Monday, June 14, 2010
Ben is three and Ashley is eleven, with the other four in between. Kurt is made bishop in Albuquerque and I had only two goals: always go to church and never be late. There were times when I wondered why I had made such a promise to God but He blessed me and I achieved those goals the whole time Kurt remained as bishop. There were days then and days before that when dragging (and I mean dragging) the children to church didn't seem productive for them or for me. I tried to plan well the night before, but that didn't necessarily help during the meeting itself. It is probably an honest statement to say that I don't remember much of what was said during those years, those years of ponderless sacrament meetings. But as we have the chance to watch the Joneses and the Mangums wrestle their way through church meetings I am immediately struck with a most wonderful thought and am reminded of Elder Bednar's promise this past conference to parents: Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon. Children may not understand all of the words and stories, but they certainly can feel the “familiar spirit” described by Isaiah (For those who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust). And in Alma is says: their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word.
So, my goals perhaps were not lofty but they were important, to me and to six children. Needless to say, I know that if infants can respond to the distinctive spirit of God's word then no child is too young to be illuminated, just by being there in the same room where the word is preached. For I believe, and the scriptures back me up, that hearing truth physically changes you. That is why growing up in the church it is often hard to pinpoint when you received your testimony because each time you go to church it changes you, the minute you were born, the minute your parents drag you to church to hear that familiar spirit. So drag on you parents! Drag on.