Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scripture Study is More Important Than Sleep?

How important, would you say, sleep is to you?

I am a person who tends to *need* sleep like I need oxygen...a lot.  I love sleep, I crave sleep.  I should probably learn to live on less sleep, but it is my thing!

So when I heard Elder Scott say in General Conference that scripture study is more important than sleep, my ears perked right up!

Say what?  Say What?

In his talk "Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority," Elder Scott says this, "Don't yield to Satan's lie that you don't have time to study the scriptures.  Choose to take time to study them.  Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media.  You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God.  If so, do it!"

Well, even in his kind and gentle way, Elder Scott really lays it down.  Every time I listen to that or think of those words, they still stun me just a little bit.  More important that sleep?!...More important than TV (duh!)...More important than school?  Than work?  He really puts things into perspective, doesn't he?

I asked my 6-year-old Autumn to give this lesson to our family, because I thought she'd enjoy making a TV out of a small box and tin foil. And she did, although the TV she constructed doesn't look like any kind of TV she's ever seen...except maybe my grandpa's old TV we've been using in the basement forever...I told her to make knobs and an antenna and she had no idea what I was talking about!  So funny!

Autumn began the lesson as we usually do, by asking everyone to identify Elder Scott on our Apostles name board.  After we had done that, Autumn displayed various items representing the activities that Elder Scott mentions in the quote above.

Next, Autumn called on family members individually to come up and try to figure out what daily activities each item represented: screwdriver (work), homework (school), scriptures (scripture study), a small pillow (sleep), my cell phone (social media/texting), and her homemade TV (TV/video games).

After each item had been correctly identified, the children were asked to place the items on the floor in order of importance.  They knew to put the scriptures first in priority, but debated about where the other activities might fall in relation to one another.

Then we listened to Elder Scott's quote (from above).  We asked them what they thought Elder Scott meant when he said that pondering and studying the scriptures is more important than sleep.  We talked about a future scenario when they might be loaded down with school work and social lives and might find themselves in a situation where they have not read their the end of a long day, will they remember Elder Scott's words and forgo a few winks for a little time in the scriptures?

We also talked a little more about how much Elder Scott loves and knows the scriptures...and how in a previous talk he called a memorized scripture "an enduring friend."

Now, I just wanted to mention in response to a comment that I received yesterday: you'll notice that I don't usually try to teach the entire talk to my children.  Instead, I focus on teaching them what I believe to be the most important points or the most important point that I feel they are capable of remembering and keeping with them.

Also in this case, I tailored the lesson to the teacher as well. I only focused on the one main point that I thought she could easily remember and would enjoy teaching.  

It is so much work just getting young children to take in even a little bit of a talk...focus on what the Spirit tells you your family needs to hear and be happy that you've done that!

Some other key points from Elder Scott's talk include:

1.  Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.  Arm your children morning and night with the power of family prayer.

2. Don't yield to Satan's lie that you do not have time to study the scriptures. If you need to reorder your priorities to do so, then, do it! 

3. Decide that on Monday night your family will be together at home for the evening.

4.  Get a temple recommend. Use it often. Don't let anyone or anything prevent you from being there.

For more ideas on teaching General Conference to children, please see our General Conference Lessons page.  You might also want to read my article on called "Learning from General Conference as a Family."


  1. I have really enjoyed your conference ideas. I have been so inspired by your work and also, your real life approach to thing. Thank you for keeping it real! We have been working harder and harder all the time to have more gospel centered conversations. I love how you use days off of school for a bit of gospel learning. they truly do love learning about the gospel! Thank you again and keep it up! You are an inspirational mother and person.

  2. you are inspiring, even for a retired mother now grandmother-thanks for new ideas...

  3. Oh but I remember those kinds of televisions, my fairy Autumn. When I was about your age, we had a TV that only showed things in black and white. But we bought a piece of film to put over the screen that sort of gave us color. PLUS, we got a console TV that had this remote control thingy...but the cable to it had to be connected to the TV so it was brought across the floor to the couch but we had to be careful where and how we stepped. But when we were done watching TV, the remote (as we call it today) was replaced on the TV with the cord in the back so we didn't step on it. Or trip on it. But then back in that day, TV wasn't really on 24 hours a day and basically only had channels 3, 5, and 8. A bit later we got channels 25, and 43. I know this has nothing to do with your topic of studying scriptures so perhaps I will add that with TV NOT 'on' all day/night, every day/night we did study the scriptures and read more. There, now this is an official comment.

  4. I just want to tell you please keep posting your lesson ideas like these. I know as a busy mother it is probably not always easy to do, but you bless so many lives by doing it! I have taken many ideas for your blog for our FHE. You motivate me and inspire me! Thanks for all your efforts!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words! It really helps to know that! Thank you!! I will keep trying!