*Written, but not forgotten back in October. Where did September and October go?!
I've been stewing for a couple weeks over a profound mothering moment I had with one of my children. I had discovered this child had stolen something from school, had lied to me and was now sad and scared about confessing to his teacher. I pulled him to my lap and felt guided by the Holy Ghost in the words and things I shared. As his tears fell, I was able to tell him that sadness for what he did was part of the repentance process. I shared the story of Alma the Younger's conversion - how he and his friends had worked very hard for some time making trouble for people of faith until an angel appeared to them and told them to stop, largely in answer to Alma's father's prayers for his son. We talked about how Alma the Younger repented and made things better and what needed to happen now with the items stolen from school. The tears stopped and while scared about what the teacher might say the next day when the items were returned and a confession given, my son felt that glimmer of hope that everything would be okay.
As I read the October Visiting Teaching message about the profound influence righteous women, or "Mothers Who Know" have on the rising generation, this little experience with my son came to mind. I could have raged at my son for what he'd done, held him to the demands of justice, and very well have wounded his heart. But my heart was softened in that split moment as we stood looking at one another - me knowing something wasn't right and him not wanting to be caught. And I knew as I've reflected on this experience -- that the difference in me had come from one thing. I was deliberately consistent about being in my scriptures that week as an experiment. I'd had no particularly profound studying or "Aha!" moments, but I was consistently in them each day that week. There is great power in consistency.
In a recent Relief Society podcast I'd been mulling over, General Relief Society President, Sister Beck, spoke about how finding balance in our life was more about aligning ourselves with the Lord than being able to successfully juggle all the demands on our time. She particularly zeroed in on how consistently being in the scriptures each day was the best way to align ourselves with the Lord and thereby receive those blessings in the hour of our need. In this instance, I felt that promise being fulfilled because I was able to be the mother I want to be. One who teaches values by sharing principles and doctrines of the gospel in the moment it is needed, guided by the Holy Ghost.
The question at the end of the Visiting Teaching message asked, "What inspiration will I find in the Book of Mormon to face the challenges I face today?" For me, spending time in the scriptures each day keeps their stories and messages in my mind, ready for application. Daily time in the scriptures turns my heart to the Lord and allows the Holy Ghost to direct me because I'm more apt to listen, less quick to loose my patience because I have greater perspective in those trying moments. I know I am a better mother, a better woman each day that I'm in the scriptures. I was able to take hold of a teaching moment with my son and by extension, my other son too. I learned and they learned in action by applying Alma the Younger's experiences to our situation. It was truly one of the best feelings!
In short, it's like the chorus of my kids' favorite Primary song:
Scripture Power! Ev'ry day I need
The power that I get each time I read.