Saturday, October 15, 2011

9:15 p.m.

Saturday Night. 9:15 p.m. Just got home from a Halloween Party and I am trying to get my kids in bed. We are doing our Family Scripture Study and this is the conversation.

Me: "...they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord..." (2 Nephi 5:20)

Blake: What does it mean "they were cut off from the presence of the Lord?"

Me: (thinking to myself - What? You are actually paying attention??) Well,( I begin slowly, carefully choosing my words) they were not listening to Jesus anymore and so they were not able to feel His love for a while. (Uggh! Did I even answer that right? I know how to answer these questions for a teenager, or a class, or an investigator- but my 3 year old?)

Riley: I don't hear Heavenly Father or Jesus. Will I be cut off?

Me: (oh no!) No, sweetie, we are always trying to be good listeners to Heavenly Father. You are a good listener.

Riley: But I don't hear Him.

Me: Well, we hear Jesus with out hearts. Can you close your eyes, and be very quiet? Then you can feel His love in your heart. (*sigh* I did it. That was perfect, now my daughter will have a chance to feel and identify the Spirit! I am awesome.)

Riley: Nope. He is still far away in Heaven.

Me: (what? that isn't what I was expecting)

Blake: When I die, will I go to Heaven?

Me: (what?!)

Riley: Then you can hear Heavenly Father and Jesus and you won't get cut off.

Blake: I don't want to die. (tearing up)

Me: (oh crap! what do I do now?)

Me: Blake it is ok. You will not be cut off from anyone. Heavenly Father loves you so much.

Blake: I don't want to go to Heaven. Mommy, I just want to be with you!

Me: Don't worry, I will be there too. And so will Daddy and our whole family. We will all be together with Jesus.

Riley: Is Daddy going to die?

Me: (seriously?? it is 9:15 p.m. why are we having this discussion right now- after a Halloween Party- when your dad isn't even here to help me! why are we even awake right now!?) Sweetie, everyone will die someday, but we get to be together forever. So we don't need to be sad tonight. (preparing to launch into the 4th discussion and start teaching about the sealing ordinances of the Temple... of course, I taught the discussions in Malagasy- so the kids probably wouldn't understand any of it)

Blake: Well.... can I have some more candy?

Riley: No, Blake, it is time for bed! Let's pray, I'm tired.

Me: (...... speechless......)

Blake: I love you mommy.

It is now 9:45 p.m. on Saturday Night and I am in shock. Not sure whether to call that a pass or fail - guess it is just survival. If nothing else it was pretty comical.

I am starting to really understand how much of my job as a mother is being a Teacher. I remember as an EFY Counselor they would constantly remind us to be alert to "Teaching Moment" - little golden opportunities to teach, testify, or uplift one of our youth. They counseled us that these moments would rarely come in a classroom or from a pulpit. But from walks on campus, talks in the cafeteria, or late nights eating pizza. I have told myself as a Mother that I will need to be on the look out for these moments- someday. (who knew that someday was today?) I have reminded myself that no matter the effort I put into teaching my Sunday School kids the scriptures, or sharing the Gospel with my neighbors- if I am missing the "Teaching Moments" at home- I am missing the mark. Most of us have heard David O. McKay's quote "No other success can compensate for failure in the home" (p.s. after scouring the internet all night for a reference to the talk where he said those profound words I just discovered that President McKay was actually quoting someone else - J.E. McCulloch to be exact, which led me to this blog that I really enjoyed- who knew?). I have always liked that saying and usually tied it to careers or other success we might see unrelated to our families. But tonight- I realized that it is any success. Whether I am the best missionary, the best Sunday School teacher (which I totally am... cough cough), or best anything- if I am not the best mom- the rest of it will hardly matter.

This post has a Part II.... I know, I have never done that before. But it is late- and I have a lot of thoughts that follow this.

For now, I will go to bed picturing Blake's innocent little teary eyes saying how he doesn't want to die and me wanting to kiss him and squeeze him and tell him that he will be fine and he will never die. But that isn't true, and I can't tell him that. I can tell him- he will always - always- be mine. And he will probably look into my eyes... and ask for more Halloween Candy.


  1. I hate that I am going to comment this on my own blog, but-- the part where I said I am the best Sunday School teacher was sarcastic (that is what the cough cough was, in case you didn't realize I was being sarcastic)

  2. Good job mom! That was definitely a pass, for many reasons. For one you are totally awesome for having scripture study on your own and creating a teaching moment, and the primary president in me especially liked the part about "listening with your heart." (At least in our ward, since the new Primary song learned for this year is "If I Listen with my Heart", we have been emphasizing to all our kiddos (even in nursery) how to feel and identify ny fanahy masina.) So way to reinforce what they are learning at church! :)

  3. Or I guess the other way around...way to prepare them for what will be reinforced at church. :)

  4. Katie, I love this post. I think this was a pass / win for sure. Great job! Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom. It's also great that you recorded the conversation so they can read it someday when they are adults and appreciate your testimony even more.

    Thanks for the reminder that no other success can compensate for failure in the home. I like your take on it.

  5. This had me laughing so hard that I am wiping tears off my face right now. I'd say when it comes to motherhood, "survival" IS "passing." So, good job! I have to second what's been said so far about what a great mom you are.

    I heard somewhere once that our children are Golden Investigators, and I'm learning that one reason that's true is because they give us multiple chances to teach the same things -- whether it's to reinforce previous teachings, or to make minor corrections on them... So don't worry! (Even so, I think your answers were awesome.)

    Now that I think about it, a good chunk of "teaching moments" happen when it's late at night and kids should be sleeping but they find a way to get you listening/talking...

    Thanks again for the laugh, Katie!

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