Bible Story (of Horror)

This evening as we waited for Lolly to finish her maternal duties and get dinner on the table (whilst barefoot, wearing an apron, and humming the hymns of the pioneers, of course):

Anna: Dad, what’s that one story about a lady who talks to a king in the scriptures? Not Esther. But another lady?

Me: Do you mean King Solomon? Solomon was approached by a lady…

Anna: Uh, I don’t know. What happens in that story.

Me (without thinking it through): It’s the one where, one night, two women are sleeping with their babies, and during the night, one of the babies dies…

Anna and Viva: *gasp in horror*

Me: Um, you know what, now that I think about it, it probably wasn’t that story that you were thinking of…

Anna: But what happened to the baby, Daddy? Now you have to tell us. What happened? Tell us the story…

Me: Uh, well… so, the baby that died passed away because it was smothered in the night by its mom…

Anna: What does it mean to smother a baby?!

Me: So… it just means that the mommy accidentally pressed up against the baby in a way that made the baby not breathe, so the baby died.

Anna and Viva: *horrified silence*

Me: It was an accident.

Anna: …and why did the lady talk to Solomon?

Me: Oh, um. So, the lady whose baby died was very sad. And she stole the other lady’s baby. So the other lady had them all go to King Solomon because he was very wise and he would help them solve the problem. He would figure whose baby it really was.

Anna: What did Solomon do?

Me: Okay so… what he did was really tricky… he was a really good man, and he did something tricky…

Anna: What? What did he do?

Me: …he told the ladies that he would cut the baby in half.

*both girls recoil in shock*

Viva: No!

Anna: Owie!!

Me: But he didn’t do it! He just said he would so that the lady that was wasn’t the baby’s mom would say “yes, cut the baby in half!” and the baby’s mom would say “give it to the other woman” and that way he knew that she was really the mom… he was never going to actually cut the baby in half…

Viva: I really, really don’t like that story, Daddy.

Me: But he figured out which one was the real mother. So it ended up being okay.

Anna: Except for the lady that made her baby die in the night.

Me: Well, yeah… except for for her…

Moral: The Bible has some messed up stories that you forget are messed up until you tell them to children, and then the horrified look on their faces reminds you.

No more Bible stories, Daddy… PLEASE!

Also, weird tidbit: a few minutes later, Anna asked “Daddy, is there a movie to that story. Because I wanna watch it!” Not sure what to make of this development. But coming from the girl who wanted Bambi nuggets, it should come as no surprise…


  1. Josh, I want to apologize for some of my earlier comments on your post about that conference connected with Evergreen. I'm not making excuses, but I do want you to know that the things I said/links to youtube I posted, came from a place of frustration. Frustration because I DO have so much respect for you and Lolly (as you know from the other times I've commented on other posts), and found myself annoyed that these two people I looked up to so much were doing something I didn't agree with. My thoughts went something like this "UGH I NEED TO SAVE JOSH AND LOLLY AND GET THEM OUT OF THAT THING CALLED MORMONISM". I now realize that that was as bad as every religious nut-job that feels it is their duty to convert or "save" people. I apologize, it was mean, and especially disrespectful of me to post the links to the temple worship that I already knew were sacred to you. It is not for me to understand, but to respect.
    Please accept my apologies.
    PS-Your daughters are beautiful and hilarious, as always 🙂
    And YES, Bible stories can be gruesome. I was 8 when my dad told me the story of the baby and the king's method of determining the mother. I still remember being horrified.

    1. You have just posted my all time favorite comment. Its amazing to feel the genuine love and respect you just conveyed through a text script. Thank you, we all can learn from allowing others to define themselves. As we define ourselves throughout our constant learning. Individuality is precious.

    2. "it is not for me to understand, but to respect" Is probably one of the best concepts I have ever seen in a blog comment. Everyone should apply this to their daily lives 🙂

    3. Ahalya – Wow! – What a beautiful apology and expression of respect, tolerance, and unconditional love. I am truly swimming in WARM FUZZIES AND TEARS. It is amazing how one paragraph, in writing (not even the spoken word),can establish a "new" opinion of someone you don't even know. You, my friend, have shown great integrity, and are an example to all of us here. 🙂 Love to you

    4. Ahalya–I did see this! And I was very touched by it. I've been so incredibly bad at emails and comments and stuff, but I've been meaning to respond for days. Thank you so much for reaching out in this way, and your apology is 100% accepted–I can see that your comments were coming from a place of concern and affection for me and my family, and I really appreciate that. I think your realization was very mature, and they type of self-reflection that we all (including me, of course) might have from time to time as we interact with others in an honest dialogue. So thanks for the great comment!

    5. Omg, finally! 🙂 No, thank YOU 🙂
      You don't know how much it means to me to have you accept my apologies.
      When I first heard of your story, I literally went around talking to my family/friends/people who I probably was annoying (:P) about it, asking them what they thought, having really interesting and productive conversations. Over time my respect just grew for you and Lolly and I found myself checking your blog for new posts daily. I love you guys and what you stand for, and especially that you are so accepting of everyone else's choices. Thank you. For being you.

  2. I remember as a teenager when I actually read the Bible, and realized that most of those Bible stories I knew were just the nice parts, and in between were these horribly disturbing stories. Discussions in seminary were always more interesting when everyone was reading and we were all ready to add to the … um … discussion about it.

  3. ha ha ha ha man that was great! I love Anna for wanting to watch it. You know her demented sense of curiosity is going to help her deal with the world when she's older. That and she's going to have some pretty awesome kids!! You did great, dad. I give Lolly two thumbs WAY up for supporting you in all of this (a.k.a. not getting mad at you for telling it like it is)

  4. Don't you just love getting innocently sucked into ridiculously inappropriate conversations with your kids!? Lol. Happens here a lot. Yes, your great grandmother wears diapers like your little sister…, it is not a big deal…..

  5. Oh. My. Gosh! You never know what is going to come out of the minds and mouths of children…
    Of course, I had to check out your link to Bambi Nuggets and giggled until I cried.
    Josh, I LOVE your blog and hope that you keep on writing. You are remarkable. 😀

  6. Sooo cute and funny 🙂 – Reminds me of my Dad who, when we were watching childrens' movies or reading fairy tale stories, he would usually say, in a "pretend" scared and horrified voice, "No more, no more – I can't take it – this is toooo scary for ME." As I got older and I observed him do this with his grandkids, I realized that in his special way he was giving the children an "out" to admit they were scared as well, and they always knew that if big strong Grandpa is scared and admits it, it's ok for me to as well.

  7. I'm not very familiar with Bible stories. But should the case ever arise that I need to learn them, I'd like it if you were the one to recount the wondrous tales.

  8. Being an atheist, I've done a really bad job teaching my kids Bible stories as of late.
    I allowed my daughter to attend Mormon church with my mother recently (you know, just to prove that I'm open minded and everything) and a few days later, she asked me:
    Mom, have you ever given anybody an example?
    Me: Huh?
    Her: Like if they way wine is healthy? Do you tell them it's not?
    Me: Some studies say a glass of wine a day is healthy. It's okay to have a little bit. Who says wine isn't healthy?
    Her: Jesus.
    True story.

    So I guess the next time I go to pour myself an IKEA tumbler of Arbor Mist Peach Chardonnay I will have to be more discreet about it. (I just always feel that Arbor Mist Peach Chardonnay is the type of wine that should be served in an IKEA tumbler or something like that.)

    If I do start getting better at teaching my kids bible stories, I think this one is going to be next.

    Mwa ha ha ha ha! Sleep well, kiddies.

  9. Nothing written in the Bible can compare with the bloody detailed grusomeness of how the story of Joseph Smith's leg bone operation is told to CHILDREN.
    Back about 10 years ago, I was teaching CTRs (this was around the time I was attending church but not enthusiastically and also around the time that I was told in a manual to "explain to the children that Jesus served to his disciples a drink made from grapes") and in sharing time one day one of the leaders got up and started to tell the story of Joseph's leg operation. I suffer from frequent and unexpected vasovagal response episodes and I knew what was coming so I just got up and left. I wish I would have had the balls to take the 7 year olds with me.
    (Also, for anybody who knows the story, the Word of Wisdom was not revealed until many years later so why people try to make this into a story about abstaining from alcohol is beyond me.)
    We don't let our kids watch bloody R rated movies but how we love to tell them the story of Joe's leg. And it just gets better every time.

    1. wow…I have never heard someone tell the story like that. O_o so glad to never have been in class with that particular person. the way I remember it was "Joseph Smith had to get surgery on his leg, and it hurt really bad, but he didn't drink anything for it" (something watered down like that) Thank you my dear leaders. sorry you had to sit through that

  10. ROFL…. You've got the best girls!!

    I have this expression in my head of little kid indignation / chastisement/ offended sensibilities… "Well except for the lady who made her baby die!" that is just cracking me up / bringing a lot of nostalgia for those years (Ive got preteen angst in my house). It it's probably inappropriate to be laughing so hard. I'll stop. I promise. Eventually. Its just nice to be on the outside looking in.

    Note to self: Call and apologize to my mum for giving her the 'death glare' when she burst out laughing ( when I was frantically back peddling with my son after inspiring the same affronted dignity).

    I should add, the nostalgia is coupled with the sheer relief that Someone Else also photographs their kids before comforting them (from time to time).

    As a 4yo, myself…

    I distinctly remember daughters being "given to the crowd" explained as a comedy act & tap dancing show.

    As in

    Drumroll please!! We now give you, the one, the only, tap dancing joke telling sisters!!!

    This might have actually been quite clever of my parents, if it hadn't them caused my sister and I to go volunteering to be thrown to angry mobs (that I danced, and my sister told jokes, was pretty relevant in their 'how they amused the mob' reasoning my parents gave). This caused my parents quite a lot of grief. Lucy! You got some 'splaining to do!

    Yeah. I wouldn't recommend the whole daughters to the angry mob story for some time.

    – Grey

  11. This reminds me of the time that I dressed as Juliet for Halloween and my nephews wanted to know who she was and before I knew it I was explaining the story of Romeo and Juliet and . . . well, I'm just very lucky my sister-in-law has forgiven me. I think. It's worse when they're not your own children, I think.

  12. Haha. There actually is a Living Scriptures video about it. We started watching it without really realizing which LS DVD they put in. It was mildly entertaining. We talked with them a bit afterwards. Just in case you want to find that and watch it.

  13. This reminds me of the first time I read all the book of genesis and found out what happened to Lot after his wife turned into a pillar of salt (quick refresher: he get plastered and his crazy daughters sleep with him to keep the family line going). My jaw dropped and I was like "Are you SERIOUS?!? What the crap!" I was wondering how I'd missed that detail for so many years. I kept flipping the page, assuming I read wrong….but nope.

    Bible's got some crazy stuff

  14. What about the story of the dad who goes off to war and in a moment of desperation pledges to sacrifice the first person who greets him upon his return if they win. Well, naturally, it is his daughter. so, the daughter accepts her fate and only asks to spend like 10 days in the mountains with her best friends to prepare herself. What does this teach? Please tell me if you know! Couldn't the father just admit he was wrong?

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