03 April 2011

The Simple Faith of a Child

This weekend, we had the amazing opportunity (as we do every 6 months) to listen to the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Instead of attending regular church worship services, we gathered in our family room to watch a broadcast from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. We listened to our Prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, and other Apostles and General Authorities as they offered counsel and direction to the Church membership and the world.

My youngest daughter, Katie, was especially thrilled by this opportunity, as she got to celebrate her 7th birthday with the Prophet, learning the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let me just say that I am extremely impressed with all of my children. I remember, when I was a child, that I would get antsy and I often had trouble sitting still and paying attention through the long sessions of General Conference. Four 2-hour sessions (two on Saturday and two on Sunday) were just too much for my tiny attention span. As a result, my parents only required me to watch one session with them (Sunday morning) - and the rest of the sessions were optional. I was probably 10 or 11 before I opted to watch more than one session of the Conference, and it wasn't until I went off to college that I ever sat through all four general sessions!

So the simple fact that my children choose to watch all four sessions of Conference with us every time is absolutely awe-inspiring to me! And though they may get antsy and restless now and again, they truly listen hungrily for the inspired counsel they know they will hear. Yesterday, as we sat watching the 2nd general session of the conference, Katie handed me a letter she had written... to Jesus! In her simple language and using the creative spelling of a 1st grader, she expressed her love for Him and her desire to follow His teachings.

"To: Jesus

from: Katie

I love you Jesus! I rilly want to get Batist. I want to see you. I am waching confrins rite now. I Love the testumownes the uposlse are saying. I just ternd 7 today. I want you to get my toth I lost today and I want to see Hevenly Father agan. The toth fary will give you my toth I lost today. It is my Berth day today and I love my Berthday presins. I Love lerning abot you and going to cherch. Cherch is fun! I hope you get my toth and note. I hope I live with you agan xoxoxoxo

I Love you you Love me I Don't care if Satin temps me and wants ale live with you agan."

For those of you who don't speak 1st grader, here is the translation:

"I love you, Jesus! I really want to get baptized. I want to see you. I am watching Conference right now. I love the testimonies the Apostles are saying. I just turned 7 today. I want you to get my tooth I lost today [she lost it while eating a sandwich during the 1st session of the General Conference] and i want to see Heavenly Father again. The tooth fairy will give you my tooth I lost today. It is my birthday today and I love my birthday presents [presents consisted of homemade jewelry and a small pillow from her sisters - she hadn't yet received anything from Mom & Dad or Grandparents when she wrote the letter]. I love learning about you and going to church. Church is fun! I hope you get my tooth and note. I hope I live with you again. xoxoxoxo

I love you. You love me. I don't care if Satan tempts me and what he wants. I'll live with you again."

Such a simple, straightforward declaration of faith and commitment! Can I honestly say that my faith is as strong as hers? How often do I stop to remember that Jesus really does love me? That he would want to hear about the small, insignificant to the world but significant to me, moments like losing a tooth or celebrating a birthday? Do I keep my focus on the goal - to live with my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ again? Or do I let myself get sidetracked with Satan's plan for me?

The Savior taught us that, if we want to come unto Him, we need to be as little children. This weekend, I got to see an example of precisely what He meant!