Preparing Their Hearts
As I was preparing for another year of homeschooling my five children, I was filled with ideas: We would read more, do more art, listen to the best books, and go on field trips. Our history would be interactive, science would be hands on, and everything was going to be perfect!
A custom in our family is the night before a new school year, my husband gives each of our children and me a blessing to help us through the year. When my husband's hands rested on my head, sweet peace penetrated my heart. As my blessing poured out, I was surprised to hear that what I was undertaking was every bit as important as what the mothers of the stripling warriors taught their sons in that tumultuous time. Since then, I have realized my previous plans were not something I should care so much about.
"In the Book of Mormon, sons of converted Lamanites known as Ammonites who became warriors under Helaman’s charge (Alma 53:16–22). Their mothers had taught them not to doubt the Lord’s ability to deliver them, Alma 56:47. They defeated the Lamanites and were preserved by their faith such that none were slain, Alma 56:52–54, 56; 57:26."1
As homeschool mothers, often we get so caught up in the "school" part we forget that there is a spiritual element that matters more. We are training our children to be warriors of Christ so they can withstand the battles that are ahead of them. President Russell M. Nelson said, “I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, … the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease.”2 I can't help but think of how much this applies to our homeschool days! We can "remodel [our homeschool] into a center of gospel learning" and benefit our children even more.
How can we become like the mothers of the stripling warriors? It's simple, really. We need to read, study, and have faith in what Heavenly Father tells us! We cannot fill our children's hearts if we have nothing to fill them with. As we increase our time with the Lord, we will be able to teach our children the way the stripling warriors’ mothers did.
"We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation."3—President Nelson
Now as I'm planning our year, I'm doing something differently. I'm filling my jar with the big rocks first (heart and soul), then adding the medium-sized rocks (education and family learning), and filling the rest of my jar with sand (sports, friends, activities, etc.), so it will all fit together. Too often I started with the sand or medium rocks and never had enough room for the big rocks. I believe as we put Heavenly Father first in our homeschool, our days will not only be better but have a lasting impact on our children's hearts.
“Education is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help you become more like Him. … The education you gain will be valuable to you during mortality and in the life to come.”4
1“Sons of Helaman,” Guide to the Scriptures, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/helaman-sons-of?lang=eng
2Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Nov. 2018, 113.
3Russell M. Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 2015, 95.
4“Education,” For the Strength of Youth.
- The Mindful Heart