Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Parent's Reference Guide to Teaching from the Scriptures

I have been working on this project pretty diligently for a couple weeks and I am really excited that it's finally done. 
I have made a downloadable PDF collection of scripture references arranged by topic. These are topics which I find myself often explaining or discussing with my kids, simple things like "Making good choices," "Prayer" "Family" or "Being Christian."
Under each topic heading, I have a few scriptures that explain or describe this topic. Because my kids are still young, I didn't use any stories or long, philosophical scriptures. (For example, under the topic heading Faith, I don't reference any of the many people in the Bible who experience doubt or a renewal of faith, instead I used scriptures like Matthew 9:22 "But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour" and Alma 32:21 "And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."
I also (obviously) didn't address every topic or many "older" topics like immorality. These lists are by no means definitive, (the definitive list would probably be the actual scriptures!), but I wanted a list that was short enough that I could print it on a single piece of paper and fold it it into my Bible to use as needed. 

Over the last several months, I have searched the internet repeatedly for this. I would look on Pinterest "Scriptures for teaching children," but often the only thing that would appear was a list of good scriptures for kids to memorize. Every time that my searches were futile, there was that nagging feeling in the back of my mind, a small voice whispering, "You need to do it." And I put it off, because I didn't have the time.
But my need for it grew. I keep trying to teach important principles to my boys and I want them to understand that the reason I say "You have to still be kind, even when you're angry" or "You need to help me with the chores because you're a part of this family" isn't because I've concocted this idea of what is right or acceptable. I want them to understand that these are eternal, important truths.  These are things that their Heavenly Father also expects of them. 
On more than one occasion, I've tried to explain "Jesus says we have to love everyone, even people who are mean to us," and my kids have looked up expectantly. 
"Jesus said that?"
And then they'll ask "What did he say about it?" or "When did he say it?"
and I find myself trying to rifle through the index in my Bible, not knowing the reference off the top of my head. My kids lose interest, and I lose an important teaching moment. 
Since I started working on this list, however, I've found so many opportunities to use it. 
The other day, Micah was throwing toys and having a tantrum. When I asked him why he was acting that way, he yelled "I'M SO ANGRY!"
"Come here, let's see what Jesus says about being angry," I said. 
I read to him Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."

We talked about putting away anger and noise and being peacemakers. "I can do that like Jesus!" he said. 
Over the next several hours, I heard him say repeatedly, "I am pushing my anger away. I am being a peacemaker."
I was so proud! And I know that the spirit helped me to teach him without also losing my temper. 
Obviously, every single time I try to teach my kids, I won't have such good results- they are stubborn little four year olds, after all! But it was a testament to me that I was doing things the right way. 
So I wanted to share this collection with you. 
I actually have three different versions!

The first is the version I recommend, it is a reference guide to scriptures from the Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. 

But because I know so many Christians don't believe the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are actually scripture, I also made one that is just Bible references

Both of these are just one page (in the case of the BOM and D&C, it's double sided!) and can be printed and folded in your scriptures. 
The last is a list of all the scriptures with the full text of each verse included. It's very long! It looks like this: 

Please print, save, and share these and let me know if you do! I would love to think that these reference guides were being used. 

And a note to anyone who is unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants:
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormons) believe that the Bible is scripture and the word of God. We also believe the Book of Mormon is scripture. It is a book written similarly to the Bible, a combination of the history of God's people, prophecies of Christ, and stories of Christ's followers through the ages. 
Unlike the Bible, which focuses on the children of Israel in Jerusalem, the Book of Mormon is written by and about the people living in America thousands of years ago. We believe that because God loves all His children, he provided his "Other Sheep" with prophecies and promises of Christ, regardless of where they lived in the world. 
The Doctrine and Covenants was written more recently, based on revelation given to prophets in the last two hundred years. 
Both books are full of testimonies, prophecies, and promises of Jesus Christ our Savior. The scriptures that I included are beautiful and helpful in teaching. I hope you take a chance to look at  them! (To learn more, please visit Mormon.org)

I used this Scripture Guide on lds.org in my work on this project. It was very helpful!


Unknown said...

My baby is only 3 weeks old but I'm definitely saving this for when she's older! Thanks for putting this together, what a great idea!

Emily said...

I love this idea! Thank you so much for putting this together. It's absolutely perfect--just the type of thing I need for my children that I didn't think of myself. The study of doctrine changes behavior more than anything else, and this makes it so accessible. Thank you!

Carol said...

Cool! I printed it off for Tate and me! Thanks

Shantel said...

This is AMAZING. Thank you for taking the time to put something so wonderful together.

MARCIE said...

Good job Becky. A wonderful way to teach children why the scriptures are important and apply to our lives. I always love your little quotes from the boys. They are so smart! I love that they get it!

Polly said...

Beautiful job on this Becky. What a treasure. Thanks for being so awesome!

Katie B said...

This is awesome! Thank you!

Jocelyn said...

These are awesome! Thank you Becky!