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 scriptures...at 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.