Star

Teaching a child about Mormons

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Hello, I am new here. I am not a Mormon but my late husband was a mormon and we truly had a wonderful marriage. We had 2 children together they are now 8 and 6. My late husband passed away 5 years ago so our kids do not remember him or going to church. I would like to teach them or at least attempt to explain what their dad believed to them. Do you think that they are too young ? I don't know too much about the faith and I have forgotten most things. What do you think I should teach them first ? 

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22 minutes ago, Star said:

Hello, I am new here. I am not a Mormon but my late husband was a mormon and we truly had a wonderful marriage. We had 2 children together they are now 8 and 6. My late husband passed away 5 years ago so our kids do not remember him or going to church. I would like to teach them or at least attempt to explain what their dad believed to them. Do you think that they are too young ? I don't know too much about the faith and I have forgotten most things. What do you think I should teach them first ? 

It's never too young to start learning about religion!  We have a primary (sunday school) program at Church every Sunday that is open to all children, regardless of whether or not they are baptized or are even interested in being baptized.  In addition to learning about Mormonism, the primary program is a great way to teach children a lot about Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in general!  Just drop by a local meetinghouse on Sunday and ask about when primary is held.

Good luck!

(and, if I may be a little bold, Mormonism has some wonderful teachings you may be interested in too!  Did you know, for example, that we believe marriage between a husband and a wife may continue after this life and into eternity? Just something to think about!)

Edited by DoctorLemon

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24 minutes ago, Star said:

Hello, I am new here. I am not a Mormon but my late husband was a mormon and we truly had a wonderful marriage. We had 2 children together they are now 8 and 6. My late husband passed away 5 years ago so our kids do not remember him or going to church. I would like to teach them or at least attempt to explain what their dad believed to them. Do you think that they are too young ? I don't know too much about the faith and I have forgotten most things. What do you think I should teach them first ? 

Condolences on losing your husband.

No they are not too young . . .kids are never too young to start learning about faith, God, religion and the spiritual.  For starting to teach them, teach them God exists and that we must have faith in Him.  Teach them about prayer, scripture reading.  I would suggest that if you really want them to learn to start taking the missionary lessons-they will help you gain a better understanding of God, His Son and the Gospel so you can better understand how and what to teach your children.

I think your desires to teach your children are very righteous and fantastic desires. If you have family prayer every day (ideally morning and night), teach them individuals prayers, pray over your meals and read scriptures with them you are well on your way to teaching them the proper things in life.  The Church produces very large scriptures for families that have pictures in them, define big words for kids. They are great for reading together as a family.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/new-testament-for-latter-day-saint-families-thomas-valletta/1003110822/2677326143988?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP4449&k_clickid=3x4449

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/the-book-of-mormon-for-latter-day-saint-families-thomas-r-valletta/1003770679/2677950575971?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP2782&k_clickid=3x2782

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So sorry to hear of your loss! I think your children may feel closer to their late father if they learn about his beliefs. I think they might enjoy this book. https://www.amazon.ca/My-First-Church-History-Stories/dp/1573454753/ref=pd_sim_14_2/132-1132320-9954837?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DWS3WW8RXNYM9H4S2W3Z

I would look this book up on amazon.com. This link is for the Canadian store (can't get to amazon.com! )

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I'm not a Mormon and I've only ever been to one ward although I've met members from many.  Take what I say with a grain of salt, speaking as someone who isn't of the religion.  

The best place for your children to learn about their father's religion is from Mormons.  Go to a meeting house.  I'm amazed at how welcoming people are.  They don't care who you are, what your background is, or what your motive for attending is.  They're just happy to see you taking part.  I'm amazed what my kids have learned in primary (or Sunday school, whatever it's called, I obviously haven't learned much).

Just go.  Even if you have no interest in the religion, if you're anything like me you'll still enjoy the service.   There's a lot to be said about spending a few hours with friendly people with positive attitudes.  I always feel refreshed after.  

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Welcome and my condolences. I think it's great you want your kids to understand this about their dad and no, they're not too young.

There's a monthly magazine for kids with stories and activities. You can read current and previous issues online or get a yearly subscription for $8. https://www.lds.org/friend/?lang=eng 

There's also short videos on various topics https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/categories/primary?lang=eng 

Music would also be good https://www.lds.org/music/library/childrens-songbook?lang=eng

There's also this booklet (what they learn during the Sunday School portion this year) https://www.lds.org/manual/2017-outline-for-sharing-time?lang=eng

There's also this family home evening book free online https://www.lds.org/manual/family-home-evening-resource-book?lang=eng

Edited by my two cents

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11 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

It's never too young to start learning about religion!  We have a primary (sunday school) program at Church every Sunday that is open to all children, regardless of whether or not they are baptized or are even interested in being baptized.  In addition to learning about Mormonism, the primary program is a great way to teach children a lot about Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in general!  Just drop by a local meetinghouse on Sunday and ask about when primary is held.

Is it like a Sunday School where you can leave your kids generally and pick them up when it ends ?

Edited by Star

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6 hours ago, Star said:

Is it like a Sunday School where you can leave your kids generally and pick them up when it ends ?

Primary for the kids is part of the 3 hours that Mormons spend at Church on Sundays.  The Primary part usually runs about 1 hour and 45 minutes.  During that time the adults are in a Sunday school class and then in a Relief Society (for women) or Priesthood class for the men.

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7 hours ago, Star said:

Is it like a Sunday School where you can leave your kids generally and pick them up when it ends ?

Mormon church on Sundays is 3 hours long-- but that's NOT 3 hours of sitting down listening to some dude lecture you (ah!  That's horrible to even think about!).  Rather, it's broken up to chunks doing different things.

- 1st hour is where everyone is together for worship and partaking of the Lord's Supper.  Yes, everyone means even the screaming babies, so it's not exactly a quiet affair (we try but.... at a certain point kids are kids).  In addition to partaking in the Lord's Supper, we listen to several mini-sermons from members of the congregation.  Mini = there's 3-4 of them sharing ~40 minutes.  LDS don't have a paid clergy, so these mini-sermons are given by just normal members of the congregation (even the youth share).  Once a month we also have a open-mic Sunday where anyone can come up and share their testimony on Jesus Christ

The next two hours people split up to more age specific classes: grown ups go to grown up classes, kids go to kids classes.   Since you're interested specifically in kids 6 & 8, I'll focus on that.  The two hours are broken into 2 parts:

One hour is is big-group Primary.  A bunch of the kids get together and sing wiggle songs about the Gospel, get a big group lessons, etc.

The other hour is small-group Primary.  Kids break into smaller groups (like just that grade) and have a age-specific lesson.  It's a small class, so everyone knows everyone and can participate in the lesson and activities.  Again, this is geared to the kids age.  

 

 

Now, as to the "can I just drop them off" question.  Traditionally Mormons attend church as a family, so like I go to worship with my daughter for first hour, and then drop her off at Primary while I go to grown-up classes.  If you wanted to have the kids attend any part without you there, and were comfortable with that, I would just chat with your local Primary Presidency about it.  You can find your local congregation here:  https://www.lds.org/locations?lang=eng    (click on the "Meetinghouse house locator" and type in your address).

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I was wondering if now is a good time for my youngest son to get a blessing. My oldest son was taken by his dad to get a blessing but my youngest son has never had one, I think I would like him to. Is there somewhere I can take him to receive one ? 

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1 hour ago, Star said:

I was wondering if now is a good time for my youngest son to get a blessing. My oldest son was taken by his dad to get a blessing but my youngest son has never had one, I think I would like him to. Is there somewhere I can take him to receive one ? 

You could have the missionaries come to your home for that. If you're single, let them know to bring someone along (per mission rules). Go to mormon.org and click on chat and they'll have the local elders contact you.

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3 minutes ago, my two cents said:

You could have the missionaries come to your home for that. If you're single, let them know to bring someone along (per mission rules). Go to mormon.org and click on chat and they'll have the local elders contact you.

What are the mission rules ? Who would they bring ?

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1 minute ago, Star said:

What are the mission rules ? Who would they bring ?

They would just bring someone from the local congregation. It's a precaution for all involved.

From the missionary handbook: You and your companion should not visit or accept rides from individuals of the opposite sex unless another responsible adult of your own sex is also present. Always obey this rule, even if the situation seems harmless.

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@Star, welcome!  I really admire what you're doing! :)

All, I wonder if the blessing in question wasn't a baby blessing.  I doubt those are given after the first year or so of a child's life, but I could be wrong.  (@Star, a baby blessing is one where the child is formally given a name recorded on Church records, and whatever blessing the father, or whoever stands in for him, feels inspired to give.  We don't consider it necessary for salvation or anything like that, so don't worry if it wasn't done when your son was an infant.)  Either way, a regular blessing can be given any time, by any worthy priesthood holder - the missionaries can help you arrange for that.  If your husband's family are members, one of them might be willing / able to give him a blessing, if not, there will be others who can do that for you.  I'm sure they'll want to talk to you some, just so you can feel comfortable with them and how a blessing is given.

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21 minutes ago, zil said:

@Star, welcome!  I really admire what you're doing! :)

All, I wonder if the blessing in question wasn't a baby blessing.  I doubt those are given after the first year or so of a child's life, but I could be wrong.  (@Star, a baby blessing is one where the child is formally given a name recorded on Church records, and whatever blessing the father, or whoever stands in for him, feels inspired to give.  We don't consider it necessary for salvation or anything like that, so don't worry if it wasn't done when your son was an infant.)  Either way, a regular blessing can be given any time, by any worthy priesthood holder - the missionaries can help you arrange for that.  If your husband's family are members, one of them might be willing / able to give him a blessing, if not, there will be others who can do that for you.  I'm sure they'll want to talk to you some, just so you can feel comfortable with them and how a blessing is given.

I think that is the blessing my late husband gave to our oldest son, he was too unwell to bless our younger son and I never got around to organising it. Is it important to have that blessing? I just forgot to organise getting it for him. Does he need a blessing now or has to opportunity been missed ? 

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1 minute ago, Star said:

I think that is the blessing my late husband gave to our oldest son, he was too unwell to bless our younger son and I never got around to organising it. Is it important to have that blessing? I just forgot to organise getting it for him. Does he need a blessing now or has to opportunity been missed ? 

I want to request someone else answer these questions - I've never had children, so I don't know the ins and outs.  I do know that it's not something we consider necessary.  I'm sure it's important to the parents and family, but on a personal and spiritual level, not in terms of salvation or anything like that.  Hopefully someone who knows more than I do will drop by and tell us a little more about missed baby blessings...  Certainly, the missionaries or the bishop of the congregation for your area could tell you more (if the missionaries don't know, they can ask someone, or connect you with the bishop).

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16 minutes ago, Star said:

I think that is the blessing my late husband gave to our oldest son, he was too unwell to bless our younger son and I never got around to organising it. Is it important to have that blessing? I just forgot to organise getting it for him. Does he need a blessing now or has to opportunity been missed ? 

I know someone else has mentioned mormon.org missionary chat.  I've found that to be invaluable for my questions.

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2 hours ago, Star said:

I think that is the blessing my late husband gave to our oldest son, he was too unwell to bless our younger son and I never got around to organising it. Is it important to have that blessing? I just forgot to organise getting it for him. Does he need a blessing now or has to opportunity been missed ? 

I'm not sure if you're talking about a "baby blessing" or a regular "blessing", so I'll talk about both.

Regular blessing: anyone can get this at anytime, as many times as you want.  Blessings are special priesthood prayers for whatever we need.  You can get one if you're sick, one if you're struggling with something, one prepping for upcoming changes (like a new school year), etc.  For these, just contact your local congregation/missionaries.  It doesn't need to be a big event, they just come over and give you a blessing like in the picture posted earlier. 

Baby blessing: a special blessing for babies.  Though it's usually done for babies, a 6 year old can have one too.  This is not essential at all for salvation, but a nice thing for the kid.  If you contact the local congregation/missionaries they can set it up.  You can do it low key at home, or as part of the Sunday services, whichever you would like.  The church does keep record of baby blessings.

 

On a different note: LDS don't believe in infant baptism, but instead believe baptism is a promise made between a believing person and God.  The youngest age a person can be baptized is age 8.

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17 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

Baby blessing: a special blessing for babies.  Though it's usually done for babies, a 6 year old can have one too.  This is not essential at all for salvation, but a nice thing for the kid.  If you contact the local congregation/missionaries they can set it up.  You can do it low key at home, or as part of the Sunday services, whichever you would like.  The church does keep record of baby blessings.

As a clarification: Naming and blessing of children (baby blessings) is an authorized ordinance, so it must be coordinated through the local bishop.

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Just now, mordorbund said:

As a clarification: Naming and blessing of children (baby blessings) is an authorized ordinance, so it must be coordinated through the local bishop.

Yes, which I'm assuming the local missionaries/congregation would be happy to help @Star with, if not do it all for her. 

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I just want to share my experience of baby blessings.  Both of my kids got blessed by their dad a few weeks after they were born.  My husband prepared for each blessing days before hand but he left the specific blessing to inspiration because he had a hard time thinking of what each child needed to be blessed with.  So when he gave the blessing, it was spur of the moment as inspired by the Spirit to say.  There was a difference in his tone of voice and the smoothness of the words as they came out for both occasions.  I wish I would have recorded them but I never thought to do so beforehand.  Even for the 2nd child.  But I do remember the blessings and my husband blessed one kid with fatherhood and the other with mission work.  My kids are now teen-agers and they are showing tendencies that lend to their blessings even as we taught them the same things without focusing on their specific blessings.

None of them have their patriarchal blessings yet (another blessing given to baptized members of the Church by the Church Patriarch) but I'm really curious to know what will be on those blessings.

To the OP:  It's great that you're seeking a blessing for your child.  I think the best way for you - regardless of what needs you might have - is to go ahead and contact your local Missionaries/Bishop and to tell them what you told us and seek their guidance on what you should do next.  Don't hesitate to explain to them clearly what your objectives are and where your boundaries are.  Hope this helps.

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