Recently, Joy D Jones spoke about Essential conversations – discussions that can lead children to understand basic gospel principles such as, repentance, faith, baptism, and prayer.
Though it sounds difficult to have these essential conversations, I found it easiest when I was trying hard to live the gospel myself. Experiences where I was forced to choose the gospel path, or another worldly way, were easy to spot, and they became wonderful talking points at meal times, or any time.
For example, when my kids were 7 and 9 years old, they were yellow belts at a taikwondo dojo in New Braunfels, TX. They loved their instructor and their classes. When the time came to advance to orange belt they were required to attend, perform, and fight in the spring show on Sunday. 😦
While we were creating the family calendar, the conflict of taikwondo and church attendance was the main discussion. The kids decided to ask their teacher how else they could move up in rank. At first, the teacher was adamant that there was no other way to advance, but as he spoke with us, he admitted that there was another advancement test being held in Houston, TX a month later.
The kids chose to attend the advancement tests in Houston, TX on a Saturday. As the parent, I respected what the kids were trying to do and I made arrangements to drive them the three hours to Houston, TX for their tests.
Meanwhile, the kids watched their classmates move up to orange belt without them. They spent the month repeating the basic forms of yellow belt. It was a long month of waiting.
When the time finally came, we drove to Houston and each child passed the tests for advancement easily. To this day they remember, and I do too, the sacrifice we all made to keep the Sabbath and attend church.