Every night (whenever I can) I tell bedtime stories to the kids. They’re largely improvised, from a blend of mythology, literature, movies, and whatever else I’ve thought about lately. They’re usually serialized (“And tomorrow we’ll find out how they fought that giant. . .”). In any given night, our intrepid adventurers are likely to come across giants, dragons, witches, balrogs, castles, jedis, hydras, medusa (a favorite), robots, spaceships, invisibility, magic potions, magic wands, lightsabers, and lasers. I enjoy telling the stories, and the kids enjoy hearing them.
This leads to some fun conversations with Sullivan, our oldest (almost seven), about the nature of God. He’s been told that Heavenly Father is eternal, and that that means that Heavenly Father can’t die. This morning our discussion went along these lines:
Sullivan: You can’t chop Heavenly Father in half with a lightsaber.
Me: No, you can’t.
S: Yeah, because Heavenly Father is eternal, and he can’t die. And you can’t chop his head off with a lightsaber either.
M: No, you can’t.
S: That’s right! Because he’s eternal. (Pause). What happens if Heavenly Father looks at Medusa?
M: He doesn’t turn into a statue.
S: Yeah, because he’s eternal. But what would happen if you threw Medusa into the Celestial Kingdom?
M: I don’t know.
S: Well, Heavenly Father can look at Medusa and not turn into a statue.
M: That’s right, because he’s eternal. He can do anything he wants.
S: Except die, dad. Except die.
Yes, Sullivan, except die.
Your kids are lucky! My bedtime stories are really lame tales of a family closely resembling ours, except that they live in London and are perpetually having adventures that end with a really obvious, cheesy, moralistic lesson (often having to do with the wisdom of listening to and obeying one’s parents!)
Out of the mouths of babes. Very poignant Kaimi, I love it. Perhaps becoming as a child will do more to help us cope with paradox than I thought. Ironically, children aren’t supposed to be able to deal with the abstract very well. they need concrete reasons as to why things happen or not. (Why? Beacause. Why? Because. etc.) Good food for thought.
Well, there I was teaching the CTRs (the four year olds) about prayer, the lost five dollar gold piece, John the Baptist being born, the kid who wants to play in the snow and my four year old chips in about how she keeps praying to God to bring her dog back from the dead, but God won’t do it.
Some of the stories I’ve told my kids are at:
Well, Brigham Young might have a slightly different take…
Well, to be fair Grasshopper, Brigham Young would agree to a degree. He felt that he could ‘die’ but could come back to life anytime he wanted.
Yes, Clark, with the key being “anytime he wanted.” If God wanted to die completely (become disorganized), that option would also be open to him in Brigham Young’s view.
Those stories sound like fun. I like the eclectic mix of influences — fairy tales, mythology, Star Wars, etc.