Sunday, August 11, 2013

A suggestion. . .

for my church-going mommy and daddy friends.  If your child has an iPhone, iPod, iPad, Kindle Fire, or other smart phone or tablet device, leave it home on Sunday.  Yes, I realize that it is very convenient to carry one small thing that has all the scriptures and manuals and everything else on it.  It really is wonderful.

But do your kid (and their teacher) a favor and just leave it home.  There is something wonderful about the heft and navigation of an actual book--of printed scriptures.  I guarantee you that your kids will get to know the scriptures comprehensively better if they are required to spend at least some of their scripture time with actual books rather than electronics.

More than that, however, the distraction factor is just too high.  They have two 40-minute classes a week at Church.  When you think how much time they are focused on and influenced by other things, its not a lot to ask that they leave the rest of the world outside for 3 hours once a week.  In fact, if you want them to really learn the material, and really learn to hear and listen to the Spirit, its essential.  Its really, really easy (even for adults--take note of that) to be reading along in the scriptures or manual, but to gradually drift off and end up texting, or searching the internet, or doing puzzles or flinging angry birds, or reading something that has nothing to do with what's going on.

They may whine at first, when you tell them to leave the gadgets at home, but someday they'll likely thank you.  If you find yourself distracted, or spending the whole meeting "multi-tasking" (no matter how worthwhile the other tasks), you might try leaving your own devices at home, as well.  If there's one thing where a few hours a week of single-mindedness could be useful, it is studying eternal truths.  Surely we can turn off our smart phone for 2 hours a week if it better prepares us for eternal exaltation?

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