Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Idea: The Parable of the Toys

In our home we read from the scriptures every morning before my children and hubby go off to school (my hubby teaches 5th grade).  This week we were reading in the Book of Mormon a parable in Jacob Chapter 5, referred to as "The Parable of the Olive Tree."  (You can learn more about that HERE.)
It's been great to be able to teach the kids about parables, and how to apply them to our own lives.  After our family scripture study we have a family prayer to start the morning off right.  I'd love to say that this is always super spiritual, and that things always go smoothly, but let's be honest.  I'm the mother of five kids under 10...and my husband teaches elementary school.  Nothing ever goes smoothly.  But we do it anyway, and I feel good about that, at least!
As we were finishing up Jacob Chapter 5, I inevitably found some toys and dress-ups that hadn't been put away.  Again.  Oy.

the playroom

Because we'd just been discussing parables with the kids, i decided to put it work for us.  
I gave the kids "The Parable of the Toys."
Yes.  I made it up on the spot.  And you know what?  After I got done, not only were the kids laughing so hard there were tears running down their faces...they actually asked me to tell it again....and they cleaned up the toys!
I'm not so sure laughter is what I was going for at that moment...but, hey, if I can make scripture reading fun...and get them to clean up their stuff...Why not?
Here it is in all it's glory, "The Parable of the Toys."

"Therefore, let me write somewhat concerning the parable of the toys.  
Yea, it came to pass there lived in a pleasant valley a father and a mother and their children.
Yea, and the mother loved her children; and they brought her much joy, and she was well pleased with them.
And the children did have many toys, and they did go forth and did play much in the home, for that is what children do.
Yea, and as the night drew near the mother came unto them and spake unto them, saying,
“Oh, my children!  Thou dost bring me much gladness and joy!  Yea, and thou art good children, therefore, go ye throughout the house and gather all thy toys, and put them away herewith that ye may come and partake of thy dinner which I hath prepared for thee.”
And the children went forth, and as they began to gather to themselves the toys strewn about, the one saith to the others,
“Let us play a little longer, and our mother will not mind.”
And it came to pass that they didst continue to play, and did not gather their toys.
And their mother came unto them again saying,
“Wherefore art my children, that they have left their toys strewn about, and gathereth them not?  Wherefore, I hath prepared thy dinner and I say unto thee, unless thou shalt gather thy toys and putteth them away, thou shalt not have thy dinner.
“Yea and I also say unto thee, that if thy toys are not gathered, my wrath shalt be brought down against thee, and thy toys shalt be numbered, and great shall be the fall thereof.  Yea, and I say unto thee, if I must gather thy toys for thee, thou shalt have them no more.
“Therefore, go to and gather thy toys; and I shall stay thy dinner a little while longer.”
And it came to pass that the children went forth once more to gather their toys.  And as they began to put them away, they letteth a few fall by the wayside, and one saith to the others,
“Our mother will not mind that we let a few of the toys be left on the floor, therefore, let us hurry to dinner!”
And it came to pass the children came to dinner.
And their mother, seeing them draw nigh, saith unto them, “Oh, my children!  Hast thou done all that I have asked of thee, and hast thou gathered thy toys, that they cumber the ground no more?”
And the children saith unto her, “Yea.”
And their mother saith unto them, “Show me, my children, all that thou hast done.”
And the children began to tremble, for behold they had left some their toys by the wayside, and hadst not put them away.
And the Mother saw that all the toys had not been put away, and that some of the toys did lie on the floor still; and her wrath began to be kindled.
And it came to pass that the mother came unto them, and she spake unto them in a loud voice, saying,
“Oh my children!  Thou hath been untruthful, and thou hast not gathered thy toys, that they cumber the ground no more.  Therefore, said I, that if I must gather thy toys for thee, thou shalt have them no more.  Yea, and I will verily toss them aside into the pit of refuse, that they be not left to create stumbling blocks for thy father and myself.  Yea, and thou hast been warned against such things, but thou heedest not.  Therefore, I shall gather thy toys and they shall not be left upon my floor any longer.”
And the children cried out with much weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth; but the mother heeded not the plea’s of the children, and the toys which remained were swept aside, and were tossed into the pit of refuse, and their days upon the floor were numbered.
Therefore my children, when thy Mother calleth unto thee, and asketh that thou shalt gathereth thy toys up, see that ye doeth these things quickly that thy Mother’s wrath be not kindled against ye, and that thy toys may be long upon the land. "

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