Monday, July 6, 2009


Every once in a while I get a bit of mothering inspiration. It doesn't happen as often as I would like it to. I have been praying for it to happen more often. I am hoping that by acting quickly on these moments of inspiration they will come more frequently. Or at least as frequently as I am able to act effectively on them. We all must progress line upon line, one step at a time, after all.

Yesterday as we were driving home I was thinking about testimonies. In our church the first Sunday of each month, members of the congregation are invited to stand and bear witness of the things pertaining to the gospel that they know to be true and to tell about how they came to that knowledge or how that belief was strengthened. We call this a "testimony meeting."

During yesterday's testimony meeting I was explaining what a testimony is to Sabrina and asking about her testimony. After our brief conversation I started thinking about how I could help Sabrina have opportunities to feel the Spirit on her own and further develop her own testimony apart from mine.

Now, I work with the teenage girls at church and I know how they can find and develop their testimonies. I firmly believe that these girls must read, study, and ponder the scriptures on their own to get a solid testimony. God so often speaks to us through the scriptures or while we are reading them. The hardest part for the girls is getting in the habit of reading and pondering the scriptures daily. Isn't it really for most of us?

So on my drive home yesterday I had a bit of motherhood inspiration. My girls may be young and often they don't understand all that the scriptures are saying when they read the verses, but they can read them. I felt that little nudge tell me to help them start this habit of daily scripture reading now. Just like I help them get in the habit of saying their prayers.

So today I told them that before they do their regular nightly reading in bed I wanted them to read at least 5 verses of scripture. I told them they could talk about what they read with each other or with me but I wanted them to read the verses on their own first.

Tonight we had such a sweet spirit in their room while they each read their scriptures. I let them pick where they wanted to read. Sabrina read all the Articles of Faith (that is 13 verses of our basic beliefs) and then she read 4 verses about baptism and the covenant we make when we are baptized. She got those verses from a booklet she was given after she was baptized called "Faith in God."

Ann Marie wanted to read the story in the Book of Mormon that she spoke about in her talk. It is the story of Alma the younger and how he saw an angel as he was going about being wicked and was called to repentance by the angel. She read about 12 verses of that story until Alma faints and is carried to his father by his friends.

I spent time helping each of them understand what they were reading. It was a great night and I plan on making this a habit that will stick in our family. Hopefully by the time they are teenagers, reading their scriptures daily will be so second nature that when they face questions or doubts or temptations or trials they will be able to suck deeply from the well of wisdom contained within the scriptures.

Tomorrow I plan to address a question in a comment about where I would turn other than the scriptures when I had a problem. I don't want the commenter to think I am ignoring the comment. I will get there. But this post shows that clearly I think the scriptures are one of the very best places to go for answers. I would always go prayerfully there first. More on other places I turn for answers tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience tonight. I failed to grab a book for Katelyn before I put Hailey to bed. I found a book in our room that explains the doctrines of the church. I read to her about baptism, then we spoke about when she turns 8. Afterwords, I had an impression to continue reading this book each night to all of the kids. It was nice to share with her something that I hold so close and to feel the Spirit.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who took her Primary President's challenge to read the Book of Mormon with her kids daily. She told them that they could stay up and read with her an extra half-hour after bedtime BUT they had to read whatever she chose. An offer a kid couldn't refuse!

farmgirl said...

Thanks for sharing! I had my very first "mothering" inspiration on my mission. I was serving with a companion who was newly converted to the church and was courageously serving without family support. She asked daily questions about how my parents had raised me in an LDS home. She wanted to know every detail of how Family Home Evening, daily scripture study, family and personal prayer etc. was accomplished. It made me realize the power that these events had given me in my life. How thankful I was for goodly parents who set the example for me.
One night I "KNEW" that these moments were preparing her to be the mother of an LDS family and that I would also be preparing future missionaries one day as well. I realized that I would not only be preparing my sons, but that I would likely have daughters that would choose to serve as full-time missionaries as well.
That special time continually helps me now as a mother. As my children are developing their talents, we emphasize the hymns and primary songs. As my son (12) practices his new hymn of the week and plays past favorites, I often catch him singing quietly along. Another motherhood inspiration hit last week, "The hymns will save him!"
I also feel a responsibility to assist my son with being very familiar with "Preach My Gospel." This has been a great source of scripture study by topics. When he wanted a beautiful new set of scriptures for no particular reason, I realized, "Why not!" It is the very best sort of thing to want! Then I watched him lead by example and desire a nice scripture marking set. Then he asked me to get him "a list of the scriptures that the seminary kids use." "Mom, I just want to be prepared!" (He's 12.) And I am now a witness to the fact that these motherhood inspiration moments - REALLY DO MATTER! The desire to prepare has transfered from myself to him!

Kunz said...

Anita Stansfield. i know. I know. I was skeptical as well. have read too many of her books and they are all the SAME, but alas I have been sucked in once again :) "The Sound of Rain" and it is the first of the trilogy with an extra :)

Anonymous said...

I was the commenter that left the questions about going somewhere for peace during troubled times and having to change certain things in life. I knew you were busy and just waiting for your response. Thanks for your inspiration about the scriptures. You are so great!

I would like to comment on the Kunz family commenter - the Sound of Rain book is amazing. I'm on the 2nd book now and finding it pretty good. You will like number one.

Everyone have a great night and day tomorrow, and thanks for your inspiration and examples.

Stacy said...

That is awesome! That is one thing I want to do with my own family so badly on a daily basis. I have heard so many stories of kids that are read the scriptures too at an earlier age in life understand them so much better when they are older. I want my daughter to understand the scriptures so much. Good for you! :)