Dad liked to help me memorize things. He taught me the Lord’s Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and other things. Dad was raised as a Christian Scientist, and he taught me some things that Mary Baker Eddy wrote too. It has been many years since our family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), but some of those things still mill around in my brain. I was very young, maybe six or seven, when Dad taught me this:
Thy kingdom come.
Let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love
be established in me, and
rule out of me all sin;
and may Thy Word enrich
the affections of all mankind,
and govern them!
–Mary Baker Eddy – 1821-1910
When I learned that, I had no idea what it meant. Today as I ponder those words, I am awe struck. What if I truly allowed God’s truth and love to consume me? What if I let His love expunge the sin in my life? What if the scriptures had such an impact on mankind that we truly were governed by God’s word?
I learned this in a Christian Science children’s book: “The 5 G’s: God, Good, Guides, Guards, and Governs me.” I hadn’t thought of that for many years. Then one night, I was faced with what could have been a life or death situation, and those words came to my mind. I was instantly calm and was able to control the situation. I’m quite certain those simple words saved me from harm — possibly death. There is power in words.
Little children are so often underestimated. We don’t realize the power of little minds to memorize good words. The good words that were packed in my brain as a child have guided me through my life. Help your children and grandchildren to memorize the good things. Sing to them often. Words to many songs can be comforting in times of trouble. Music is the universal language. It touches the heart and soul. I’ve spent many rough moments pondering the lyrics of good music. My soul is often quieted by the little tunes learned in my youth. “‘Give,’ said the little stream.” “Teach me to walk in the light of His love.” “Spring has brought me such a nice surprise; popcorn popping right before my eyes.” “I am a child of God, and He has sent me here. Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday.”
What messages are we packing into the minds of our little ones? When was the last time we read scripture to our children or grandchildren? Or even a good book? When was the last time we sang to them? Does the bedtime routine include family prayer? When was the last time we rocked our little ones to sleep and let them feel enveloped in our love, as well as Heavenly Father’s love?
I cherish the moments spent learning at the feet of my parents. I long to hear again my mother’s voice singing “Somewhere over the rainbow.” I hold tight to the memories of rocking my own children, singing to them, reading to them, and helping them write talks to give in Primary (LDS children’s Sunday School). Maybe — just maybe — something that I packed in their brains will help them through the rough spots. I hope.