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Family devotionals

For the past week when we have scripture and prayer, or Come Follow Me lessons, my kids have disconnected. 

As a family we like to do these about an hour before bedtime so they are still alert and have full bellies from dinner. We sit on the floor together and do at the most 10 minutes of a lesson or scripture reading. 

We do our best to keep it simple and explain the importance of what we are teaching. I believe they know how important learning the gospel principles are to me. I want them to learn some Christ-like values and experiences that they could relate to from the scriptures. 

I hope they can grow in faith and a testimony from what they believe to be true. 

I love that in my home we can create faith building experiences. Dom and I also like to share our testimonies and the experiences we have gone through to build our love and faith in Jesus Christ.

Plus it’s only 10 minutes, right? We know kids love for most moments to have fun. How come we are not reaching to them lately for at least 10 minutes?

Dom and I have been doing the lessons and scripture reading together while the kids are running around, playing with toys, or laying away from us. 

We have been wanting to be patient and believe they will catch something important or something they were touched by with the words we say. 

A few days ago while I was talking about the story Alma The Younger, a scripture story during our Come Follow Me lesson, Ryen was running in circles and Ronen was building Legos. 

Ways I have tried to get their attention:

  • I would express how I would love for them to join Dad and I during the lesson.
  • I would speak a little softer and quieter so they would try to hear what I am saying. 
  • I would tell them that the things we are teaching are to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. 

My kids looked at me straight in the eye and said nothing. They went right back to doing what they were doing. Haha ok…

Dom and I looked right at each other, had a chuckle and felt like we couldn’t get through to them. 

We continued the lesson still hoping for them to hear something. 

Genuine Love

Later on after getting them to bed I had a feeling to go say a prayer. I went into my room and sat down on the floor and started to say a prayer. 

I expressed to my Father in Heaven that I love my children and want to keep teaching them. I want to teach them the experiences of the scriptures and the principles of the gospel. I don’t want to be discouraged by them playing or possibly not listening. 

I want to keep having these moments with them where I can share my love for the gospel. 

I felt the spirit prompt my mind and heart, “Bri, it’s ok. It’s ok if they don’t listen all the time. I understand. I really do. Keep teaching. Keep sharing what strengthens your testimony. Keep sharing your faith. They will feel your love. Express to them with genuine love everyday why you are teaching it and why it’s important to you.” 

I felt such warmth and comfort after this prayer. It was exactly what I needed to think about and work on. 

The next day before I started Come Follow Me I had my children sit on my lap. I looked at them and told them with genuine love, “Ronen and Ryen, I love the gospel so much. I love that I can read the stories in the scriptures and see so many life lessons. With the standards of the gospel I am striving to be the best version of me with the Lord’s guidance and help. I love Jesus Christ because he has always been there with me through it all. I want to be with Him through it all. As we read these experiences we can grow through His example. I want to teach you these things because I love you SO much. I want you to experience the blessings received when you love your Savior.”

They both looked at me, smiled and squeezed my neck. Ronen turned to me and said, “Mom, I love learning these experiences and stories as well. Heavenly Father wants us to come home to Him by being like His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ loves us and never leaves us behind.”

I let out the biggest smile and hugged him so tight. 

I think that prayer and talking to my children about why I share the gospel to them was strengthening for me. It helped me remember why I teach them and why Heavenly Father wants me to teach them. 

Why it’s important to me

The point for me is to express and teach with love in mind. Love is the winner. 

My children are a light to me. I know they have such tender hearts and understand what’s important. They feel it.

Going forward I want to strive to teach with genuine love and be understanding when they don’t have their full attention on me. 

It’s ok. I get it. 10 minutes might be a long time but what they feel in a second or a moment is what they remember. 

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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  1. It’s ok. I get it. 10 minutes might be a long time but what they feel in a second or a moment is what they remember. That’s the ticket, it’s how they feel when you are teaching them. They will remember that!

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