Jul 14, 2014

Open Them, Read Them, Love Them

The past few weeks, I've felt a strong prompting that I need to change the way we do family scripture study.  Our family scripture study (on the nights we'd remember to do it) would goes something like this:
Tired Dad quickly reading a few verses, which to the kids would sound something very similar to Charlie Brown's teacher - And it came to pass wah wah wahh wah wah wah wahhh.  They were understanding nothing, and getting nothing out of it.

As a mother, I pray regularly for God's help in providing spiritual experiences to help build my children's testimonies.  One day, a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany:  I can't sit around and wait for someone else to provide these experiences, I have to do my part too.  I can provide opportunities for spiritual experiences in my home, and one way to do this is through our nightly family scripture reading.  DUH!  

I really want my children to not see the scriptures as boring and undesirable.  I want them to love the scriptures and desire to open them, and read them, and feel the Spirit testify of them.  Every family scripture time can be an opportunity for my children to have a spiritual experience.  I just needed to put in a little more work.

I decided to start with the Book of Mormon.  We are using this schedule here.  It breaks down the Book of Mormon into sections that take about 5 minute or less to read, which is perfect for my family.

I read the assigned reading on my own beforehand.

Coming up with a theme from those verses (sometimes there are multiple ones)
EX:  1 Nephi 1:1-1 Nephi 1:15 - Prayers are answered
1 Nephi 2:16-1Nephi 3:8 - How to gain your own testimony & Importance of following the prophet

Then (through prayer) I plan an activity to go along with what were reading.  My kids do the activity while listening to that day's verses, and the then we talk about the theme and what those verses teach.

Some activities we've done so far are:
Painted fire on rocks (1 Nephi 1:6) to remind us that Lehi's prayers were answered and Heavenly Father answers our prayers too.
 Colored Nephi and his family (Pictures from HERE)
 One night we talked about how it's important to Fully Rely On God (FROG) just like Nephi did while attempting to get the Brass Plates. (1 Nephi 4)
Another night we acted out the story using the pictures we colored.

So far (fingers crossed), this has been exciting and fun for all my kids (surprisingly even my teenagers).  They are listening, and I think they are learning, and by the Grace of God, they are feeling His Spirit and strengthening their testimonies.
Yes, it's a lot of planning and a lot of work, but if it brings my children closer to Christ and instills in them a love for God's Word, it's totally worth it.