Thursday, May 21, 2009

David's Mites

As part of our nightly getting-ready-for-bed ritual, we read scripture stories with our children. We have a collection of books of Scripture Stories (click here) that we read a chapter from, and then the children choose a picture and we read the corresponding scriptures. I think it's a nice little system, and the children do really well with understanding the stories we share.

Most of the time.

We recently read of the widow's mites (link to story book, Mark 12:41-44), and David was having some trouble understanding the story: How were the two mites more than the abundance of others?

I tried to explain.

Our children love pennies. They explode with happiness when they come upon a penny on the ground (well, they don't literally explode...), and we are still working with helping learn to not crawl on the ground around stores' checkout stands looking for stray pennies. David is particularly fond of his pennies. He carries them around in one of his many treasure boxes (old small containers that are transformed by his imagination into something else entirely), and reluctantly transfers them to his piggy bank.

In explaining the widow's mites, I used myself and David as substitutes for the characters in the story. I tried to show that if I were to give my tithes and offerings to the church—a small portion of the total—it might be more than the total amount he has in his piggy bank.

I saw his face scrunch up in concentration as he thought of the analogy, but then he said, "But Daddy, I have more money than you!" He continued to explain that he has far more coins in his bank than I have in my "bank"—the tray in the car where I store my coins.

Realizing that my analogy was apparently flawed, I tried to explain the story another way, but he was too focused on the "fact" that he was richer than his Daddy.

I'll need to take another opportunity to enforce the law of the tithe; to teach, as did Elder Hales (link), that:

The primary purpose of this law is to help us develop faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Tithing helps us overcome our desires for the things of this world and willingly make sacrifices for others. Tithing is the great equitable law, for no matter how rich or poor we are, all of us pay the same one-tenth of our increase annually (see D&C 119:4), and all of us receive blessings so great “that there shall not be room enough to receive [them]” (Malachi 3:10).

1 thought:

Rockin Rowe's said...

That is a cute stage that younger kids are in when size and volume matter more than actual value. I remember Brandon doing that too! What a great father you are teaching them about that principle.