I was on the Square today, and we saw a family at the Christus statue. After a really hard morning of being turned away abruptly from everyone we spoke to, this family was such a joy to see.
She was a mother, a member of the Church, and she had two young sons--they must have been about 3 and 4 years old. As soon as her children saw the Christus statue, they were so excited! Their little bodies were just an explosion of happiness, jumping and stomping their feet. Their smiles took up their whole faces, and their gazes were fixed on the face of the Savior. The youngest yelled, "JESUS!" and his little voice echoed and pierced me to my very soul. The feelings of my heart as I watched them both run up to the Christ statue and touch His feet... I can't describe in words the tenderness I felt. It brings me to tears now even to think of it.
In a moment, my soul was lifted up and nourished by the faith of these small children. I realized in a new way what Christ meant when He was teaching the twelve disciples this same lesson:
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 18: 1-3
In the Book of Mormon, He taught the same thing to the Nephites when He appeared to them:
I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.3 Nephi 11: 38
The faith of children is exactly what I saw in those small boys. They didn't have that reaction because their parents taught them to do that. They have that reaction because they know Jesus Christ--they knew Him before they came to this life. In their pure and innocent state, they remember him better now that they will for the rest of their lives. Seeing them, I see what Christ was talking about. We aren't just supposed to believe in Him as some far away person who just happened to die for our sins. The faith of a child is exactly like the faith of those small boys--to be totally overcome with joy not just at the thought of Christ, but the memory of Him. To immediately run to His feet because that's where our greatest joy--our home--is found.
I've personally experienced how being obedient and keeping the commandments has helped me to remember the Savior, and to remember the things I knew in my heart before I came to this earth. I wouldn't trade that knowledge, that memory, for anything in the world. And just when I needed that reminder the most, the Lord provided the perfect messengers to help me--two small boys who have no idea how much their souls have just blessed mine.
I know Jesus Christ lives. I know He is my Savior, and I couldn't serve this mission without Him. He leads me continually to my Father in Heaven, who strengthens me beyond my own abilities to do the things He has asked of me. Even though this mission is the hardest thing I've ever done, I'd do it again and more for Him. Experiences like the one I've had today remind me that all of this--everything I'm experiencing now--is worth everything I will pay for it.
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never-deviating friend,