Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 55, a section given to W. W. Phelps upon his arrival to Kirtland. I don't know about you, but every time I think about W. W. Phelps I think of the hymn "Praise to the Man" which he wrote the words to. Like so many before him, or it may have been Joseph it isn't very clear, he sought the will of the Lord concerning him.
It is sections like this that make me very glad I live in this day and age when I know what is expected of me. I already know that the Lord needs me to live a good and righteous life and to share the gospel with those around me. It is also a huge blessing to live in this day and age of technology where if there is something the Lord needs to tell His people He can tell the prophet who can then disseminate the information in a matter of a few hours if need be. For the most part though, we are asked to do the same things we have always been asked to do. When Elder Bednar visited our stake for stake conference last year, he said the reason we do not hear new things at General Conference, is because we have not yet mastered the current things being talked about. Just like with building a home, if we have not mastered the basics and built a good home for ourselves, we cannot add onto that home.
W.W. Phelps in this section is basically commanded to build up the kingdom to the Lord. He is commanded to preach, baptize, give the gift of the Holy Ghost and to teach little children in the church. I never really thought about it before, so I cannot say I have wondered, but prior to having my own daughter, I'm not sure I understood why the Lord was so concerned with teaching the little children and why he would use them in His analogies so often. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I can't imagine not raising her up to be a righteous woman. Every time I see her sweet smile and listen to her laughter I think again to myself what a blessing it is to be able to raise children unto the Lord. Most people I find do not enjoy serving in the primary. I think it's because they feel isolated, I'm not sure really. I served for a year teaching the sunbeams though and it was wonderful and rewarding at the same time. To every week feel the sweet spirits of those 3 - 4 year olds was a true blessing.
I some times wonder how Heavenly Father can behold all the horrors this world has to offer. How can he watch the world with how evil it is becoming? I sometimes feel like crying at the limited things I am exposed to, when children are abused, killed for sport or drugs, when people are treated poorly and spouses abuse spouses, etc. I don't want to paint a vivid picture because I think like me you do not wish to have such scenes placed before you. But God sees it all. How does He do it? How can He view such horrors? It also gives a new appreciation for the Atonement and just what the Savior went through on our behalf. The scriptures say He felt all of our pain and our suffering.
I personally like to think that God can handle all of it, because He chooses to focus on the wonderful and the good in the world. Yes He is aware that bad things are happening, but perhaps, like us, He does not dwell on it and instead focuses on the happy. Little children are precious to the Lord and are the true treasures of the world. This is why when someone does not care for them appropriately, the Lord is so angered I think. I was talking with my wife the other day. We had met one of our neighbors and they had 3 dogs and 2 of them were rescued from families that were abusing them. I had asked my wife how someone can just treat another living thing like that? I also said that I think some people were going to be shocked when they stand before their God and are asked why they treated their pets and children the way they did. I think lots of people are going to be horrified when they see how they have lived their lives through the lens of our Lord.
If you are lucky enough to have little children entrusted to your care, treasure them and teach them the paths they should walk int his life. Remember that no lessons you teach your children will be learned so well as those taught by your actions. A child may remember that you told them to read their scriptures every day, but they will never forget that YOU read your scriptures every day. Remember that all children are the Lord's and they have been entrusted to our care for a short while, and with all our stewardship, we will be accountable for what we did during that time. Make sure you treat them well and teach them the right things. Until tomorrow.