran into a mother from the ward. She said her Sunbeam came home from church Sunday (where we were singing "Mother I Love You) so excited to tell her: "The Curly Lady said Heavenly Father sent me to you!"

Ashlee: THAT IS SO SWEET! Don't you think prayer comes naturally to children? My little niece, who is not being raised with anything spiritual in her life, was exposed to prayer at her Christian daycare and now insists on it over every meal at home!

Mattye: Precious!

Jessica: Some say WE are the fruits of our children more than the other way around!

Courgarg: I'd forgotten that episode! I remember now --- and it's soooo true!!!! Thank you for making that point!

Larsen's:..."preparing the Earth for Christ" -- that sums it up!

Mona said...

EVERYONE: The current post at "BECOMING LDS" has a wonderful FHE idea on teaching obedience. It worked with their two year old - so is suitable for even tiny ones. I loved it and just wanted to clue you all in.

Love, Mona

Here's the link:

http://becominglds.blogspot.com/2009/04/fhe-idea-kites-and-obedience.html

Mona said...

Trina: What an amazing story. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share it. I know I would like to reference it in future lessons and talks on the atonement and I'm sure others will also. I always wondered what the phrase meant that Jesus "overcame the world". After much study and prayer, I believe it means that He did not give into "natural man" instincts to hurt those who had hurt Him (all of us), but rather felt only greater charity for us, having suffered for us. That your young son understood a principle most adults never fully comprehend is astounding and to my point about "The Brightest Generation".

Becoming LDS said...

Mona,

I just wanted to say thanks for your comment and your reference to my resent post.

In addition, wow I loved this post. This post reminded me of an experience I had a few years back that fits your post in a round about way. But I feel like sharing.

I had only been married for 4 or 5 months when we moved into a new ward and we were both pretty young. I was called to work in the young women and was excited. Soon after beginning in my calling I was greeted often with remarks of how young I was and how I was like one of the girls. I felt like I was treated differently, like I had little to offer. Meanwhile I was pregnant and quite sick, I didn't feel like a teenage girl and I wasn't one. I also felt the young women were treated as if they had little to offer or that they were lacking in some way.

At other gatherings the ward had there were times when my comments were shrugged and a few times that others seemed to come across as "above" me. I knew I was young but I felt I had much to offer.

I tried hard to act positive despite the interesting circumstances. We only lived in this ward for 4 months and things drastically changed as we moved into a married student ward but I learned something incredibly valueable while in that ward.

Everyone at every stage in life has experience, has gifts, and has spiritual talent. Everyone has something to offer. I learned that every Generation is Bright.

We can learn much spiritually and in many other ways from a 96 year old who is very wise in years, we can learn other lessons from a 45 year old who is in the midst of raising a full family, we can learn much from a 20 year old who is in the learning years of college, we can learn life changing lessons from a 16 year old who is living in a trying time, and we can learn simple yet profound lessons from even a two year old.

Indeed I learned while I was in that ward that there is spiritually talent in all generations, young and old.

Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca said...

Face to face with greatness. That's what the scriptures are, and you, also great, opened it opened to them, by your faithful testimony. I hope my children get to mingle with people like you throughout their lives!

InkMom said...

What I have noticed goes one step further: it's almost a polarization. The kids who really get it, REALLY get it, and they rise above to be exactly what you called them: the brightest generation.

But at the same time, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground anymore. Sadly. I think it's a sign of the times -- as the brightest bulbs learn to shine ever brighter, the ones who fail to shine sink deeper into the darkness that seeks so desperately to capture their potential.

Kristy Lynne said...

Normally, I read everyone's comments first. Today I don't want to lose sight of your question.

I believe that each child that is born is a little more stubborn and divinely prepared to fight this battle. As I watch my three year old and my 18 month kidlets I am impressed at how quickly their insights are in the gospel. They pick up little things all the time. When we almost put them to bed without reading scriptures a few nights ago my little Katelyn cried out "Scriptures!?!" That was a great moment.

I also work with teens. I have learned to see them as adults. I have to give them restrictions due to the situation. Still, I expect as much out of them as I would a class at BYU. Actions and consequences are related.

As I watch the LDS students and the other denominations I can see the clear distinction of image? Maybe that's not the right term. They have a presence about them that commands respect and friendship all at the same time.

Some of these kids are seen as troublemakers because they are learning how to be adults under teen limitations. In contrast I see them when they think no one is looking and they stand by their virtues. They cannot hide their goodness even when they want to. We don't talk religion in school; yet it is clear which ones are personally studying the gospel.

The students who are not LDS have been, (except one especially introverted student who quit), excepted and made a part of the group's activities and fun.

I am so impressed with my little army of "2000"

Kristy Lynne said...

Oh, did I mention that we're reading the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi? Amazing that she pick up such deep symbolism.

Heidi said...

I love Becoming LDS' comment that every generation is bright. I like that, and very much agree that each individual has something they could offer.

I always yearn for my time to begin raising my own children, but I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to help with my many nieces and nephews. But I think more particularly in my baby brother (10 years younger). As all the other kids were older and involved in church and school activities, I became a 3rd parent. I learned so many things from those experiences, and from him. He's almost 17 now, and I am still filled with (good) pride, wonder, and amazement at how awesome he (and the LDS friends around him) truly are.

Happy Mom said...

This post speaks to something very deep inside of me. That youth will show up, participate and love it when they are fed true doctrine. Fluff, on the other hand, although fun, they recognize as not really worth their time.

An example: Stake YW's Camp. I felt a great need to focus more fully on the scriptures themselves, beyond the daily devotional and scheduling some personal study time. We scheduled three 45 minute scripture based workshops for the girls to rotate through, one per day. We got a small notebook and scripture marking pencils for each girl which they were to bring along with their scriptures. I worried that many would whine, complain, not show up etc. But show up they did, with smiles on their faces and ready to participate fully, sharing their insights about the block of scripture we were studying. It was a sweet experience to sit with a different group of beautiful Young Women day after day and feast upon the word together. More than anything else we did at camp that year, we got thanked over and over again by the YW for those classes and frequently heard the comment that it was the very best part of camp. Since you teach seminary, I know you've read the Charted Course. It sometimes takes faith to believe that you don't have to sneak up behind them and whisper the doctrine in their ears, but it always pays off. They love to learn the gosple, pure, straight and undiluted. It's a beautiful thing!

Melanie said...

I believe that the youth (and us adults) need the scriptures more now than ever before. They are also able to understand and apply the truth learned more than we give them credit for.
My daughter asked me recently how to safeguard children against some of the evils out there without being with them every minute. I think the answer lies in teaching children to recognize, heed, and desire The Spirit to be with them at all times. This can only be done through teaching them the gospel at an early age.
I saw some friends with 4 small children attend church recently. They struggled through Sacrament Meeting because they only come to church a couple times a year. I wanted to say, "Your children won't learn to sit quietly in church unless you keep bringing them!"
The same goes for teaching our children from the scriptures. They won't learn to love them if they aren't exposed to them regularly.
I used to write a Seminary mastery scripture up on our board during the week and and give a treat to anyone who could recite it by memory. A non-member friend also earned a treat one day by memorizing the one posted.

Thanks for the posts, Mona.

Sue said...

"With Mine Own Hand" has found a permanent place in our car's CD player. Whenever we go somewhere in the mornings, I turn Rush Limbaugh on. That lasts about 2 seconds, when the boys (3 yrs old) get all upset, "NO - we want to listen to NEPHI!" I often find them thumbing through the scriptures like they're really searching for something, or just hauling them around. Their spirits understand everything, even when their brains can't quite get around it all.

Mona said...

Becoming LDS: You remind me that my FAVORITE visiting teaching companions are the senior sisters (the more senior the better!)... you are absolutely right about the treasures every generation has to offer.

Rebecca: It's true - there has to be testimony behind the teaching to be effective. How about dinner?

Inkmom: That's an interesting perspective. As Alma 12 teaches, we lose knowledge (and intelligence) the further into the dark we go.

Kristy Lynne: You must be a professional teacher...Your impressions are impressive and spoken as one who knows too well of what she speaks. "I believe that each child that is born is a little more stubborn and divinely prepared to fight this battle." They ARE not only spiritually smart, but spiritually tough.

Heidi: BriAnne also mentioned her younger siblings and her insights are similar to yours in that regard. My parents tell me I was their third parenting wheel as the oldest of 5, so I can relate. As you obviously know, you don't have to have born children to mother of course. ALL children and teens need the nurturing of those who truly love them - as you obviously do your nieces and nephews.

Happy Mom: WOW! Great job trusting the Spirit on that one. What a perfect example of this principle. When I served as Stake YW Pres, we offered a VERY early morning scripture discussion group in which adult leaders and girls would study together as equals. BOY! It was WONDERFUL!!! and more than I ever expected participated. I hope many are inspired by your example here.

Melanie: Thank you for this Mom/Grandma insight -- all so true. And your idea for the scripture mastery verse memorization and reward is WONDERFUL. It's beautiful when our kids' friends just absorb the gospel practices in our homes!

Sue: WAIT until they start memorizing the NEW recording whicht will include ALL of Nephi's narration! OH! Remember when Cole told his Dad: "Touch me not!" Now, where did he learn THAT???

Brandon Hunter Family said...

My kids are reaching the age where they are starting to present Family Home Evening lessons. Being a bit of an "idealistic control freak" it was hard for me to give them free reign of the lesson. I always want them to be "perfect". In learning to trust my kids with this responsibility, I have learned that I have great kids that love the gospel, and despite the many moments of, "Please listen. Tamsen, stop jumping on Kyleen. It's time to be quiet and listen now. Jerrin, please try to sit still. OK, now is not the time to be silly." etc, etc. they really are listening and learning and gaining testimonies of their own. There's nothing greater than seeing your kids emulate your teaching techniques, hearing them bare their testimonies, and then feeling the spirit! It's worth relinquishing my "idealistic control freak" tendencies!

Mona said...

B.H. Family: What a profound aspect you've added to our musings....allowing or encouraging children to be the TEACHERS. It reminds me of 3 Nephi 26:16: "Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them." !!!!!

Kristy Lynne said...

Mona,
Thanks. It's nice to be validated. (Warm fuzzies)