Are Your Children Older Than You?

My favorite part of not starting my church meetings until the afternoon, is the quiet solitude these Sabbath mornings provide. My spirit seems to always recognize that Sunday, is the Lord's Day; and upon waking is filled with gratitude for all that He has done for His children. I will admit, that His blessings for all, become very personal. I think that's the way He would want us to feel. Don't you?

Right now, as I write, my son Alton is playing the piano. I can't tell you how this fills my soul with gratitude for him, and the young man he has become. He recently told his dad and I, that we are going to miss him when he leaves for college, in the Fall. He thinks we will be bored. How funny is that? He doesn't even begin to think that perhaps we are ready for a rest - as we have been parenting now for 30 years! I love that about him. I love him. But, I can assure you, we won't be bored. However, we will miss his beautiful spirit in our home and the joy he gives us each day, just to be around him.

graduates from high school in less than three weeks. He plans to immediately take off with a few of his buddies for a surfing trip, along the coast of California. He is counting the days to FREEDOM! He will then return from his trip and work through the summer to save money. In August, we will drive him up to Idaho, where he will attend iBYU for the fall/spring semesters. Things will most certainly be more quiet around here, but not because he is a loud kid.

Alton is full of light
- a lot of it. He came that way. He's been seriously tested -- and passed. At least for now. He is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His personal conversion has come through serious life's experiences - and through study, and also by faith. He is truly a remarkable young man.

Have you ever had the feeling that as Spirits, your children may very well be older than you? I know of no doctrine where we are taught that we come to earth in any type of chronological order. In fact, as I understand our premortal existence and our placement here upon this earth - age had nothing to do with it.

If we are supposed to learn from those who are older and wiser than we ourselves are - then this question must be given some consideration. Boyd K. Packer, in his classic book, "Teach Ye Diligently" had this to say -- I will paraphrase...

"Parents will learn more from their children, than their children will ever learn from them."

I came upon this truth during the second time that I read his book, and I don't recall that quote the first time around. I obviously didn't understand what Elder Packer was teaching me, at the time. However, when I read this AFTER I had parented a few teens - and was just coming out on the other end of some pretty crazy stuff - LIFE looked much different! It definitely caught my attention. I was in a very humbled state, to say the least.

Since then, I have pondered on that eternal truth, many many times, and concluded that yes, parents are the students -- of this, I KNOW!

Kathryn Skaggs


  1. I have thought about this since I was preggers with my oldest (nearly five years ago). I just had this feeling that she was a soul from the pre-existence that taught me...she was my mentor - and she was coming back to teach me even more. Let's face it... I don't have much wisdom/knowledge in the first place. ;-)

    I like thinking that my daughters are my teachers - it keeps me humble... it reminds me of how little I know and how much I have to learn. I think sometimes we need to remember we aren't perfect - our methods are just that... methods... and our precious stewardship is temporary.

    I feel lucky to have these strong souls in my life. They teach me everyday.

  2. Scarlett -

    That's beautiful. I can honestly say, that being the mother to my five children, over these past 30 years - has taught me more than anything else that I have experienced in this life. Each one of my children, have been teachers to me, in very specific ways. I know that I would not have progressed to this point in my life, without these incredible spirits in my life.

    I too, have often wondered what my relationships were like, in the pre-existence, with my children. I am confident, that at the least, we were equals.

    I know that having goods parents, is important to every child. Our willingness to be parents, enables a learning process for our children, and ourselves - in order to progress.

    Isn't is amazing, that our "teachers" must experience parenthood themselves, as the student.