“Scripture Time for Preschoolers,” Ensign, July 1983, 55
My husband and I were aware that family scripture reading was encouraged by the Church leaders. However, with four young children, none able to read, we had limited our scripture study to evenings after the children were in bed. We planned to begin the “family” part of scripture study when the children were older.
We were brought up short, however, when we read in the January 1982 Ensign the message from President Spencer W. Kimball. (“Therefore I Was Taught,” p. 3.) He listed different things that we should be doing, including reading the scriptures as a family. He enumerated different excuses people often gave for not obeying his admonition, one of which was, “Our children are too young to understand” (p. 5).
After pondering his words, we came up with an idea.
Our plan began on Sunday during our “family time,” when we generally read Bible and Book of Mormon stories to our children and discuss them. We decided to pick a pertinent scripture from one of the stories read that day and have that as our “scripture of the week.” The children help us look it up in the Bible; then they repeat it after us several times. We talk about what it means, who is talking, the circumstances around that particular scripture. We then copy the scripture onto a brightly colored piece of construction paper and post it on our refrigerator, where it is visible to everyone. Each night as we gather together at the dinner table, one of the children is asked to recite the scripture, with our help if needed. We then ask them to tell us what it means, adding a few comments and sometimes relating it to an event that occurred that day. By the next Sunday our two older children are eager to receive a star or animal sticker if they can say it from memory and tell us what it means. The younger members of the family are given a sticker if they repeat it after us. They enjoy placing their stickers on the new scripture poster.
Our children are learning that the scriptures have meaning, and that they are important in our everyday lives. A few days ago my six-year-old son came to me, carrying his small copy of the New Testament. “I can read this down to there,” he said proudly, pointing down the page where the genealogy began. Then he haltingly read the first few paragraphs to me. It was a moment of rejoicing, and I felt thankful for the inspired direction of our leaders. Marlene A. Sullivan, Roosevelt, Utah