Tuesday, September 4, 2007

King Mosiah and Quesadillas

Though my parents’ testimonies were quiet testimonies, I knew they were strong, and I never doubted that they knew, and loved, our Savior. We didn’t talk much about gospel principles, or scriptural insights, or answers to prayers. I didn’t see my parents reading their scriptures often, and it was a rare thing to see them kneeling in personal prayer (maybe because it was personal!). They tried off and on to hold regular family scripture study, family prayer and family home evening. Years of fast Sundays came and went without me physically hearing their testimonies. But, for our family, this worked. I knew they believed, and I believed because of them. I knew they prayed, so I prayed because of them. I knew they loved the Savior, so I strived to know Him better. I didn’t need much more than that.

But now, here, in this time, I fear that if I approach gospel principles in the same way, my children’s little testimonies may crumble. There are so many enticing evils that are becoming more and more accepted. I feel like I need to help my children put on their protective armor every morning and every night so they will be prepared to fight off temptations. I need them to come to me when their armor is torn or broken so I can help repair it. But they need to know that I can fix it. They need to know that I want to fix it. In other words, they need to know that my testimony is strong and that I want to help theirs grow. I don’t want it to be awkward to bring up a gospel related question; I don’t want it to be awkward to mention a tiny answer to a prayer, or a small understanding of a passage of scripture. I want my children to be able to tell me if they’re frustrated with a certain principle of the church, and I want them to tell me what they love about it. But in order for all of this to happen, I think I need to somehow bring up gospel related questions with ease, and I need to mention tiny answers to my prayers, and I need to talk about my small understanding of passages of scripture. So, I’ve been trying to do this, and a few days ago, McKenzie gave me a little validation.

It was lunch time in our home...one of the busiest hours of my day. I had made McKenzie a cheese quesadilla and she was contently sitting at the table playing in the dipping sauce. I was standing at the kitchen stove getting ready to flip my own quesadilla in the hot pan and trying to figure out what I was going to feed Carson (who was, at this time, climbing up my leg and screaming). Through the ruckus of my baby’s cries and the sizzling quesadilla I heard McKenzie ask, “Mommy? Was it King Mosiah that was the bad king?” I was surprised at the sudden, heavy joy that filled my heart. It didn’t matter that she was wrong – what mattered was that the word 'Mosiah' came out of her little mouth as easily as 'Dora the Explorer' would have. My instinct was to stop everything I was doing to sit down with her and have a ‘teaching moment’…but given the circumstances, that was quite impossible. So, I simply answered, “Nope. That was King Noah we were reading about yesterday.” She nodded her head and went back to her quesadilla – the moment was gone.

I learned an important lesson: it is unnecessary to make every gospel related conversation a ‘spiritual’ conversation. What if I had stopped everything I was doing to sit down with McKenzie, look her in the eye and answer her question? Truthfully, it would have been a little weird for both of us, I think. And it could have discouraged her from asking questions like that in the future. Maybe simple questions deserve simple answers.

1 comment:

  1. Lindsay--

    I share your concerns about raising children today. I'm not sure that living in the 'ambience' of the gospel will be enough to build the strong testimonies that they are going to need. And I struggle to externalize more of what is going on inside of my head...

    I think we're going to need all kinds of conversations and answers. And EFY when they're teens too! :)