Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reading the Old Testament

As a family, we just finished reading the Old Testament. And I’ve got to confess, reading the OT really reminded me of good ol’ Frank Costanza.

It wasn’t all like that. And most of the grievances aired therein are probably justified. But as I enjoy the privilege of turning to other scripture for comfort as well as chastisement, the constant barrage of grievances wore a bit thin.

Reading the Old Testament has strengthened my testimony of scripture, particularly of the Book of Mormon, where we get a slightly different shade of chastisement, much more often mixed with compassion and mercy. An institute teacher long ago said he believed the theme of the Book of Mormon was God showing us his “tender mercies,” and for what it’s worth, I think he’s right.

I’m proud of our familial accomplishment for spiritual as well as secular reasons. Spiritually, as Christians, I think it’s important that we have our children read the scriptures. Not reading them, well, it sounds a bit funny. We had some great conversations, particularly about the chastisement, the anger, and often the violence shown in the Old Testament. We tried to navigate and separate the spiritual from the secular.

On the secular side, I’m proud our kids read the book, particularly as we read it aloud. I hear many other children their same age read the scriptures aloud – or anything aloud for that matter – and they struggle a lot more with the archaic language than our kids do. We still may not agree on how to pronounce “Nebuchadnezzar,” but we can at least approach the name with gusto, having read it aloud so many times.

Also, I got to show this video to my kids when we discussed Moses and the Ten Commandments. What could be better than that?

We’ve often speculated that one of the “missing” commandments was “Thou Shalt Invent Paper Really Quickly So This Does Not Happen Again.”

We have now read, as a family, all four of the standard works of our church. That’s a good feeling.

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