Saturday, February 16, 2013

Become as a Little Child

   This short video demonstrates the pure and simple qualities the Savior wants us to have. I love the beautiful, trusting smiles which reflect the happiness and joy that I believe we can also enjoy, when we embrace the qualities and virtues that will draw us to God.

   In Matthew 18:1-14, the Jesus’ disciples approach him, asking who is the greatest in the kingdom of God. I thought it was very interesting that they were concerned with rank. How often are we caught up in how we are perceived by others? How often do we want to be seen as important and vital? I wonder what criteria they were putting forward to help determine who was the greatest. After being around the Savior for so long, were any of them surprised when he called a child into their midst and proclaimed, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  

   What does it mean to become as a little child? The Savior talks of being converted and being humble. A verse in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19, expounds on the qualities we must have. It states, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” I love this verse! It lays out all of the virtues that will draw me to the Savior and help me become like him. First the verse explains that we have a nature that, if left to our own natural inclinations, will keep us from becoming like Jesus Christ. We may be selfish, lazy, dishonest, lustful, unkind and impatient. But we have a choice. We can choose to listen to the teachings of the Savior and embrace those qualities that will help us transcend the natural man. This is a very difficult task, and I don’t think it’s even remotely possible to be successful without accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. When we do, the grace of the atoning sacrifice will immediately work in our lives, helping us overcome, little by little, those inclinations that would keep us from our Father in Heaven. It is a lifelong task, where we have to choose to be converted over and over again. It requires that we be patient with the process, ourselves and others. It requires that we recognize that we will be subjected to trials and our attitude while undergoing these trials will help us grow closer to God or draw us away from him. If we are meek and accepting of these trials and with patience, love and humility, seek out our Father’s will for us, he will help us overcome them; he will draw us to him and save us. We will become fit for his kingdom, because we have shown our desire to be acceptable by submitting to whatever trial or challenge we have lived through and we have accepted that Christ is our Savior. It is only through his atoning sacrifice that we have been changed and made acceptable in the first place.

   I pray that I will someday lose any more dispositions to do evil, but that I will become a saint through Christ’s great and loving sacrifice and like a little child, be willing to humbly, meekly submit to my Father in Heaven.

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