Reading the Scriptures Aloud

When our first child was young, we made a particular effort to read to him directly from the Book of Mormon. We have continued this tradition with each of our five children. Every night we read an interesting scripture story as a family. Some of our favorites are Nephi and the brass plates, Enos’s prayer in the forest, Abinadi’s testimony and death by fire, Alma the Younger’s conversion, and Jesus’ visit to the Nephites.

As we read these stories over and over again, our children grow familiar with the language of the scriptures. Sometimes we pause during our reading to explain a word or passage. Other times we read straight through the story so the children will feel the flow and feeling of the verses.

But even more than an increased understanding of the language of the Book of Mormon, our children are learning to feel the Spirit. After scripture study one night, my son Spencer whispered, “Mom, I feel good inside.”

“Why do you feel good?” I asked.

“Because I feel the Holy Ghost,” he replied.

In a general conference address in April 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson quoted Elder Marion G. Romney, who gave this beautiful promise:

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, … the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. … Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 6).

We have found that as we follow this counsel and read the Book of Mormon as a family, we are greatly blessed.—Perry and Jana Brätt, Pleasant Grove, Utah

Dinner One-on-One

My husband and I feel it is important to spend individual time with each of our children. We used to treat each child to a special night out on a regular basis. But as our family grew and our budget seemed to shrink, it became increasingly difficult to continue this practice.

Then we hit upon an idea that solved a lot of problems. Instead of dining out, we prepared a special dinner at home. Our children responded so well that dining in has become a family tradition. Here’s how it works.

While the rest of the family eats dinner in the dining room, the selected child and one parent go into another part of the house to enjoy a quiet dinner and private conversation. We often use the breakfast nook as our special area, but selecting a unique place to eat can be part of the fun. You can try eating at a card table, having a picnic in the backyard, or even spreading a blanket on the floor and pretending you’re camping.

Dining in has been very beneficial to our family. Not only are we able to stay within our budget, but these special nights give us the opportunity to build closer relationships with each of our children.—Geanie M. Roake, South Jordan, Utah

My Career—Motherhood

I have often thought of the similarities between a career in the work force and my chosen career as a homemaker. I have found that when I think of motherhood and homemaking as my profession, I am more satisfied and fulfilled with my choice to stay home. Here are some ways I treat my chosen career with respect.

Dress for success. Many professions are associated with a certain style of clothing. Although my clothing style changes depending on what I do in a given day, I avoid dressing sloppily. Wearing a touch of lipstick or a dab of perfume helps me have a positive attitude.

Continuing education. People in the work force must keep informed of new developments in their field in order to maintain their credibility. It’s no different for a homemaker. New ideas for child rearing can give practical help in maintaining discipline, understanding our children’s development, and helping our children develop spiritually. Workshops, seminars, books, magazines, and television documentaries are some resources I use that add to my understanding of my service.

Many professionals attend annual conventions to associate with colleagues and to keep abreast of current issues. Next time you attend a monthly homemaking meeting, consider that you are taking part in a homemakers’ convention. One purpose of these meetings is to help you have greater success in your career.

Break time. A ten-minute break in the morning and afternoon and an hour at lunch is a common part of many work schedules. Homemakers also need breaks to avoid feeling burned out in their career. It is important to me to take regular breaks from whatever I’m doing to write a letter, call a friend, read a book, push a swing, or sing a song. Children benefit from a change of scenery and the day’s routine as well.

Association with colleagues. An advantage many people enjoy in the working world is the opportunity to meet and associate with other adults. I need this association as well. Spending day after day with no one but my little ones to talk to can bring frustration and discouragement. I have learned to create opportunities to enjoy adult conversation and friendships through experiences such as exercise classes and visiting with another mother at a nearby park while our children play. These and other activities supplement my lifestyle and bring greater contentment to the time I spend with my children.

Wages. Although there are many ways that homemakers can save money, the real wages aren’t paid in hard currency. I like to think of being paid when I watch my babies learn to walk, when I can care for a sick child all day, when a school child runs home to show me something he made in class, and when I see the joy in a child’s face as she tries on something I’ve sewn for her. It’s important to notice and appreciate things that are of an eternal value.

Recognition and appreciation. Motherhood and homemaking occupy positions of honor, but recognition and appreciation are often slow in coming. On days when I feel discouraged and unappreciated, I love to read scriptures such as Doctrine and Covenants 122, especially verse nine: “Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; … for God shall be with you forever and ever.” [D&C 122:9] Studying the gospel and learning of my worth to God give me assurance that my efforts in my chosen career are worthwhile.

I have learned to cultivate a positive attitude toward my chosen profession of motherhood. I find great joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in the important work I do in my own home.—Karen Peterson Mosley, Tucson, Arizona

Photography by Craig Dimond and Matthew Reier

Illustrated by David McDonald