Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Family Scriptures..Making it Work


What makes family scriptures effective?


How do we follow the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law?

  What makes it effective?

  • Having it! 
This takes divine intervention sometimes as your family gets so busy, knowing when it will work best for your family.

  • Doing it with an understanding that your children are getting more out of it than you think.
  • Knowing that reading the scriptures together as a family is extremely bonding.
  • Understanding that the outcome desired is for your children to establish a habit of reading on their own, everyday.
  • Keep it short.  We usually go around having everyone read 2 -3 verses each. 
  • Keeping the right balance of what you expect from family scriptures.
If there is a negative or really stringent spirit about showing up, participating, responding appropriately..then you might be disappointed, and you children will feel frusterated, and [gasp] might even resent family scriptures.

That's not what we it?!

This is one of those commandments that is supposed to bring us JOY and happiness! 

Following the Spirit of the law with family scriptures

is the approach we have chosen to take...
There might be a tendency as parents wanting to follow this commandment and instill obedience upon our children to go a little strict on this principle.
 We have seen better end results by being slightly flexible and understanding with this principle.
Family scriptures is kind of like carrying a bowl of Jell-o to the fridge.  It is a careful balancing act the whole way there. If you push too hard, you have a mess.  If you don't keep the bowl balanced the whole time, you will lovely red Jell-o juice all over the floor, fridge, or even you!
So you have to keep it balanced--giving and taking--ever so carefully.

 An example of family scriptures at our house-- over the coarse of a week or two.


Sunday: Announce were are reading scriptures before our 1:00 pm church schedule. Last week we didn't get ready in time, and didn't make it. Try better next Sunday or read at night.

Monday: [Late start school] Scriptures at 7:00am. Everyone is there. We start off with a kneeling down prayer (this seems to wake everyone up) and we read for 10 minutes or so. Off we go for the day!

Tuesday: Wake-up at 6:00am. Everyone stumbles to the family room, including our 20 year old college age girl. We start off with prayer to wake-everyone up. 18 year old twins have missionary prep at 6:30 am, so they only stay for prayer.

Wednesday: 6:00 am wake-up for scriptures and prayer. Worked pretty good. We read Mosiah 4: 14 and talked about why we aren't supposed to fight with each other. 7 year old slept through it all.

Thursday: 6:30 am...Ahh! We all had a hard time waking up. We show up for prayers only. Hope everyone is OK for the day. I feel alright knowing we can't be perfect everyday and the older ones are all reading scriptures every night on their own.

Thursday: 6:00 am again! Everyone is there, participating well. Off we go for another day!

Friday: What is it about Fridays? Everyone was tired! 2 were in the shower, so we had scriptures with those who were there. We said prayers in separate groups as everyone left.

Saturday: oops...we usually skip Saturdays. We are usually working early at jobs or projects.
Not perfect, but we are making the effort! 

The end result with Family Scriptures is to read them because they are true!!  And also to be endowed with the Spirit, to gain a testimony and apply the truths to our lives for our own conversion, and for our children to establish a habit of reading on their own, everyday!

What do you do to make Family Scriptures work in your family?

 see also: Family Scripture Study and Following the Prophet
               Gospel Outcomes