The Gospel Doctrine lesson #39; scriptures 3 Nephi 17, 18 & 19
When Bethany and I had turned in our final draft of Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from the Book of Mormon, we breathed a deep sigh of relief. So good to be done! As it worked its way through several committees and processes, we were resting easy. However, when the proof came back to us and we read through the scriptures for a final check, I flinched. We had made a serious error and described the scene with the children and Christ WRONG.
In our books we describe moments of choice when a person has to choose God…but in this instance, the children did not necessarily choose to come to God…they actually got carried by their parents. Now, this story has a happy ending— we were able to save the book by a little editing. But, it got me thinking.
The children come unto Christ because their parents bring them. And I think that is true for all of us…sometimes we have to be carried to Christ by another’s energy, testimony, hard work or faith. I think of all the people who contributed to bringing me to Christ by preparing lessons, or driving me to seminary, or holding activities, or giving me a listening ear, or an example of strength, or wrote a fabulous book that helped me believe Christ. Those people helped carry me to Christ. There have also been times when I have carried others by some of the same activities. We can all take turns carrying and being carried.
And, what struck me, is that Jesus doesn’t differentiate. He simply blesses the children. So, whether we are at a carrying or being carried place in our life, we should know we are still welcome. In fact, we are blessed…as in, we will be blessed by Christ when we come…however we get there.
Related Mormon Women Project Interviews
An Instrument of Homecoming, Joanna Brooks
“The Joseph Smith story, the founding story of our religion, has always been extremely powerful to me. Here is a young boy struggling to find answers and not satisfied with any answers the adults in his life could give him, so he went out and sought through prayer a direct answer from God. I was not a young person who necessarily rejected things my leaders said. I felt very happy in the Church, but this example that when you face challenges in your life, you can pray—you can go to a quiet place in yourself and ask for help—was very, very centering for me, very grounding, and is one of the lessons that has really carried me through my adulthood. I love the fact that Joseph Smith was fourteen. And I was never told that he was some special example and that his experience did not apply to me. His experience applies to all of us! I took a lot of strength from that. And the doctrine embedded in that founding story is personal revelation, the practice of prayer. That’s one of the doctrines of the Church that has always been very dear to me.”
To Sit At the Feet of Christ, Christie Kay Hansen Frandsen
“Most of what I know about the scriptures really came after I started teaching. My professors at BYU ignited the love and the passion and maybe gave me a little bit of insight on how to study the scriptures. So many people ask me how do I do it, how do I learn so much and it was basically just from teaching.
It has been such a tremendous blessing. It was something that I could do very easily while I was raising my children. And I think it blessed their lives, in fact I know it did. They love the scriptures and it is because I love the scriptures and I would share things with them. They would see me studying and I know that was a really great example, especially to my daughters. It is kind of a Mary story. To sit at the feet of Christ, to read the scriptures, to teach the scriptures with authority. My daughters have something to offer and men will be receptive to that.”
Other Related Women’s Voices
That Our Children May See the Face of the Savior, Cheryl C. Lant
“Now, I would ask you to look around you at those you love. This is what matters most—our families. I am sure that more than anything, you want this family to be yours eternally. The account in 3 Nephi can help us bring our children to Him because it gives us a pattern to follow. First, we must love the Lord with all our hearts, and we must love our children. Second, we must become a worthy example to them by continually seeking the Lord and striving to live the gospel. Third, we must teach our children the gospel and how to live its teachings.
Following this pattern to bring our children to the Savior is a process. Let’s look at the pattern again. First, we must learn how to love the Lord and our families. This takes time, experience, and faith. It requires selfless service. Then, as we are filled with the love of the Lord, we can love. He might weep over what we do, but He loves us and is always there to help us. That is how we must learn to love our children.
Second, we must become worthy examples. This is also a process. If we want our children to come to Christ so that they might see His face, it is important that we seek to see it as well. We have to know the way in order to show it to them. We must put our own lives in order so that the children can look to us and follow. We might ask: “What do my children see when they look at my face? Do they see the image of the Savior in my countenance because of how I live my life?”
Now remember, none of us will be the perfect example for our children, but we all can become worthy parents and leaders. Our striving to be worthy is an example in itself. We may feel as though we are failing at times, but we can keep on trying. With the Lord and through Him, we can be strengthened to be who we need to be. We can do what we need to do.”
Looking for additional perspectives on this lesson? We recommend Mormon Sunday School, Meridian Magazine and LDSLiving.