Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Ringing" in the New Year

As a teacher of the 6-7 year olds at Church, I had to hunt down some little rings yesterday. I read my lesson a week ahead of time, but somewhere between Christmas and the New Year, I forgot to purchase the rings. After hunting high and low, and driving a county away, I finally found the rings for my new little class!

This little ring is used to teach children to make good choices. The letters stand for Choose The Right. I guess it is an early introduction to learning the value of integrity, or the ability to make right choices even if nobody else is around. We ALL make dumb choices, but it's fun to hear stories from children who look at their rings and are reminded to choose the right in difficult situations.

We don't believe little children can sin, and because they can't sin, they can't repent. While we encourage and teach them to make good choices at a young age, little children shouldn't feel guilty for things they do wrong, because guilt is an emotion meant to move you toward repentance. Once they are accountable for their actions, then they will learn how to repent. We also don't teach the whole, hellfire and damnation in our church. Repentence is a means for us to move forward and leave the past in the past. We teach a very loving Father in Heaven who wants us to be like Him and that the objective of our lives is to be happy! Making good choices is part of how we build a personal relationship with Him. We don't believe in forcing or manipulating people to do good things, and while we don't support wrong choices, we respect other's agency to make incorrect choices, even if it makes them and others around them unhappy.

There are several possible variations on the "CTR" theme for adults as well. C had the bottom ring custom made years ago when at age 25 he read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true. The top right ring I had made that has a special purpose in connection with my Jewish ancestry, but it carries a similar meaning.

While living in Alaska, I once met a fellow who wore a ring similar to the first one shown. I automatically assumed that he must be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As it turned out, a female friend of his bought it for him, and let me tell you, here was a fellow who really lived up to the phrase, "choose the right," even if he did not choose to be a member of my church.

Well, this wasn't really the direction I intended to go with this entry. I meant to discuss how funny it was hunting for these rings, how we had to have them held at the store ahead of time, and how when we arrived, another woman was at the store who lived in the same county I live in and she also drove up to buy these little rings for her four-year old class.

Just a final note on teaching these little ones; last week was my last class with all of my cute little 7-year olds. One little girl made me a card, and one little boy came up after class and gave me a hug. After they left, I shed a few tears while I gathered up my things. It's hard to see them move on, but I am excited to welcome eight new little six-year olds into my class today!


  1. Tonight Kate came to me and said, "Kiki took my puzzle, but when I looked at my ring it reminded me to say, 'Kiki, you can have a turn. Just be careful.' instead of fight."

    Your lessons are having an effect!

  2. Whew! It really WAS worth all of that effort to find those rings! C gets brownie points for driving me all the way up there to get them just to spend a little extra time with me, even though he was still on his de-junking binge from Christmas. He insulated the basement, too, just to -- relax???


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