When the Church announced that all meetings would be cancelled for the foreseeable future, I had mixed feelings. First, I was SO grateful that the church had implemented Come Follow Me, and that we would have personal study and worship in our homes no matter what happened.
Then I started missing my friends. With of social media and the internet, I have been able to stay in contact with friends and family. But it is different than meeting in person.
Gospel study at home is different than gathering with other believers. First, my family is rather difficult to gather. And without fail I am in a horrible mood by the time I finally get them all sitting down in the same room, with all the video games off. I don’t know why this happens every time, but I suspect the adversary doesn’t want us to have church.
Typically, I would arrive at church completely frazzled, and not on speaking terms with at least one family member. Then through the Spirit, church would soften my heart. I would learn and be uplifted and resolve to do better in the next week. I would feel supported and encouraged by the other members. And their experiences often held the key to solving my own problems.
With home church, I don’t get the answers I need as readily. The answers are still there, but I must seek them out more diligently. And often life gets in the way, so I feel spiritually under nourished. I know this is my fault because I know God is always reaching out to us. But I miss my answers being easy to find, and I miss church.
I know there will be many more weeks before we can meet again. My congregation has many elderly members, and I really want us to find a way to keep them all safe before we resume our regular schedules. So, this time will need to become my growing period. I know what the problem is now. And it’s my job to fix it moving forward.
I will need to start reading Come Follow Me for myself. We have been doing family scripture reading, but with a tween who has all the rebellious urges of a full-fledged teenager, it is usually a trial to get it done. I miss feeling energized by the Spirit instead of being exhausted at the end. What I need to be doing is reading on my own without the family.
When my son was very young, I used to read the scriptures every morning before he woke up. It kept me sane, and patient, and kept him alive. As he got older, I thought I needed to share my spiritual experiences with him. And that worked until he got to this tween phase.
So, I am going back to the old way. We will still have family scripture reading because we have been asked to. But I will no longer try to get my own nourishment out of it. I know that is a terrible attitude, but it is my reality. And it may be yours too.
I often heard the phrase “Parenting isn’t about being friends with your kids’ as I was growing up. Now I know what that means. I must keep the rules in line and keep the family traditions going. It is my job to enforce the rule of law within our home. And it’s my job to keep the family on track to one day be able to meet the Savior.
I look forward to the day my son gains his own testimony. I hope that day will mean he is cooperative with scripture reading, but I can’t guarantee it. If he is like me, he will hide that he has a testimony and keep torturing his parents. Sigh. Why did I have to be such a difficult teenager? They say Karma is painful, and now I totally get what they mean.
About Abby Christianson
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.