Jan 9, 2012

Teaching the Importance of the Book of Mormon to Our Children


President Hinckley has counseled parents :
“Read to your children. . .read to them from the Book of Mormon.  It will take time, and you are very busy, but it will prove to be a great blessing in your lives as well as in their lives.  And there will grow in their hearts a great love for the Savior of the world. . . he will become to them a very real living being.”

President Harold B. Lee says that reading from the scriptures themselves is Vital.  “There is something that’s more electric, more spiritual, something that is more deeply meaningful when I read from the scriptures themselves.”

We need to familiarize our children with the language of the Book of Mormon itself.


-Teach from it during FHE

-Tells stories from it as Bedtime Stories

Years ago, my mom was telling my kids the story of Lehi warning the people about the destruction of Jerusalem because everyone was so wicked. And Kelsey asked “Even the girls grandma?”  As sweet as this was, this was a good teaching moment for grandma to remind little Kelsey that Satan is real and as hard as it is to believe, He can even Tempt Girls to do bad things.

-Discipline from it

Sister Cheryl Lant at a BYU Women’s Conference said:

“We can be assured that the Spirit will aid us in our teaching. He will help us know what to teach, how to teach it, and where in the scriptures we can find help. He can also witness to our children that what we are teaching them through the scriptures is true.  For Example:  Perhaps, in your family, children want to stay up late at night. Rather than scolding them every night about bedtime, turn to the Topical Guide under the word retire. There you will find a reference to Doctrine and Covenants 88:124, part of which says, “Retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary.” Now, that is great. This tells them not only what to do but also why.”

-Use it to help your kids make decisions

President Benson said, “Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the Book of Mormon to expose and combat falsehoods.  Let us use [the Book of Mormon] to judge what we read, the music we hear, the entertainment we watch, the thoughts we think.”


“The Book of Mormon was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us.”

One of the most common reasons why our children aren’t interested in the Book of Mormon is because they have a hard time seeing how it has anything to do with their lives.    

Online I found this blog.  It's welcome message goes like this:

I got tired of yelling at my kids, "Sit down and shutup!" during our daily study of The Book of Mormon. Don't we read The Book of Mormon in order to transcend that behavior? Putting myself in my children's shoes, I realized reading The Book of Mormon to them was like reading a discourse on molecular biology to me. The content is extremely important and applicable, but if I don't understand it, it means nothing to me. I wanted to find ways to bring The Book of Mormon down to the kids' level, and make it applicable and exciting to them.
So she decided to come up with discussion topics and activities to give the Book of Mormon more meaning to her children.  She says:

“My goal is not to read every verse in the Book of Mormon nor is it to get through the Book quickly. My goal is to avoid the nightly battles. My goal is to have the kids look forward to studying the Book of Mormon.” 

Gene R. Cook tells a story about a time when he had been reading stories from the Book of Mormon to his five-year-old son. He says:

“I told him the story about Nephi going back to Jerusalem to get the plates, trying to teach him the importance of having his heroes be the Lord's servants in the scriptures, men like Nephi.

After having read the story, I thought I should check his understanding. I asked him, "Son, why do you suppose Nephi had to go back to Jerusalem to get the plates?"

He thought a moment and said, "Well, Dad, I guess they didn't have anything else to eat on."

I was flabbergasted. Here I was talking of brass plates, and the only plates this five-year-old had ever heard of were the ones on the table.

We need to check our children’s understanding and being careful not to teach over their heads”.

In the Aug 2010 Ensign there was an article by Sister Cheryl Lant called TEACHING OUR CHILDREN FROM THE SCRIPTURES.  She gave an example of a good way to make sure children are comprehending and applying what you’re reading.  She suggest

1.   Clearly identifying the doctrine, ex:  What is Heavenly Father asking us to do in this verse?

2.    Help Children understand the doctrine.  Bring it down to their level by comparing it to something they can relate with.

3.   Help them apply the doctrine to their lives.

4.   Ask for a Witness  ex:  bear your testimony that you know this principle or scripture is true.

It doesn’t have to be a formal, “I’d like to bear my testimony”. A simple “I know this to be true” or “I’ve seen this scripture work in my life” is enough.
4. Make it Fun

 Married and In-laws still had lots of younger kids at home; I loved participating in scripture reading with them because my MIL would always pass out treats after.  If that doesn’t get your kids excited about scripture reading, I don’t know what will.  J
 I have a friend that gave me some really good ideas for making the Book of Mormon fun.

-For her little kids she does "repeat after me" and they mimic their verse as I read it out loud
-They get dolls from around the house and act out Book of Mormon scenes. We had Trolls as the Gadianton Robbers.  . . Her kids like acting out the war scenes the best.  They’re awesome!!!  Barbies are really good for when a person is beheaded.

An article in the LDS Living Magazine titled: HOW TO GET TEENS TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON said this:

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with injecting a little appropriate humor into your study of the Book of Mormon.  For instance, I can’t read about King Noah without comparing him to Jabba the Hut.  I always picture Sherem as a sleazy con artist-one part televangelist and one part used car salesman.  When Ammormon writes a letter the Captain Moroni in Alma chapter 54, in which he swears to avenge his brother’s death, I can’t help but hear Mandy Patinkin’s voice from the Princess Bride: “Hello, my name is Ammoron.  You killed my Brother.  Prepare to die.”
5.   Each Child should Have their very own Book of Mormon

Again Sister Lant said: it is important that the children have their own set of scriptures so that they can hold them, turn the pages, and read the words of the Lord directly. Having their own scriptures, they can mark them, become familiar with them, and feel the Spirit from them. They need not be expensive books—the simple economy editions contain the same truth as the leather-bound versions—but let them have their own.”

6.   Set the Example

"You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul. You [parents], the testimony that you bear, the spirit with which you teach and with which you lead, is one of the most important assets that you can have." -Harold B. Lee

I am so grateful for the example my parents set for me. 

Right above our kitchen table, my parents had a framed MormonAd poster.  On it there was a box of Light Eternal Food Cereal, a pitcher of milk, a glass of juice, and front and center was a bowl with scriptures sitting in it. The Poster read, Are You getting Your Minimum Daily Requirements?  Most mornings as I would come down for school, my mom would be sitting at the kitchen table right in front of that poster reading from her Book of Mormon.  From her example I realized the importance of daily nourishment from the Book of Mormon. 

Like the old Chinese Proverb says, “Personal Example carries more weight than Preaching”.

I want my kids to see me studying and reading from the Book of Mormon and want to follow my example.   

In the last conference, this past Oct, Pres. Monson said,In order for us to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling us in the wrong direction or all the voices encouraging us to take the wrong path, we must have our own testimony.”

May you all teach your children in your lives the importance of the Book of Mormon, and to have a deep love for it.  That they may come to know that Jesus is the Christ.  That they will come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, is my prayer. . . Amen