After reading Melissa M.’s post last month about patriarchal blessings, I decided to pull mine out and give it a read. It had been more than a while. And toward the end, I had one of those quintessential moments where a few words stood out in a new way—a phrase stating that I would be able to reach out to my children with a love that would help them attain a testimony of the gospel.
While I feel like I’ve always known that love is foundation of the gospel, I’ve never really connected it specifically to testimony. Like many parents, I worry that I don’t do enough to teach my children, that I’m inconsistent, that my children will pay a price for my lack of faithfulness. Just last night my total plan for family home evening was, “Let’s all think happy thoughts, eat brownies, and go to bed.” (Not exactly high gospel, though enthusiastically received.)
But the idea that love itself can generate testimony has given me something to think about. Of course, making sure my children feel loved is vital (and something I’m working on constantly). But I’m thinking that my love of other things plays a role as well, as the evidence of what I love is splayed out for them to see, all day, every day. I think my kids could tell you that I love my laptop, love art museums, love playing Schubert on the piano, love dancing around the family room to Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” But do they know that I love the scriptures more than I love chocolate? Am I as enthusiastic about attending church as I am about our weekly library visit?
I’m pretty sure I know what they would say.
So I’m beginning to see that one of my responsibilities is to make my love of the gospel evident in my life. Not just have family home evening, but love gathering, love being with them, love talking about what is meaningful to us. Not just have scripture study, but love the scriptures. Speak of Christ. Express joy in the gospel. Because I know there will be times (many) when we are too tired for FHE, mornings (so many!) that are too rushed to read, evenings when we’re too scattered to pray. But if my children know that I love it, maybe it will be enough for them.
And maybe it will be enough for me too.