05 October, 2016

Scripture Power!

Scripture study is important in our family. It is also constantly changing its structure within our home. When Gage was little, we were very sporadic about it. By the time he was two, we sang, prayed, and read or recited one verse together at night. When Kjel was born, we began seeing that more was needed, and adjusted to that by reading more at night, and doing our singing-family motto-scripture memorization-prayer, both morning and night.

During the summer, I felt prompted, again, to change things up. We started gathering all the scriptures and putting them in a basket, then bringing the basket to the table in the morning during breakfast. Everyone would grab a pair, and we began the Book of Mormon again (we just finished in May). This worked pretty well. I also bought each child a small notebook and would keep them in the scripture basket. During scripture study they could write questions (or doodle - that's what Kjel and Will did, as they can't write yet ;). This worked pretty well for the summer, but when we were in a hurry we'd just quickly read (each of us takes one verse, and helps Kjel and Will by reading a line and they repeat it back).

It worked, but I still didn't feel like we were "hearing the music" of the gospel, and teaching our children to do the same. Yes, we were studying together, but I'm not sure that our studies were helping them to love God, and helping them to want to serve Him and each other.

So. Another scripture study face lift. We are on day two and so far, loving it.

For family night on Monday, I asked the kids and Steven to help me compile a list of scripture stories that they like or are interested in. It included things like: Nephi's broken bow, Noah's Ark, Daniel and the Lion's Den, Joseph Smith's first vision. Then, at night before bed, Steven and I pick one off the list, and plan a fun way to teach it the next morning before school.

The first day, Steven was at the temple, so I just taught. We learned about Christ's visit to the Americas. This is what I did: each kid got three blocks (we love Melissa and Doug wooden, unpainted blocks). I asked each child to build a tower. We opened up to 3 Nephi 9 and I named each of their towers after a city that is named (Jacobugath, Morianton, etc) and told them how it was destroyed (fire, being buried in the sea, buried by earth), and let them destroy it. I asked them why the cities were destroyed. We talked about how the unbelievers wanted to kill those who believed in Christ and anticipated his coming.

Then we read verse 22: Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

I asked them "Who is a little child?" They eagerly pointed to themselves. We talked about what it means to be like a little child, and how eager the Savior is to forgive us and save us, EVEN and ESPECIALLY when we have done wrong.

Then we had song, prayer, family motto, and our ponderize scripture. Our whole morning of study probably took 10-15 minutes. Not bad!

This morning, I was at a doctor's appointment, but Steven taught about Ammon protecting the sheep and serving the King, which influenced the King's conversion. Before we went to bed, we put toy animals on the table with a small figure of Obi Wan Kanobi representing Ammon. Ha! Steven told me it went well, and when I asked Kjel about it after I got home, she talked about Ammon protecting sheep.

Obviously we are a work in progress, but I love the scriptures. I am learning to treasure them. I very badly want to teach my kids to treasure them. Look at these amazing promises!

But first, look at this amazing face! 
The third reason why the Book of Mormon is of such value to Latter-day Saints is given in the same statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith cited previously. He said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church,4:461). That is the third reason for studying the book. It helps us draw nearer to God. Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book. - Ezra Taft Benson

        "Our beloved brother, President Marion G. Romney, who celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday last month and who knows of himself of the power that resides in this book, testified of the blessings that can come into the lives of those who will read and study the Book of Mormon. He said:
        '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 the counsel of their parents. 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' (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).

“As you read of the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will draw closer to Him who is the author of our salvation” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 97).
“When individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, … other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow” (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 81).
“Let us not treat lightly the great things we have received from the hand of the Lord! His word is one of the most valuable gifts He has given us. I urge you to recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves in them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend you in your callings. Read them in your families and teach your children to love and treasure them” (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 82).
“I think that people who study the scriptures get a dimension to their life that nobody else gets and that can’t be gained in any way except by studying the scriptures. There’s an increase in faith and a desire to do what’s right and a feeling of inspiration and understanding that comes to people who study the gospel—meaning particularly the Standard Works—and who ponder the principles, that can’t come in any other way” (Bruce R. McConkie, in Church News, 24 Jan. 1976, 4).
“I challenge every Latter-day Saint to come to a knowledge and an understanding of the scriptures. These sacred books are our bulwark of defense against a cunning adversary” (Marvin J. Ashton, in Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 110; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 73).
“I promise you that daily family prayer and scripture study will build within the walls of your home a security and bonding that will enrich your lives and prepare your families to meet the challenges of today and the eternities to come” (L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 113; or Ensign, May 1993, 92).

I could post a zillion more! The promises are real. Before we all leave for the day, I try to always remind my kids that we just read and studied our scriptures because the scriptures are like armor that we put on. When we are wearing our armor, we are protected. I know that to be true! And I am posting these unrelated photos because I'm trying to get all my favorite photos posted so that I can have them somewhere other than our hard drive; that's why you will see some randoms here and there ;). 

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