I don't want to sound cliche here, but Marshall is getting so big. It blows my mind every time I turn around and find him doing something else that big boys do. Honestly, turning three was a big milestone in my book. Once he turned three I could see his whole life unfold before me and it was crazy! Today I wanted to document a big first he had. He's a sunbeam now and is going to Primary with the big kids. He is one of the ONLY ones his age that sits happily without having to be held by a teacher. He's so sure of himself and he participates and behaves fairly well. Today he got to give a talk on the topic, "The scriptures are the word of God." It was only his second week in Primary and he was cool as a cucumber. He didn't get nervous at all.
We worked together to write his talk. I thought about just putting together a pre-written talk with the pictures he could hold up, but I was talking to him about the scriptures to see what I could get him to talk about and he was full of good stuff. I just started to write down the things he told me and organized them into a talk. So, no joke, he wrote probably 80% of his talk. It was really such a delight to hear him share his testimony and love for the scriptures.
He started out by holding up a set of scriptures and said:
"These are scriptures. They teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to know. Different people wrote the scriptures. Those people were prophets. We can learn about their lives and the lessons they learned. When we do what they tell us, we make Heavenly Father happy. We are also happy. I know the scriptures are true and I know they are God's word. Reading the scriptures will help me get ready to go on a mission."
He sounded so sweet and I'm so grateful for his example. He may have been a little bit nervous because when we would practice he would go on without being prompted and he really knew what he was saying. In sharing time, however, he carefully repeated everything I whispered in his ear but when I would pause at spots he usually said on his own, he just stood there quietly. I recorded his talk on my ipod because this truly is a treasure to me. The fact that he came up with so much of it on his own spoke a powerful lesson. Even at a young age, kids absorb the things of the Spirit and begin to develop a testimony about the truths they are taught. I think having kids and sharing the scriptures with them has devoted me to scripture study more than anything else ever has. When we first started reading the scriptures regularly with the boys Marshall got so into it. It was really only in this last half a year and I could see a definite change in his behavior. Even Tyler would sit reverently and listen and I regretted waiting so long to study the scriptures with Marshall. It's never too late though, that's for sure. It was a powerful moment to me as we discussed what Marshall knew of the scriptures on Saturday afternoon and out of the blue he piped up, "reading the scriptures will help me get ready to go on a mission." All on his own he could recognize the application of scripture study to his future. I loved it!!!
It was cute this afternoon as he would share his talk with all the grandparents we visited. Grandma Stratton (Connie) recorded it on video so we could send it to Chase on his mission in Malaysia. Marshall recited a lot of it from memory and it really showed his personality. I loved, as he would say it on his own, how he would keep going confidently with the line "they were prophets." My favorite thing was the way he said, "... make Heavenly Father happy, also us," instead of using the sentences I had written out. I'd much rather listen to him say it in his own words too.
I sure love this little kiddo. I was told by one of the Primary leaders, "Today in primary M was telling me that the topical guide was some sort of part to a saw. Someone told me later he was talking about guide, not topical. He was so cute and sure of his answer. What a doll." His teacher also told me he gave the most interesting prayer she has ever heard. His prayers are something to behold as well. But I've already mentioned that in a previous post, and could devote a whole other post to it in the future.
We're proud of you Marshall. Very, very proud.