Out of the mouths of babes

So, I was giving a little Family Home Evening lesson. I hadn't prepared anything, so I thought I would just tell the story of Noah, what with the two-by-twos, we'd do a little mooing, a little baaing, we'd color some animals, and voila!! Family Home Evening. Well, my simple little lesson turned into mayhem. My daughter was screaming hysterically in the middle of the story. Her problem? All the poor wicked people in the world. Specifically, all the poor wicked people's children. What about all the little kids? Well, she got me thinking. We are taught that the ark-dwellers were the only righteous beings on the earth at the time. We are ALSO taught that children cannot sin until they reach the age of accountability. So....no children under the age of eight when the earth was destroyed in the time of Noah. Right? Did I do that logic correctly? I tried to explain to my daughter that young children cannot 'sin', even though they do things sometimes they know are wrong. I am trying to walk a fine line between teaching that you can't sin until you can be accountable, but it's still not OK to eat ice cream bars in the living room. Sniff. "So, no babies were drownded?" "No, honey. No babies died. Only mean, grown-up people." As her tears dried and she happily began to color her animals (what kind of noises do ostriches make?), I wondered - Did I just lie to my child? Were there young children who were destroyed? Did they die so they could testify against their fathers in the judgment? (My friend's theory). We know that the Lord loves his children, especially his younger children. But that doesn't mean He always let them live. I went to Genesis for help, but seeing as it's part of the Old Testament, it wasn't so helpful. Maybe the whole story is just one big metaphor, anyway (waiting for lightning to strike.....)


Blogger Heather O. said...

Saul was asked to kill everybody when he conquered whatever city it was he conquered, including children and animals. (If I'm remembering the story right, the Lord was ticked when Saul kept the animals, even when Saul said that he kept them to sacrifice unto the Lord.) So there's an example where God specifically commanded that the children be killed. To act as judges? That's not a bad thought. To die in righteousness so that they wouldn't be reared in unrighteousness and have to suffer the same judgements as their fathers? I like that one, too. Whatever the reason, there is certainly no shortage of stories where the righteous, even righteous children, are slain to bring about the work of the Lord. Just don't tell that to little Blue Eyes yet--she might have a stroke!

4/19/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kim Siever said...

First of all, it really all depends on what your interpretation of "earth" is. Some people mean the entire planet, others mean all the land known to Noah. In the latter case, no children outside of that area would have been drowned.

Secondly, wicked people would not have been the only ones who died. Natural disasters take the lives of any in their path (or arbitrarily spares them). Children or adults. Wicked or righteous. Black or white. Male or female.

4/19/2005 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

What a sweet little heart.

I think Kim's point is well taken. I read somewhere (never remember my sources) that it is possible that not all the earth was flooded.

But then I read in Science and Mormonism some scientific stuff that said it did happen.

But what else could you tell a small child? We live in "perilous times" as my first husband's grandmother used to say. :) hmmm...maybe--no--too young. Maybe later, the concept of heaven.

4/19/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Off the subject question: How does one go about deleting something you've written if you think it's stupid? I've noticed that it happens here a lot, but I don't know how to do it, and sometimes, well, a lot, I just get diahrrea of the mouth and wish I could erase that.

4/19/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Clark Goble said...

I think Science and Mormonism pretty well stated that there is abundant evidence that a global flood didn't happen. There are some theories, like Elder Widstoe's that suggest it simply rained everywhere. But at that stage why not just localize it ala the limited geography of the Book of Mormon. Further the rain theory seems hard to line up with the top of say Mt. Everest. Does snow count? At what point does it cease to be a flood?

4/19/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Someone told me the earth hadn't 'divided' yet, and was still one big conitinent (Pangea). That way it would have been more likely that the whole earth was covered in rain, the dry parts, anyway.

I don't know. Maybe I'll stick with Book of Mormon stories for a while and leave the Old Testament for when they're older.

4/19/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Geoff J said...

I wondered - Did I just lie to my child?

Well, yeah... But don't worry -- every parent needs to do that from time to time. I agree with Kim and Clark on the limited geography thing. I think I first heard that from Nibley. The other thing we forget is that God is not nearly as worked up about mortal life and death as we are. I offer the recent tsunami as evidence. It seems that God is almost exclusively concerned with "the life of the soul".

4/19/2005 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Of course, those Book of Mormon stories are also filled with wicked people and children dying. Sigh....

4/19/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


I actually have no idea how readers can delete comments. As administrators, the Wiz and I can delete whomever we want, but somebody named Marion deleted her comments over on another thread, and I have no idea how she did it. Every time I log in and check the site, I see a small trash can after every comment. If I click on that trash can, it deletes the comment. I don't know what other people see on this site when they are not the administrator--I just assumed the trash can option was only available to the perma-bloggers who control the site.

4/19/2005 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kim Siever said...

Click on the "Post a comment" link at the bottom of this page. If you are a Blogger user, you should see a garbage can icon by all the comments you posted. Click on the can to delete your comment.

4/20/2005 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

Did you mention how almost all the righteous people had been translated with Enoch?

I think the story of the flood is a little more graphic in the minds of kids today because of the recent tsunami. I know it is for me.

I recently did a FHE on signs of the second coming, because it's something my kids have been asking a lot about lately, and we were all struck by the scripture that talks about seas heaving beyond their bounds.

4/20/2005 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Last night while I had insomnia, I read Oprah's latest magazine. There is a story in there about Foo-Foo, the invisible dog. This lady's two daughters made up invisible friends. Her little three year old brought her Foo-Foo, showing her Foo-Foo, and she thought the little girl was saying Food, so she took it from her hands and ate it.

Her daughter went ballistic. She tried regurgitating Foo-Foo, and pretended Foo-Foo was still alive, but her kids weren't buying it. She writes about her little daughters lying in her bed and talking: "Remember Foo-Foo?" "I wish Mommy didn't eat him."

It's really hilarious, but unintentionally so, she was trying for a profound story about childrens' imaginations, but I lost it when she ate Foo-Foo. I laid in my bed in the dark and laughed out loud. She was trying to present her children as little fey things, intelligent, and imaginative, I think they were just a little nutso.

Between that and "I am not a man or anything"--well, and a tv show about funniest news moments, I had some good laughs yesterday.

Not that I'm laughing about your daughter's chagrin. I was just sharing the Foo-Foo story.

4/20/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

OK, completely off topic, sorry for the threadjack, but...

My youngest son Elijah was always making up imaginary playmates. He had some friends he called Elijah 1 and Elijah 2. The best, though, was his imaginary father, who he called his New Dad. Whenever his real dad would tell him he couldn't do something, he'd say, "Well my NEW DAD lets me do whatever I want!"

He had an elaborate story built up around his New Dad. He lived in Tokyo. He was indestructible. He was a robot taller than 100 buildings. If you took him apart (which believe me, my husband wanted to take him apart), his parts knew how to go back together again.

One day I came home and there was a bowl on the counter with two rocks, a piece of moss, and a small twig in it. Elijah explained they were his pets, Mossy, and the twins, Rocky and Rocky. I pointed to the twig and said, "Oh, and this must be Sticky?"

He said, "No. That's their plaything."

Then my husband did the dishes and threw them away. Major catastrophe. If Elijah hadn't grown out of his imaginary New Dad stage by then, we'd have been hearing about how his New Dad doesn't kill his pets for weeks.

4/20/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

LOL! It's amazing what these little buggers come up with, isn't it?

4/20/2005 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

That is a great story. I think I would have done the same thing in that situation. Your daughter sounds tender-hearted and I don't think that you did any harm sugar-coating the story to preserve her feelings. Interestingly, I never even thought about the children impacted by the flood. I guess I only pictured the people doing bad stuff being drowned. What an insightful child!

4/20/2005 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I would have told her that Heavenly Father decided he wanted all the babies to come home to heaven, instead of living in the world.
Remember, death can be a happy thing.

I still remember telling my parents that if they truly loved me, they would kill me before I turned eight so I could go to the celestial kingdom automatically.

4/22/2005 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Audrey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/23/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, PLEASE for the love of God, will all of you wien yourselves off of the man made, lamb disguised seductiveness and pick up a Bible? Hell is a very serious place. In all love, the hour is short and you need to make sure you understand God's Word. Please. In all seriousness, just learn God's Will and forget all this counterfeit nonsense. You have been deceived by a wolf in meek, tender looking sheep's clothing telling you what your itching ears want to hear. Heed God's warning about this in Matthew, Luke, Peter and Mark. He makes it very clear. Mountain Meadows Massacre and Danites = bad fruits. Much love to you all.

5/23/2015 01:15:00 AM  

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