Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Family Scripture Study & Following the Prophet

Our family scripture study this past year has been PATHETIC

My only consolation is that I knew that our teenager group was reading on their own every night-because of Seminary (ya for Seminary!)

When our children were younger (non teenager-ish), family scripture study went pretty well.  We let everyone know what time it would be, and they obediently came and participated. 

 We started family scripture reading when our oldest, Amber, who is now 20, was just barely learning to read. She would read the easy words like: was, if, and it came to pass, etc.  We would help her say the bigger words like: nevertheless, stiffneckedness, and exceedingly. Reading scriptures was kind of a reading practice time.  For even the younger ones, we would tell them what to say and they would repeat us.

We then progressed to the point that everyone could read a little bit on their own without help...and we would try to explain what was going on in those verses.  Richard had to leave for work by 6:30, so we had family scripture study at 6:15 AM. 

 We decided that we needed to get everyone their very own Book of Mormon that was just for family scripture time. 
 We went and bought one Book of Mormon for everyone in our family. They were $3 a piece.

We then found a basket (the top picture) that fit them all in nicely and that became kind of our "thing" for family scripture study.

And as a family we were blessed for following the prophet...

WELL....lately our family scripture hasn't been so shiny and so good.

My husband teaches early morning seminary and has to leave the house at 6:00 AM every morning.
Our older girls have part-time jobs, and are involved with high school sports where they are getting home very late some nights.  We have 2 college daughters living at home who work and have busy lives and  ask "do I still have to get up for family scriptures?"

We really struggled with our schedule and fitting family scriptures in.  A lot of the time it was me reading with the kids after Dad was already gone.  That was better than nothing...but not much better.

Even at that it was very hit and miss...and without the priesthood, our Dad, there...it really didn't feel the same.

We tried reading at night...I think we did it one time.  That didn't work for us because so many people were gone. It wasn't our normal tradition, and we kept forgetting.  (did I mention that it was pathetic?)

Without the consistency and power from daily family scripture study I noticed a lessening of the Spirit in our home.  I still felt it, but not as strong. 

We also felt that the shield around our family was becoming thinner. (that is a scary thought)
We all seemed more susceptible to temptations and the negative influences around us.

We have been counseled on the importance of having family scripture study.  We know the promises {See Gospel Outcomes},  and we know what we need to do!

We had to stop and ask ourselves a few personal questions:

       What is the most important thing in our lives?

  Are we putting God first?

What sacrifices are we willing to make[or need to make] to follow the Prophet?

So we are starting over with reading the Book of Mormon as a family...with our Dad.
We are waking up at the bright and early hour of 5:45 AM to do that. 

We had a few grumpy attitudes this morning.  Surprisingly not from the teenager crowd, but our two youngest.  So before we started, we knelt down and had our family prayer.  Everyone grumbled about leaving their soft place on the couch and their blanket that they were half asleep in. After prayer, Richard went around the room and had everyone s-m-i-l-e.  That seemed to wake everyone up.

This morning in our family scripture study.... we bumped into this:

2 Nephi 2:11-12
11 Now this he spake because of the astiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did bmurmur in many things against their cfather, because he was a dvisionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their afather. And they did bmurmur because they cknew not the dealings of that God who had dcreated them.
Richard asked the girls What are you willing to do to follow the prophet?  Would you move if we were asked to?  Would you give up your precious things if that was required of you? Would you wake up at 5:45 AM to read the scriptures if that is what we needed to do?

I loved that insight and application into our personal situation.

What are we willing to do to follow the prophet?