Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

Gospel Questions from an 8 Year-Old Girl

Posted by Andrew on March 4, 2008

Question MarkAs I drove to Yogurtland with my oldest daughter last night, I thought I’d use our alone time for a little Gospel Q&A to test how well her Gospel knowledge is coming along. But after asking her just one question, she turned the tables on me and started testing my own. I had just finished quizzing her on the members of the Godhead, when she threw this at me:

Don’t we have a Heavenly Mother too?

Yes.

Why isn’t she part of the Godhead?

I don’t know.

Is it because Heavenly Father doesn’t want people to make fun of her?

I’m not sure if that’s the reason.

Mom says that’s why we don’t talk about her.

Well, that’s why some people think we don’t read about her in the scriptures, but we aren’t exactly sure. There are a lot of questions we don’t know the answers to, and that we won’t know until the next life. And we can try to find the answers, and may think we know them, but we won’t be sure until the next life. But if something makes sense to you, then it’s probably a good enough answer for now.

It makes sense to me. Is Heavenly Mother pretty?

I’m sure she is. She’s our mother.

I think she has black hair and is really pretty. Or maybe brown or blonde hair. I think she has black or brown or blonde hair and is really pretty.

I’m sure she is.

Is Jesus going to come back to earth while I’m still alive?

I used to always think that Jesus would come back during my lifetime, but as I’ve learned about people who believed in Jesus 100, 200, or 1,000 years ago, they all seemed to think Jesus would come back in their lifetimes as well. So sometimes it’s hard to tell whether we are just like all those other people who thought Jesus was going to come in their lifetime. But I wish He would come again, because I think He could help us solve a lot of problems.

Yeah, but I learned at Church that like a year or a month before Jesus comes again, there will be really bad floods and earthquakes and tornadoes and wars. But none of that bad stuff is happening yet, so I don’t think he’s coming soon.

You’re right that it’s not happening in the city where we live, but it is happening other places in the world, and it’s happening more often.

Is the Holy Ghost someone who already lived on the Earth but died and has a spirit?

He might be.

I think the Holy Ghost might be John the Baptist, because he was Jesus’ special friend.

Maybe, but I think John the Baptist has probably been resurrected by now.

He has? You mean he’s living on Earth again?

No, resurrected just means you have your body back again. You could be resurrected but be living in Heaven with Heavenly Father.

But I thought Heaven was going to be here on Earth.

You’re right, it will be here on Earth.

I imagine Heaven will be like a beautiful place with waterfalls and pretty things like that.

Me too.

Does Satan have a body?

No, and he never will.

Oh, that’s sad. What about all the people who followed his plan?

No, they don’t have bodies either, and they won’t ever get bodies.

That’s sad. Where do they live?

Some people think they live here on Earth.

Only we can’t see them?

That’s right. But that they are tempting us to do bad things.

When I want to do something bad, I can’t tell if it’s Satan putting a bad thought in my head or if I just want to do it.

I have the same problem. I think we are pretty good at wanting to do bad things all by ourselves.

Yeah. What kind of yogurt are you going to get?

* * * * *

As my daughter posed these simple yet profound questions to me, I couldn’t help but feel like an infant in the eternal scheme of things. I’d love to hear what humdingers children have thrown your way, and how you wriggled your way out of them.

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3 Responses to “Gospel Questions from an 8 Year-Old Girl”

  1. McDevin said

    Interesting dialog. Your daughter is very thoughtful. Your comment to her on the nature of the holy ghost made me pause though; I was always taught that the holy ghost will eventually be born on the Earth, but not until the end of the millennium. I can’t remember where I got that idea though.

  2. Shawn L said

    As a father of a very inquisitive 7-year daughter, I have come under the very similar lines of questioning. You handled yourself well. Like you, I try to make clear that not every question has a firm, black-or-white answer. At times, the power I have over what my kids believe is frightening — they take just about anything I say (unless contradicted by the Mrs.) as gospel.

    At your request, here are a couple of my favorites from my own daughter:

    1. In the weeks leading up to Christmas last year, my oldest daughter said to me, “Dad, it’s really hard to believe in Santa.” When I asked why, she said, “Because we talk about him, but we can never see him.” Literally the very next night, after we finished up our evening prayer, she turned to me and said, very earnestly, “Dad, it’s really hard to believe in Jesus.” In response to my inquiry, she said again, “Because we talk about him, but we can never see him.” We talked about faith, looked up a few choice verses in Alma, but I could tell she wasn’t quite convinced. I’ll have to kep an eye on that one.

    2. My two oldest daughters (7 & 5) have been enchanted with the idea of “translating” things. During sacrament meeting last week, they each “translated” scriptures directed toweard the other. For example, my oldest (Emma) translated “The Book of Tess.” Broken into 7 verses, it tells the story of a “big fat” angel who comes to tell Tess that she is a good girl, before devolving in a lengthy discussion involving a hearty breakfast of 1 million donuts and poop. I assume it won’t belong before they get around to cursing one another.

  3. JB said

    Great post and its good to see your daughter is asking the tough questions to the right person… her dad (her mom would also be appropriate)!

    The number one question my son asks is “Dad, why do we pray?” Which is always followed up by his number two biggest question (that is actually more of a statement), “Dad, God isn’t listening?”

    We’ve talked about faith and how God hears all our prayers, etc. But more important than the answers I gave him are the actions I’ve seen from him lately.

    The best happened just last night. He was up WAY too late for a three-year-old, but just before I went to bed I heard him talking to someone in his room. I went in to make sure he was ok (from my room I couldn’t figure out if he was calling me or just talking to himself). When I walked in he was kneeling on his pillow and looked up at me. He asked, “What’s wrong dad?” I said, “I just wanted to make sure you were ok.” He said, “I’m saying my prayers.” And with that, he went on with his prayer, and I finished getting ready for bed… with a huge smile on my face.

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