If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.
Jean A. Stevens
Walking into my classroom at church yesterday I found six excited and ready children. I was not expected to teach that day, as I had a music assignment later, but how could I not gather them around me on the floor and meet their expectant eyes? I was filled with gratitude for their readiness.
"These children are providing examples of some of the childlike qualities we need to develop or rediscover in ourselves in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. They are bright spirits who are untarnished by the world—teachable and full of faith. It is no wonder the Savior has a special love and appreciation for little children."
My class of six and seven year olds are full of faith. They believe I will guide them into important paths which will engage and enliven them. I wonder how often I disappoint? If my lesson is a disappointment I am quickly forgiven. If I forget something, they don't look at each other with raised eyebrows assessing my capabilities. They do lose interest but I find it happens when I am not fully engaged. They respond to being "all in".
I find them to be more teachable than I imagined. If I provide careful instruction, equal to their abilities, with many repetitions so that they can gain proficiency, they come along. They come along with enthusiasm. I am grateful to be among children everyday. I hope to remain teachable and faithful.
Elder M. Russell Ballard has taught us the importance of the Savior’s admonition to “behold your little ones” when he said: “Notice that He didn’t say ‘glance at them’ or ‘casually observe them’ or ‘occasionally take a look in their general direction.’ He said to behold them. To me that means that we should embrace them with our eyes and with our hearts; we should see and appreciate them for who they really are: spirit children of our Heavenly Father, with divine attributes”
(“Behold Your Little Ones,” Tambuli, Oct. 1994, 40; emphasis added; “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 59).