Sunday, December 19, 2010

There are many scenes we could recall in which Jesus called the children to him...What do they know that Jesus wants us to learn? I love the insight of my dear friend Mary Ellen Edmunds. She says, "Surround yourself with sinless people; associate with children as often as you can." A newborn babe is a paradigm of purity. Can we somehow approach the purity of a child - the purity of heart, the purity of mind, the purity of language, the purity of behavior? Can we attain conscious innocence? Oh yes, that is the whole idea. Jesus teaches us, "Prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and you feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation" (D&C 88:74-75).

He sent us children to study so that we could understand clean.

Jesus directs us to obseve our children so that we can be like them. We are all surrounded by children. Sometimes we don't notice them. Sometimes, even their mothers don't notice them... Do we take every opportunity to observe and learn from them? Do we smile and offer to play a little in the grocery line or quietly take a tiny hand over the bench in sacrament meeting? When we find them muddied in the garden, do we help them pick a bouquet, all the time searching out the qualities Jesus asked us to find?

Jesus is our teacher, but children are our first tutors in loving. As we love children, they will teach us more. Perhaps all we really can teach them is that love endures anything, that it has great staying power, that they can do nothing to keep us from loving them, exactly like the father of the prodigal son. And they teach us all the rest about love by loving us. In a warm nest of love they are freed to teach us all the rest.

~Ann N. Madsen

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