Tuesday, May 10, 2011

True Doctrine . . . According to my Kids

The other day Jesse was singing to his little self as he played with something or other. Here was what I heard:

“Follow the prophet.” Then in a much deeper voice, “Eat a cookie.”

If that’s following the prophet, count me in!

Shortly after, Penny was digging through the drawer in our kitchen where all finished art work goes. She pulled out a picture she had colored long ago in Nursery of Jesus surrounded by children. She had colored the children with rather odd colors. She studied it for a moment, speaking to herself as she did. “Jesus wants us to . . .” she paused studying her drawing with head cocked, “have orange faces.”

Well. That doesn’t bode well for most of us. Particularly if you’d seen just how orange those children’s faces were.

Lastly, the kids and I are currently reading in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Mormon’s “Book of Mormon,” it is an account of a group of people who travelled from Jerusalem to the American continent shortly before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians (the Babylonians . . . is that right? I’m forgetting my Jewish history . . . they were destroyed by the Assyrians, and the Romans certainly had their say . . . but I think the Book of Mormon starts just before the Babylonian captivity).

ANYWAY, that is neither here nor there really, only I was going to say that most of the Book of Mormon is the story of these people. They became known as the Nephites and Lamanites. Their civilization lasted about 1000 years and included a visit from the resurrected Christ.

However, the Book of Ether departs from the story of the Nephites to very briefly tell the story of another civilization who were guided to the American continent long before the Nephites (around the time of the building of the biblical Tower of Babel). They were completely destroyed before the Nephite arrival, but 24 engraved plates detailing their history were later discovered by the Nephites and a very brief synopsis of these people was included in the Book of Mormon. That is the Book of Ether.

I really would like to learn how to explain things more succinctly. Goodness.

The Book of Ether, short though it may be, is filled with stories of treachery and hunger for power. It becomes almost impossible to follow the generations of kings ousting other kings. One of my kids favorite stories as we’ve read it has been the story of two Jaredite brothers: Corihor and Shule.

Corihor took the kingdom from his own father long before Shule was even born. When Shule came along and learned “Hey, my dad is the rightful king and my own brother stole his kingdom?” He was understandably a bit upset. So, what did he do, but lead a battle against his brother – thereby regaining the kingdom – not for himself, but to restore it to his father.

His father was so grateful that he, in turn, passed the kingdom over to his brave son Shule.

Surprisingly enough, Shule’s older brother Corihor repented of his evil ways – so much so, that his younger brother must have wholeheartedly forgiven him as he was granted quite a lot of power in the kingdom.

Sadly, lessons learned from fathers aren’t always learned so quickly by their own sons. Corihor’s son rebelled against both Shule and his father Corihor. What’s more, he took his uncle Shule captive with plans to put him to death.

BUT! (And here is the part my kids liked – this would make for quite a good movie) Shule’s sons had learned a little something from their own father’s example as well. I’m sure they’d grown up hearing stories of how their dad had valiantly and loyally battled to give his father back his rightful kingdom, so what did they do? They snuck into the house where he was being held captive, killed their traitorous cousin and restored their father to his throne.

While there are few other accounts of such loyalty, there are many more accounts of sons rebelling against fathers for the kingdom.

That very short introduction leads me to this morning. We had just finished reading and the kids were gathering backpacks and shoes for school.

Daisy commented, “That whole book is all about sons and fathers. Abe better pay attention so he doesn’t betray dad.” She paused, then smiled and added, “And then Jesse would have to battle him to get the kingdom back for dad.”

“No,” said Abe, “I’d rather Jesse betray him. It would be cooler to battle for a kingdom than just to betray someone.” I know. Betrayal is so mundane.

Anyway, I’m glad my kids are learning so many valuable things – not just about straight doctrine (the importance of eating cookies and having orange faces), but that they are also learning how to apply the lessons from the scriptures so well to themselves . . . I mean, if we can just procure a small kingdom for Mike, everything they’ve considered will be of the utmost value.


marzee said...

I love this post for so many reasons. I love how you explained the Book of Mormon and the story of Shule and Corihor . . . I understand it all so much better. (You think I'm kidding? - well, only a little - it really was fun to hear another perspective) I love your kids and their interpretation and life application. So great. So, so great! Just another testament to the awesomeness of the tribe that is of Nancy and Mike.

marz said...

Keep this up - and some day you will be royalty! (You know I speak truth)

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