- Our ward Primary program was today. We've been working on it for weeks and weeks and I was kind of nervous. Our primary is HUGE - not just kind of big - but HUGE. (For example - I teach the CTR 7 class. We have 15 kids in our class, and we have 2 CTR 7 classes in our wardbecause there are so many kids this age!) I was particularly nervous because the other teacher I generally teach with just had a baby yesterday afternoon, so she wouldn't be there. We have one boy in our class who is disabled and is in a wheel-chair. Truthfully I don't know the extent of his abilities, or the details - but it makes me a bit nervous because I'm not real familiar with dealing directly with him - we have 2 teachers in our class, as well as another Sister who comes in just to help with him - kind of as an aide. Anyway, I was going to be directly in charge of him through the program and it was causing me some anxiety. (In addition to being in a wheelchair and not being able to communicate well he also has no control over one of his arms, and hits if you are on the wrong side - hard. It had happened to me several times a few weeks ago when his helper didn't come and I was learning a bit more about how to help him, and I was nervous about it happening again, and nervous about making sure it didn't happen to any of the other kids.) Anyway, I said a special prayer that I would be able to do what I needed to do today and that I would still be able to enjoy the spirit of the program without being too stressed. And you know what? My prayers were answered! My sweet little friend was so sweet. He can't sing the songs, but he held my hand and swung my hand back and forth to the beat of the music. He would tap my knee and communicated to me with his heart. I wasn't afraid of taking care of him anymore. Do you want to know what I felt? I felt love. Not only did I feel love for each of my primary kids as I watched them, but I felt SO MUCH love for this special little boy. As the kids sang "I am a Child of God" and the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" tears just poured down my face as I could feel of this little boy's spirit and the love that our Heavenly Father had for him -and for me. It was one of the more special experiences I've had with those sweet primary children. I was reminded that our Heavenly Father loves those sweet spirits so much, and they are such innocent and strong spirits! The progam went fantastic and I am so blessed to have been a part of it!
- Today at church I also had an experience with one of my old Young Women. After it happened I was just so overwhelmed and in awe of the love (once again) that our Heavenly Father has for us. As my heart was breaking and I was wondering what I could do to make things better for her I got to thinking of our Heavenly Father. If I felt such anguish for this one girl who I don't even have a responsibility for anymore - I can't even fathom the experience of being a Heavenly Parent who watches the struggles we all have. Think of the numbers of children that our Heavenly Parents have sent to earth, and they've watched as we each struggle and feel pain because of our decisions or because of the trials we are faced with - and yet they sent us anyway because they knew it was what we needed to do, and what would be best for us. WOW! I can't even comprehend that love. I have found though that as being a parent (and youth leader both in Primary and Young Women) that I am getting more of a glimpse of that love that our Heavenly Father and Mother have for us.
- Lastly was an experience we just had as we were getting the boys ready for bed. We ask Gabe what he learned in Nursery every week and most of the time he tells us about the truck he played with, or how his friend Noah was there today (in fact today one of the things he said was, "Noah was there. He kept wanting to hug and kiss me....I didn't really like that...." - funny kid). Anyway, we asked him as usual and didn't get much of a reply. But then later we were going on a drive to see the fall leaves as a family and Gabe starts talking about that "big girl who was talking today about the Plan" and how she said, "Hooray!" It took us a little coaxing to understand what exactly he was talking about (because he brought this up at a very random moment) - but he was talking about The Plan of Salvation, and referring to the idea that we shouted for joy when we heard of the plan for us to get a body and come to earth. A light went on and we talked about it for a moment - I was very proud to realize that he had learned something very important about the gospel - and he seemed to understand it! Well then as we were saying family prayer tonight Gabe said our prayer and said some really sweet things. After he was done he came over to me for a hug and kiss and I said, "Buddy - I'm so grateful for THE PLAN that you learned about today. I'm so grateful that you decided to come to earth and get a body, and that I got to be your mom!" Gabe looked at me and said, "Oh mom - I need to thank Heavenly Father for that too!" He went back to kneeling and said, "Oh yeah, Heavenly Father - I'm so thankful for The Plan" and ended his prayer again. I was crying again because it touched my heart to know that Gabe knew the wonderful plan that our Heavenly Father set out for us was something we should be grateful for. What an example to me!
So I hope that as you interact with the precious spirits that are on the earth right now as children that you will take a moment to give them an extra hug, have some extra patience, and try a little extra hard this week to be taught by them. They can try our patience, but if we take a moment - they can teach and love us so much.