Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prayer, King Benjamin, and Children

I don't know how well my thoughts will come out in writing because they're just kind of several little ideas floating around in my brain right now!

Background:  So I have been thinking about prayers a bit lately, connected to some new insights on Alma 37:36-37.  Then I've been reading King Benjamin's speech to his people in the beginning chapters of Mosiah (which is one of my favorite passages of scripture).  In chapter 4, he reiterates what he said previously about remembering our unworthiness and God's greatness.  He emphasizes the need to acknowledge our complete dependence on God.  This connected to my thoughts on prayers in the sense that praying constantly is a way to recognize that dependence.  When we don't pray before doing something, it's like we are telling God that we don't need His help; we can do it on our own. 

This then lead me to thoughts about my children.

We are probably all familiar with the scripture Mosiah 3:19 that gives attributes of a child and the way we should be.  I don't know whose children that scripture is talking about, but it's sure not mine!  Submissive?  Patient? Ya right!  It seems like I'm always trying to teach them to be independent and how to do things, yet they just want me to do it for them.  They whine and say they can't do it and that they need help.  Then, in the moments when I'm in a hurry and it will be like 100 times faster for me to just do it myself (put shoes on, buckle seat belts, etc.), that is the time they suddenly decide to be independent!  "I can do it by myself!" 

How often are we like those little kids?  When Heavenly Father lets us try things on our own, we go whining to Him for help saying we can't do it!  Yet, times when He is ready and willing, we just walk away without asking for help in prayer and essentially tell Him "I can do it by myself!"  Praying constantly is admitting our complete dependence on Him.  That doesn't mean He will do everything for us, but just that He will be with us.  And why would we not want Him with us all the time?  Even in our sleep?  As King Benjamin reminds us, we could not even breathe from day to day if not for Him.  Let's not be the children born into the natural man, but rather the kind of child the Lord refers to in the scripture mentioned above.  Let's "always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily..."  What is the reward for this?  We will "always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins..."  There are even more beautiful promises, but I just wanted to emphasize the fact that we can always remain clean of our sins and God can always be with us, if only we don't refuse His help by calling on Him in constant prayer.


  1. We definitely have the same experience with our kids. MK's usually better than I am about organizing the girls to clean up, whereas I just start picking up toys so we can start the bedtime routine.

    So Sherrie, I'm curious: if you don't view Mosiah 3:19 as accurately describing children, why does Benjamin use that example?

  2. Good question. Honest answer: I don't know. Perhaps I was too kids definitely can show these qualities, just not all the time. Perhaps the only real description of a child is referring to submitting to his/her father. Perhaps the child reference is merely symbolic of being born again. Perhaps kids back then were better behaved! :) Your thoughts?

  3. My brother-in-law has brought this up a lot. I think of how Mylah was before she was 2. She was always loving and forgiving, submissive, and wanting to learn more. Then she turned 2 and got an attitude. So I like to think he's referring to those 1-year-olds! :)