In Relief Society on Sunday, I sat with a bestie and sang the hymn, "Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth." One reason she is a bestie is that when we saw the title of the hymn, we looked at each other and snorted. We were united in our cynicism lightly seasoned with scorn.
Now, I know its generally a bad idea to scoff at the hymns of Zion, but really--mothers of young children should not sing this song anytime during the three-hour block. At a weekly meeting where our children are not present, or maybe the yearly women's conference, sure. It's hard to sing "brightly" that home can be a heaven on earth when you are planning what you are going to do to your children to punish them when you get there. By the time we got to "Parents teach and lead the way, Children honor and obey," we were both practically vibrating with suppressed laughter. I have at least two family nights a month on obedience--that's how good my kids are at it. I swear, if I have to teach one more lesson on obedience, I may just give in and go get some President Packer glasses and complete the transformation.
Because I was busy being a cynic, I missed that the last verse actually chronicles my daily life. "Praying daily in our home we'll feel His love divine." I do pray daily. A lot of that is because if I don't pray daily and often I will snap and someone is going to have to call protective services. "Searching scriptures faithfully we'll nourish heart and mind." My mind needs a lot of nourishment. When your only companions are tiny people with limited conversational skills, sometimes you begin to feel that your brain has melted and is pouring out your ear. Time spent in the scriptures reminds me that I am a woman of purpose, destiny even. Plus, it stimulates my brain and helps me feel my steel trap isn't getting rusty. "Singing hymns of faith...." I sing hymns all the time. I listen to hymns all the time, especially between the hours of 3 and 5 pm. This is the time of day I am most likely to come unglued. Hymns keep me together.
Can home be a heaven on earth? Of course it can. I'm pretty sure mine was close to heaven the other night when we all played "Simon Says" and "Duck, Duck, GOOSE!" the other day in the living room. Kory thought "Simon Says" was a little impersonal so he says, "Kory says..." Jake laughed the whole time. Raena was in heaven. Nobody got mad. Nobody got impatient. Maybe that's the key: Prayer, Scriptures, Hymns, "Simon Says."