Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Feeling Preachy

As he would put it, Benjamin "preached" his first family night lesson today.

For part of his primary lesson yesterday he received a mission call and a name tag and he was ready to head out into the world and share the gospel. He drew a picture of The Book of Mormon and decided he wanted to give it to the bishop, so Grandpa walked him over to the bishop's house to make the delivery. Poor Benjamin froze when the door opened, which is odd considering how talkative he usually is, and eventually, but still saying nothing, held out his drawing to the bishop's daughter.

"It's for your dad," Grandpa explained.

On the walk home Benjamin observed that missionary work is pretty scary but he was going to do his best to overcome his fears, like a good missionary would.

Over dinner he remarked that as soon as he "prepared the gospel" he was going to head out to preach some more. He even planned on wearing his name tag to school.

Not wanting to dampen his spirit, but also not wanting him to think that he really has to go around "tracting" the neighbourhood, we had him give a family night lesson on missionary work today and we talked as a family about how we can share the gospel.

When Zoë (who was conducting) announced it was his turn, he whispered to me, "I'm scared."

"You can do this," I assured him, and he did just fine (and took his role very seriously).

He really likes Ammon, so we had him read the little summary of the story found on the back of the picture form the "Gospel Art Kit." He is becoming an excellent reader and did a fine job until he got to the end of the column and didn't know where to go.

"Ammon served a mission to the Lamanites. He offered to be King Lamoni's servant and was sent to help guard the king's flocks. Wicked men scattered the flocks. The other servants were afraid, but Ammon convinced them to gather the animals. When the robbers came again, Ammon...?" he read fluently and then whirled around to face me in a panic (I was beside him, acting as his coach, rather than in front of him on the couch with everyone else).

I pointed to the top of the next column and he nodded, relaxed, and kept reading.

It was pretty cute.

The rest of the summary, in case you were wondering, goes, "...fought them, cutting off the arm of each man who lifted a club to attack him. The robbers became frightened and fled. King Lamoni was amazed at Ammon's power. Ammon told the kind his power came from God. He taught King Lamoni the gospel, and the king believed."

Ammon is a pretty common Book of Mormon scripture hero for active little boys (and probably many a girl, too, though mine have never claimed him as a favourite), for fairly obvious reasons.

Benjamin asked what the first part of Ammon's ministry was and Rachel/Miriam answered correctly that it was service, and that's what we tried to channel Benjamin's missionary energy into.

He read us a few quotes:
Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.
—erroneously attributed to Francis of Assisi, quoted by Elder Uchtdorf
It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
—Francis of Assisi 
Our missionary experiences have to be current. It is not enough to sit back and ponder former experiences. To be fulfilled, you have to continue to naturally and normally share the gospel. —President Monson
Let your faith show.
—President Nelson 
We talked a bit about how we can share Christ's light through our example and through doing his work and then we made an action plan, which Benjamin wrote down for us:

  • mo a lone
  • shar whart you lrn
  • be cind
So that's kind of our plan for this week. The kids want to mow a lawn (preferably for an old person), they want to share what they learn in their personal scripture reading with each other, and they're going to be kind (specifically to the new girl who will be joining Rachel's school class tomorrow, but really to everyone). The list was much longer than that, really, but Benjamin can only write so fast.

We've maybe been taking advantage of his enthusiasm a bit by saying things like, "A good missionary always picks up his playthings," or "A good missionary wouldn't leave the dishwasher half unloaded. A good missionary always finishes his work," and so forth. I may have been using this line a bit too frequently because today he said, "Phew! Missionaries sure like cleaning up. Why is that?"

As with the stripling warriors, we can probably blame their mothers for this tendency (if it is a tendency).

The best quote from family night, however, came from Rachel who said while we were reviewing our calendar items for the week, "Wahoo! After that I'll be all done with extraterrestrial activities! I mean..."

But she didn't ever get to correct herself because we were all too busy laughing.

1 comment:

  1. "I may have been using this line a bit too frequently because today he said, "Phew! Missionaries sure like cleaning up. Why is that?"" -- haha!

    I love his zeal for missions!