Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What family scripture study is really like

As a family, we've been working hard to read the Book of Mormon daily.  We've gotten into a pretty good groove, and over the course of the last two years or so, we've made it through most of the Book of Mormon, at the rate of 5-10 verses a night.  We've had some great experiences, and have watched our daughters grow into great readers as they daily encounter words such as "inasmuch", "iniquity," and "Gidgiddoni."

Tonight was not one of those spiritual nights.

It started when we told Ashlynn to take a shower, as we do every night.  (Oh the horrors!)  Then, big sister Abby asked to take a bath.  Because there's no school tomorrow, we agreed, causing Ashlynn to collapse into a fit of despair, literally crying to anyone who would listen how unfair it was that her sister got to take a bath and she didn't.  Never mind that she didn't ask to take a bath, we were just supposed to know that she wanted a bath, and it was all our fault that she didn't get to have one.  She then flopped down on the couch in the middle of her tantrum and promptly fell asleep.

Things got even more fun when we woke her up and insisted that she join us for scriptures. 

You see, we've been reading for years, and have just now come to the end of Moroni.  We would have finished last night, but got interrupted by two girls who couldn't have stopped giggling if their lives depended on it.  So tonight was the night.  We  were going to have a wonderful spriritual experience as we finished the last four verses of the Book of Mormon.  We all piled onto our bed, and settled in.

Problem is, Ashlynn can throw one heck of a fit when she wanted to.  The only way we got her to actually hold the scriptures was by threatening her with loss of privileges tomorrow.  (I know, I know.  But we tried to tease, talk and tickle her out of her foul mood and nothing worked.)

Tom had gotten through one line of the first verse when Max took a swing at him and ended up smacking him in the face.  After nicely reminding Max that we don't hit, Tom playfully shoved Max a bit and Max fell flat on his face into the bed.  Any other day this would have made him laugh hysterically, but a chronic lack of nap time meant a flood of angry tears.  So now we had one scowling, one screaming, and I looked over to find Abby picking her toenails in my bed.

"Abby," I said, thoroughly grossed out, "Please don't pick your toes in my bed."  All she did was giggle.

We got one more verse read, valiantly trying to ignore the screaming, refusing-to-be-comforted Max, when I looked over to find Abby once again picking her toenails.

"Abby!"  I growled, disgusted beyond belief.  "I don't want your toenails or toejam in my bed!  Knock it off."  That was it.  At the mere mention of the word "toejam" she collapsed laughing.

Tom muttered something about how we were ruining some of his favorite verses of scripture.  I looked at my crying toddler, (who was banging his head against the wall at this point,) my scowling seven year old,  and my nearly nine year old who was laughing so hard that she could barely breathe and ended up with a serious case of the giggles myself.  Tom sped-read through the last two verses, rolling his eyes.

The only interruption in the last two verses was when I had to remind Abby that picking her nose wasn't acceptable behavior either.

So much for our spiritual outpouring. 

The good news is, we finished the last four verses.  And there will be many more years of family scripture study ahead. 

How about  you?  Any good family scripture/prayer stories to share?


  1. We're actually enjoying a really nice string of scripture-reading moments right now. (Like, when you 8-year-old begs, "Don't stop reading, I want to see what happens!") But last December I was trying to do this cool Jesse Tree reading thing where each day we read scriptures about the Bible characters leading up to the birth of Christ and then put an ornament on our little tree to symbolize that story. I'll never forget one morning when we were trying to read and they were fighting and fighting and pretty soon I literally pounded on the tabled and SCREAMED something to the effect of, "DANGIT! SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET SO WE CAN ENJOY THIS AND FEEL THE SPIRIT!!!!!" Or something like that. Yeah, it was lovely.

  2. At least we're not the only ones! Most days of scripture reading dissolve into me acting like Lisa described above. I am well aware of the irony even as it is happening.

  3. Ha ha, sounds like our house. Usually we end scripture reading with at least one angry parent and at least two kids in tears. And then they fight over where to kneel for the family prayer ("I wanted to kneel by Daddy!" "I was kneeling there first!"). But sometimes, we do have a good experience. I think we've been reading for about 2-1/2 years now and are just about to finish Alma. Fun stuff.

  4. All I know is you've given me HOPE that we will EVER finish the BofM! We're almost done with 2Nephi after starting months and months ago. It's nice to know that others have crazy FHE or scripture study, too. It's real. And we're doing our very best.

  5. It takes us 2-3 years to finish the Book of Mormon. Slowly we move through it. I have a lot of nights like yours where I get a couple verses in and call it good for the night. Even small progress every night will get us through eventually!

  6. We read our scriptures as a family at night. We have "baby scriptures" that are miniature in size that all the kids love to handle & hold & read.

    One night, we forgot to read our scriptures, and guess who reminded us? Our 3 yr old, Zack!

  7. Haha, I don't have any funny stories yet, but I'm sure they'll come : )

  8. This is a great topic, because family scripture study is hit and miss at our house. We manage to make it happen a few times a week and I love it when it happens. Really miss it when it doesn't. We're at Mosiah 8. Wish us luck.

  9. Hopping over from MMB and I'm glad I did! You're seriously going to blessed for your efforts because I'm convinced Heavenly Father has a sense of humor and he was getting a kick out of your family!

    thanks for the smile!!

  10. I love it when our kids mispronounce words. If I'm not really following along, I hear some of the strangest things.

  11. Are you sure this was at your house? It sounds mighty familiar....

  12. It does seem like it should be SO amazing.
    And it is, like 2% of the time. :)

  13. We are AWFUL at this. We will read, we will talk about our reading, but actually together? Out loud? It does not happen more than it does. I've never been able to figure this whole thing out. How much is OK? Is there "too little". *sigh* I want to be better at this. I want to be the good example to my sons. I think our problem is when my husband tries to make us read an entire chapter. So there we are mired in one of those chapters with about a thousand verses and my husband then decides to ask 20 questions about each verse. Seemingly four hours later we're all a little mental and ready to never pick up the scriptures again. (yet morning study is such a habit we all do it no matter how painful the night before was... thank goodness!)

  14. These are the days I'm grateful they tell us that consistency matters more than perfection. That they'll learn as much from the habit as they do from the scripture study itself.

    Our favorite is when our daughter raised her hand as though she had a life-changing epiphany to share, and then blurted out, "I want Costco lasagna." What the--


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