The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation
is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.
~ Sister Julie B. Beck May 2010 ~
My husband and I attend the Marriage and Family Sunday School class in our ward. Well, I should say we attended the class – today was the last day, and I have to say I am going to miss it. I am passionate about two things, really: the gospel, and parenting. And really, isn’t parenting the gospel anyway?
The Marriage and Family class is always my favorite. I enjoy talking with other parents about the principles of the gospel and how to align our lives with the teachings of the Savior. I guess I’ll have to start trying to have more gospel/parenting discussions at park day. I wonder if the other moms will mind.
Today in our class we talked a little bit about how the most important thing that we can teach our children is how to recognize the Spirit. As I sat in class and thought about it, the weight of the importance of teaching that principle settled on me in a way that it hadn’t previously, and I started thinking “Do I really know how to teach my children to recognize the Spirit? Am I doing a good enough job teaching them?”
Obviously our children will not be able to learn to recognize the Spirit without being exposed to situations and environments where the Spirit can be present. I think we do a pretty good job of providing those opportunities for our children, at home as well as at Church. But how do we teach them to recognize what they are feeling in those situations?
We need to teach them how to recognize when a thought or impression comes from the Spirit. For example, when my daughter notices that her brother really wants to play with the toy she has, and she shares it with him without prompting on my part I can say to her, “You saw that he wanted to play with that toy, and you felt like you would like to share with him. That was an inspired thought from the Holy Ghost!”
We must also teach them to recognize how the Spirit makes them feel, physically. In a Church News article, Julie Eddington said, “I have learned that [recognizing the Spirit] is something that needs to be taught…” and she will say something like, “Do you feel that? My arms are tingling. My heart is beating extra fast.” She describes the actual physical feeling she has when she is feeling the Spirit. Sister Eddington went on to say, “Children need to be taught what that feeling is. I think that sometimes they have the Spirit witness to them, but they don’t recognize it as the Spirit.”
I have been reading Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child and one of the major principles in “emotional intelligence” is to help children recognize, name, and accept their emotions. I think that this principle can be used to teach children how to recognize the Spirit (which has a lot to do with our emotions).
My goal this week is to help my children recognize and understand the spirit. I will help them name the thoughts, ideas, emotions, and physical feelings they experience as they feel the Spirit. I hope that I can have the Spirit with me as I strive to be a better parent this week and as I strive
How do you teach your children to recognize the Spirit?