President Hinckley has counseled parents: “Read to your children. Read the story of the Son of God. Read to them from the New Testament. Read to them from the Book of Mormon. It will take time, and you are very busy, but it will prove to be a great blessing in your lives as well as in their lives. And there will grow in their hearts a great love for the Savior of the world, the only perfect man who walked the earth. He will become to them a very real living being, and His great atoning sacrifice as they grow to manhood and womanhood, will take on a new and more glorious meaning in their lives” (quoted in Church News, 6 Dec. 1997, 2)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Scripture Study Means to LQ

I have made a rod for my own back.

Whenever I mention reading the scriptures, LQ immediately looks at the colouring pencils and markers and starts making a whining noise until I let her colour. We can't even read one scripture before she has a complete meltdown. I guess this just goes to show how often I have been using the colouring thing to keep her interest.

It doesn't end there. Yesterday when she decided she wanted to colour. Instead of standing at the shelf that has the colouring accoutrement, she waddled her way over to where I was, folded her little chubby arms, bowed her head and said "Amen". LQ kept saying "Amen" until I realised that saying "Amen" meant she wanted to colour.

Oi! I can't seem to get anything right! Today is for role playing, methinks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week 2: Chapter 2 - Lehi Warns the People

Book of Mormon
Chapter 2 - Lehi Warns the People

I am really excited about the chapter this week. It is only one page and it only covers 20 verses of 1 Nephi chapter 1. My excitement stems from the fact that I may not "drown" in the story telling this week.

As far as posting goes, I have decided to do things a little differently this week. Because there is such a range in understanding among little children, I thought I would give you all my ideas for this week in this post. This means having a less rigid structure for each day and if there is something that works particularly well, you (or I) can do it maybe more than once during the week.

It's all about going with the flow and learning from our mistakes.

Here is what I have so far:

The living Scriptures (or LDSFamilyFun as I have found it to be called) has an activity booklet for "Nephi and the Brass Plates." The first few colouring pages cover Lehi warning the people. I think I will use those during the week.

The January 1996 Friend has a board game about Lehi and his travels. You could use this to introduce this story and the next in the book for children a little older. The linked page doesn't actually give you a diagram of the board game.... but it seems to me like it would be easy enough to make up (from reading the directions).

Role Play - Standing on a table (if mum allows it!) and preaching to the wicked people from Jerusalem (any stuffed toys that you have) should be a hit. I am also looking forward to pretending to be asleep and having a vision... that one should be fun!

Particular scriptures that I will read and explain include - 1 Nephi 1:1 (I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents), 1 Nephi 1:5, 1 Nephi 1:19 (over a few days), 1 Nephi 1:20 (again over a few different days)

I don't have any craft ideas for this week, but if you do, let me know!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 5 - Just Reading!

Today I am going over the entire story with LQ one more time. I will also read to her the scripture from James that Joseph Smith read, you know "if any of you lack wisdom... blah, blah, blah."

Remember to make it exciting!

Day Four - Recap

Well, Denae was right. I do need to ease up a bit. I am good at tackling new projects ferociously and then leaving them to die a slow and painful death.

So in the interest of my self preservation today I printed out a colouring page from the Living Scriptures website and recited the story of how we got the Book of Mormon while LQ coloured. I promise I will do the Gold Plates craft thing... probably on Sunday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day Four - Craft

Today I am planning on making the Gold Plates with LQ.

It is not going to be a too detailed project as I am still wary from Day Three's disaster.

I think I will make the Gold plates with some cardboard, glue some yellow paper to the cardboard on both sides, punch holes in the side of the yellow "pages" and thread pipe cleaners through the holes.  Voila.... your very own set of Gold Plates.  I just KNOW LQ will find writing on them the most exciting part.

So before we make the plates, I will share another scripture about Moroni showing Joseph Smith the Gold Plates.  While we are making the Gold Plates, I will tell LQ all about how Joseph Smith translated the writings on the Gold Plates and that is how we got the Book of Mormon.

Sorry I don't have a particular scripture for you... it's been a big day and I am ready for bed!

Day Three - Recap

Ok, so today didn't go so well.

I ended up on the floor crying while my sister (who is visiting) ran out to find LQ.  Sister then told LQ to get back inside and help mummy dig for the gold plates before mummy had a complete nervous breakdown.

My problem started at three this morning when LQ woke up for the third day in a row at that hour (UGH!).  We all woke up looking like zombies this morning and I just didn't have enough energy to do scripture study when LQ was still bright and bubbly.  I did it when she was at her contrary stage.... you know the stage they get to right before you declare "NAP time!"

Here's to hoping that my scripture study goes a little better tomorrow.  I am not counting on it, though - I have to wake up before the crack of dawn to take dear Sister to the airport (which I love doing, by the way!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Resource

My friend Misty was so kind and offered some more suggestions for resources. Thanks Misty!

I went and checked out the stuff she suggested. The Book of Mormon for Latter-Day Saint Families is definitely something I will keep in mind, as LQ gets older she will probably appreciate something like that.

I also checked out The Living Scriptures at While the DVD's are really pricey, Dal and I have a soft spot for these "movies" because we watched some of them when we were growing up (Dal can quote a few of the Nephi lines REALLY well). Whenever I am reminded of these particular DVD's, I make a mental note to start my collection. My collection is still to be started.

HOWEVER.... I looked into the other resources that they have available and I found that they have FREE Activity books that you can download from their website. You just have to register... which was one of the easiest registering processes I have done in a while. The activity booklets are full of great colouring pages and if you have older children, there are crosswords and other activities.

I am particularly excited about the little cards that are at the end of the booklet. They are to cut out and then put in order, but I think if I make two sets, then Isabel and I can play match the cards.

Go take a LOOK!

Day 3 - Role Play

My previous calling was in Primary and I had the opportunity to teach classes, sharing time and singing time. One of the directives from the General Primary Presidency (which I can't find at the moment) was not to allow the children to play the role of Jesus Christ or Heavenly Father when doing role playing. I will continue using this directive in my own home.
Therefore, today we will both be playing the part of Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni.

My Plan:

Say an opening prayer

Read Joseph Smith History 1:33 "... that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations,"

Explain that after Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ he kept praying. He was praying one night when the Angle Moroni came to visit him.

Read story from "An Angel named Moroni appeared and told Joseph..." As we read the story, act out the roles of Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni

ie. When the Angel appeared, Joseph Smith was scared (let's be scared)
The Angel appeared three times (let us appear three times ;) )

Make sure that LQ gets to "dig up" some Gold plates.

Show LQ the Book of Mormon and tell her that what is written in the book is what was written on the Gold Plates.

Say a closing prayer (I am not sure how many prayers you want to say, but praying is one of Isabel's favourite things to do at the moment - hence the MANY prayers!)

Day 2 - Recap

Are you interested in hearing how my plans actually turn out?

Day 2 Recap:

I was quite surprised at how excited LQ was at reading the "proper" scriptures with me. I guess it is because I have made them to be precious and she isn't to touch them without me. This worked in my favour this morning, because she was very attentive when I read her the scripture from Joseph Smith History.

She's still not into the whole story book idea and I am having some thoughts about doing my own picture board book each week for each story. This may seem like a bit more work, but I think she will sit still for the story if I do.

As expected LQ really enjoyed the colouring part of the morning. Here is how her picture turned out. I am sure she was trying to recreate the darkness that came before Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. If you squint you can make out the two Heavenly Beings behind her scribble.

As she was colouring I kept repeating the scripture to her and pointing out that Joseph Smith was reading the scriptures just like we did this morning.

LQ is also really into folding her arms and bowing her head ready for prayer, so I took advantage of any time that she wanted to do that I would say a quick little prayer with her. Thanking Heavenly Father for the scriptures, Joseph Smith, anything that related to our scripture study really.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 2 - Colouring

I have used some of the free LDS Clipart to make a colouring page. It has pictures of Joseph Smith reading the bible, praying and then a picture of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as they appeared to Joseph Smith.

It was simple enough to make up and you can access it here.

At this point in her life, LQ loves to colour.

My plan:

Show LQ the scriptures. Tell her that I am going to read her a special scripture that Joseph Smith read. Read the part of Joseph Smith - History verse 11 that says "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God".

Tell LQ that God is also called Heavenly Father and that is who we pray to.

Show LQ the colouring sheet and retell the first half of Chapter 1 story while she colours. Show her the pictures in the storybook that correspond with the pictures she is colouring.

Day 1 - Read the Story

Today was my first day trying any of this. Remember I am just as new as you at this, so bear with me. If you have any ideas, let me know!!

For Day 1, I felt that just introducing the story was enough. I pointed to a few pictures and explained what was going on. We didn't quite get through the entire story, but I managed to point out that Angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith where the Gold Plates were hidden.

I think it is best if you read the story by yourself before hand and pick out the main points. Get a feel for how long your toddler will sit and listen and then edit the story accordingly.

My husband leaves for work at 6.30 every morning. So to start a time table that will help LQ realise when it's scripture study time, I have decided to say family prayer with daddy just before he leaves and then LQ and I will sit and study the scriptures immediately after.

Now is a good time to figure out when your child will be most settled and ready to have scripture study with you. If you can find a time that suits all your family members, then all the better.

Week 1: Chapter 1 - How We Got the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon
Chapter 1 - How We Got the Book of Mormon

I have decided not to reinvent the wheel and I am going to follow loosely the Book of Mormon Study Guide: Age of Innocence schedule to begin with. This schedule does not have the first chapter of the Book of Mormon Scripture Stories, however, I am going to cover that chapter this week.

The idea is to read the one story to your child for the full week. I am also going to endeavour to incorporate reading an actual scripture from the references given in each chapter. In doing this, I hope to instill the sense of actual scripture study and NOT just reading stories and doing activities. This means having a set of scriptures for your child. Probably one of the soft blue covered Book's of Mormon is enough for a child that young.

When reading the story, make sure you use a lot of inflection in your voice. Sound excited about things that are exciting. Sound sad when things are not going so well for the hero of the story. The pictures in the stories are not catered towards toddlers who love bright colours, but I find that if I am pointing to the picture while I describe it, LQ seems a little more interested.