I’m sure many of you have heard that last week Sister Julie B Beck answered questions that had been submitted by members on the Mormon Channel. A lot of the “buzz” has been about her comments about blogging. She says that women have always needed a way to communicate, and as long as there is balance and a purpose (my interpretation).
The part that I was particularly interested in was what she said about reading. The blog A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman has a partial transcript, and this is what was reported (italicized text is a quote, non italicized is a summary):
I remember a conference where President Hinckley stood up and prefaced his remarks by saying, “In preparation for this talk I read…” and then he gave this list that was probably two thousand pages long, if not more. Other times he quoted from Shakespeare or other writers or poets. He loved Tennyson. That taught me something about President Hinckley. I remember sitting in conference once listening and thinking “My goodness, Pres. Hinckley loves to read”. Another time he said, “I love the heft and feel of a good book”. So reading isn’t evil. Reading is a blessing and the Lord has created records for us to read and to study. A lot of good things have been written to elevate us, so I don’t think reading is a waste of time, and I don’t think we can only read church sponsored books. There is a lot of good out there. It’s on us though, to learn to make the choices that will create the climate in us that enables the Spirit to grow and flourish.”Sister Beck then shared this sweet tidbit about how she raised her own children to love reading:
As a young mother when needing to get up in the middle of the night, she thought ‘oh good‘ I can read for 20 minutes! She always had something that she wanted to read that she saved for those quiet, in the middle of the night hours, when no one would bother her.
I love that! And this…
She never told a child to turn out the light if they were reading a book before bed. She let them read as late as they wanted — even if they were young children. She wanted to foster a love of reading.
I quote her here: “A reading child is a child that will stay out of trouble. That’s a belief that I have. There’s something wholesome in a child wanting to feed their mind. You have to imagine things when you are reading, that only you can see. And visualize things that only you can see. That’s why it’s important to select good things. I don’t know that there’s enough great literature for younger children. I wish there was more of that. But I encouraged my children to read and put a lamp by the side of their bed. They always had a little bookcase by the side of their bed. Yes we read the scriptures. Yes we read The Liahona, and The Friend, and The New Era…”
I spoke to my wife about this earlier today. Right now our two sons share a room, but we’re moving in a couple of months and they will have their own room. We think we’re going to try the reading thing once we move. If they go to bed and are reading, we’ll let them keep reading.