I’m Mama Emily Perkes and my posts are going to revolve around the theme of “Becoming as a Little Child” and the spiritual lessons I learn from my children. On several occasions in the scriptures are we given the commandment to become like children. In 3 Nephi 11:37-38, it repeats almost the exact same command one verse right after the other:
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
I believe there are some powerful lessons to be learned from our children and in our striving to become like them in many ways.
Selfishly, I am hoping this topic will help me become more in tune to these Christ-like attributes in my children because as a mother of a 2- and 4-year-old and a daily schedule that seems to control me more than I do it, I am embarrassed to admit that taking the time to identify and notice these attributes can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack of whining, laundry, and dishes.
I do know, however, that when we take the time to notice those Christ-like attributes in children we are able to truly see those attributes in their purest state and they can be a powerful influence in our lives and a worthy goal to work towards gaining such pure, true qualities.
I am incredibly blessed to be in the midst of such Christ-like attributes daily. It is my hope that as I share these extremely simple experiences with you about my children that the Spirit will be able to teach us the true Christ-like attributes that they exemplify.
I will start with a very simple lesson I learned today from my children regarding scripture study.
It has taken me a long time to find a scripture routine that works with our children. We had a lot of ups and downs and even a period of time that I gave up all together in serious frustration. Because of this, it is with great joy that I tell you: we found a routine that works!! As simple as it sounds, I read to them from the children’s scripture stories with pictures while they eat breakfast (and their mouths are quiet long enough to hear more of the words. I know it sounds basic but this was a glorious discovery!
In this scenario my natural eyes are scanning the kitchen for the quickest way to take the most plates to the sink while getting a new drink for one child, a spoon for another and grabbing a rag on the way back for the drink just spilled on the floor.
However, today I took a moment to learn from my children about the scriptures. I took a step back and watched them absolutely enthralled with the scriptures. I looked at their eyes as they searched the pictures. Throughout our reading, I was constantly moving limbs out of the way of the words to read because their whole bodies were completely leaning on or laying over the book to consume the stories on the page. I was continually interrupted with questions–real honest questions that they sincerely wanted to know the answers to about which one was Alma and who was being nice to him. My children do normally love books, but this level of interest is far from paralleled with any other book. Their absolute love for the scriptures was overwhelmingly obvious.
I have had some powerful experiences learning from the scriptures and finding as much joy in reading them as they did this morning. However, many times I read them distracted or just to check them off my list.
I wonder if some of the most powerful, life-changing scriptures are often glazed over in a skim-like fashion with only a portion of our brains tuned in. We are warned about vain repetitions in our prayers and I wonder if sometimes our scripture reading feels similar when we repeatedly read or hear a familiar scripture and sort of tune it out as one we already know.
My children were a great example to me this morning as they are learning these stories for the first time and all the excitement and anticipation that comes with that.
I believe that if we read the scriptures with that same joy and excitement and truly wanting to learn from them that our eyes will be opened to new meanings and understandings of those scripture stories to be able to really hear what Heavenly Father would have us learn from each chapter at this given time in our lives.