My two year old daughter loves to connect with us before going to bed. I think that’s normal for most children in her situation. It’s hard to feel comforted when the people you feel most connected to in all the world aren’t around. And kids just need a lot of comfort sometimes in order for them to fall asleep.
One of the things my daughter loves more than anything else in the world before bed is a snuggle with mommy or daddy. Sometimes the snuggles can go on and on and over and over throughout the night before she goes to sleep. But one thing is for sure: a good snuggle and a story about mommy and daddy are key ways for her to feel the comfort and connection she needs to know that we are still here, that she can go to sleep, and that we will still be here when she wakes up.
One morning not long ago she woke up well before it was time to wake up – just about the time I try to get up to do my morning scripture study. Well I couldn’t just let her sit there in the dark talking to herself, so I got her up and had her join me on the couch in our living room. I told her she could sit right next to me and read a book while I read the scriptures before we started getting ready for the day. Then came the infamous two year old question:
Why? Why you read the scriptures Daddy?
As anyone with a two year old knows you have to be quick witted to answer such questions in a satisfactory way for the child and before I knew it the following reply came tumbling out of my mouth:
You know how you like to snuggle with mommy or daddy before you go to sleep so you can feel connected to us? Reading the scriptures is like snuggling with Heavenly Father. I read the scriptures so I can feel connected to Heavenly Father.
I hadn’t thought of it in those terms before that moment, but that is the truth. Reading the scriptures can be like a snuggle with God – a time for connecting with our Heavenly Father when we get to hear His voice telling us important stories and ideas that will help guide us and bring us comfort in our lives, giving us courage to keep moving forward and strive to be like Jesus, and ultimately leading us back into His presence. At least (I realize now) that is how I have always used the scriptures: To snuggle with God, to feel close to Him, and to hear whatever messages and stories He has to give me at any given time of my life.
Two year olds are amazing creatures. I’m grateful mine asked me why I read the scriptures. She helped remind me why I keep doing this day after day, week after week, year after year.
How about you. Why do you read the scriptures?