Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Following Alma

Since watching "The Mormons" and hearing so many dissenting opinions about Joseph Smith, it came home to me that I do not have a testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and so therefore logically he must be, but I do not know for myself.

I gained a testimony of Brigham Young because the man who came to our house to fix (something or other) disparaged him with COMPLETE contempt and disdain and I, who was always irritated by President Young, didn't know what to answer. So I prayed and searched until I gained that testimony (of all places...in the bathroom. I joke not). In that same way I have no answer to those disparagers of Joseph Smith. How can I have gone so many years without a firm knowledge of this basic point of faith?

I therefore resolved to find out for myself. I prayed yesterday to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet but left no time for listening.

(I did, actually, write here the whole process, the whole experience of kneeling and all the feelings I had whilst I prayed. Something told me to wait and not post it right away...and today after reviewing...I decided not to post the whole thing. Some things are too tender and too sacred to myself.)

Suffice it to say that I have a testimony that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. A tender beginning testimony. Envisioning the little tomato seedlings on my kitchen ledge, I asked the Lord to help me nurture this fragile testimony so that it may grow deep and strong roots. I pray I may one day enjoy the delicious fruits thereof. =)

On another subject.....

I also prayed that I would be able to teach my son to write.

A thought came after my prayer - something Ruth Beechick said about "To teach a child to write, have him write everyday" or something like that. I thought:

1. Journal
2. Letters
3. Essay
in rotation.

But perhaps:
1. Journal
2. Letters
3. Essay
4. Note taking
5. Outlining

This is frightening to me - to teach with no textbook. How can I do that? But it doesn't feel right to teach a canned programme either. But...the more I think about it, the more I think "Hey! Maybe I CAN do this." The feeling is growing. I don't need to spend $160 on IEW or $375 on a tutorial or $250 on a BYU online class (though the feeling I get from the Spirit there is "Meh - you can if you want" and a 'whatever' shoulder shrug.)

I think I can do this. Oh, I'm scared scared scared scared scared scared because if I fail, it's Ben who'll pay the price, not me.

Planning thoughts in the past five minutes:
1. Everyday write at lest a full page journal entry. After the first week focus, week by week on improvement. But what kinds of improvement? Capitalization - he knows that already. Longer, more descriptive sentences? Spelling? His spelling is great. Paragraphs? I don't know. Where do I go from here?

In addition to the journal:
One day a week write a letter of about a page.
One day a week write an essay of not less than five paragraphs, five sentences each. Not less than one page. This essay can be on a variety of subjects including but not limited to
a) a question concerning the book we're reading
b) a descriptive essay
c) a short story
d) what else?
One day a week take notes as I read something aloud
One day a week outline a page/chapter/something. How to outline? Look in WTM. Pray the Lord sends me an insanely inexpensive/free copy of some book or paper or something on how to take notes, how to outline and the different types of paragraphs (descriptive/narrative etc)

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