The innocence of children has always fascinated me. Children have perfect love, perfect faith, and perfect trust. They forgive easily and forget offenses quickly. When I grow up I want to be more childlike. Not childish, but childlike. There is a difference.
Last week Parker told me that his kindergarten class talked about being thankful. He was very excited to tell me that he raised his hand to say he was thankful for God. He told me it was because God made him. And really what else is there? If you believe in God you believe He created you. At least that’s what my family believes. I was sad but not surprised to hear that many students in the class laughed that Parker would say he was thankful for God. He quickly told me that his friends didn’t laugh “just the mean kids did.”
I think the class was surprised to hear God mentioned in school so they laughed. I can’t imagine parents teaching their young children to make fun of someone for believing in a higher power. It’s more likely that the parents say God is for church and not school, which I think is kind of sad. I’m not an advocate for separation of church and state. I think they go together better than agnostics want anyone to believe.
I love that my kids have such perfect faith. Today was our annual Sacrament Meeting Primary Program. I will admit it was the first time I did not enjoy a Primary Program but it had nothing to do with the Program not being good or well executed. It had everything to do with the fact that I helped write the Program then I was released from my calling in the Primary Presidency the same Sunday I helped pass out Program parts to the families. So it was strange to watch something that started out as “my baby” and see all the changes and know I had no connection to the final product.
In the moments I allowed the Spirit to touch my heart I was able to appreciate the children and their testimonies. They were not spouting out memorized propaganda about things they knew nothing about. We wrote the Program in such a way that it was more an outline and the kids were supposed to come up with their parts. The speaking parts were very open ended even for the young kids. I know our Primary kids well. I have taught them as a teacher, substitute teacher, and finally as a member of the Primary Presidency. These kids know they have a Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ who love them and know them personally. Their testimonies are rock solid. It was evident in the words they had prepared for the Program.
They keep the commandments because they love the Savior and not because someone told them to be good. Several Primary kids wanted to be baptized when they reached the age of accountability (age 8) but family issues prevented that from happening right away. These kids begged for years, in some cases, to be baptized. They know what it means to be baptized and they understand the covenants they are making with Heavenly Father when they enter the waters of baptism.
Many kids were asked to share personal stories that fit a given topic. Stories of personal and family miracles were shared. The kind of stories that increase faith and are a source of strength in rough times. It really was a great Program.
I kind of went off on a tangent there with the Program. I wanted to share something else about the innocence of children. Gwen is so cute. Lately she can be found whispering the sweetest things to her toys like, “It’s ok sweetheart. Sweetheart, I love you.” I never say sweetheart and I don’t know that Heath says it that much. I think it’s so precious when she says that kind of stuff. Today Heath was making roast beef sandwiches au jus and the au jus boiled over. Heath ran over to the stove to fix the chaotic situation as best he could. Gwen said in her calmest and sweetest voice, “It’s ok Dad. Calm down. Just calm down Dad.” It was so sweet and cute. Now if it was me cooking there would have been need for her comforting tone but it was Heath so we were all ok. It’s just nice to know that despite my fly off the handle reaction to everything my kids are self soothing and will grow up to be patient and rational adults.
She also put Heath to bed on the couch. She told him to lay down so she could put a blanket over him. Then she kissed his forehead and told him to go to sleep. My little mother in training.
When I grow up I hope to be more childlike.
Today I am also thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who made me. I am thankful for the innocence of children. I think I learn more from my kids than they learn from me. For that I am grateful.