Sunday, June 27, 2010
Read Many Things
“You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be—
I had a mother who read to me.”
(Strickland W. Gillilan, The Reading Mother.)
I love books: Picture books, story books, poetry books, educational books, history books, music books. I love books. I love to read them, analyze them, understand the authors frame of mind, and think about writing one of my own. My daughter found this poem and printed it out as a gift one year for mother's day. I have always cherished it.
When my children were young, I would put them to sleep by sitting in a rocking chair in the middle of our upstairs hallway and read to them. The threshold of my children's rooms converged where I rocked so that all could hear as they listened in their beds. I would often have the youngest in my lap rocking him / her to sleep while I read. Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, the Little HOuse on the Prairie series, Magazines, scriptures stories, and science books, are but a few examples. I sang books of poetry to them, laughed when the story became humorous, and cried when the hero faced struggles. My children can never accuse me of not reading with emotion.
Reading brings the world to you. It offers the opportunity for your mind to let go of the mundane and soar with its imagination. But mostly it allows for us to consider all the wonderful wonders that God has created for us, given us, or challenged us with. Reading opens up our mind to ponder the breadth of human emotion. It begs us to live life, to learn of life's instructions, and to listen to the lessons of life past.
As I read how Nephi read many things... to his brethren, to teach them that all things testify of God, I thought of how I have read "life" to my children. I hope that they learned (if not from the words) then from my voice, from my arms wrapped around them, from my love that snuggled them tight... that God lives. Moses taught us this (vs 23) as have all the prophets. But like the wealth that a mother gives to her child by bringing her the world through words, I hope that I also gave my children an awareness of God's love and the witness that words bear of his love. I hope that they read between the lines and used their insight to understand how God's love comes through their mother, through their family, friends, and all of nature. What greater wealth could there be?
(Words and Phrases)
the prophecies of my father... and many of mine own prophecies (vs 1) - What is a prophecy? It seems it is to predict the future. Why should we write them down? To see how closely we listen to God in our life.
I recently ran across some old photos that captured my children's predictions of what their lives would be like. Now that my children have all left the home, it was with great interest that I read what they supposed their life might be like. Prophecies are more than predicting the future. Prophecies are based on past behavior and patterns of behavior.
wise purposes (vs 3 ) - When we write what we are supposed to, we make a permanent record. This record can be used for wise purposes. If words are not written, they cannot be used for a wise purpose. Written words are much more valuable. Written words can be read, remembered, and recited with much greater ease. Written words extend the author's power to change not only his own life, but that of his readers.
one prophet to another (vs 4) the preservation of words comes through men who honor God's commandments and respect his wisdom. The purposes of the Lord would be wasted if the words of God were not passed down through his prophets.
others set at anaught (vs 8) Although there are many things to read, not everyone will read those things with which will bear testimony. Or even if they do read them, they may not respect the purpose or power by which they were created. They may choose to set them a naught... aside with no value. Words read however ring within our minds for all time. They can be set at naught, but they still sleep within us.
written unto my people - (vs 18) written words are meant to persuade. Nephi wrote his words to convince his family that Jesus was the Christ. He also says he wrote unto all the house of Israel.
I did read many things to them (vs 22) ... other lands other people. concerning the Lord in other lands.
God is not a respector of persons but esteemeth all flesh as one. He loves us all.
I did read unto them many things written in the books of Moses. ( vs 23) Moses has his own source of energy and power that might convince them to believe. Isaiah taught us to liken all scripture unto ourselves.
By doing so scripture brings us profit and learning... and "great wealth" ...