Whoso Shall Receive a Little Child

January 17, 2014
My daughter Tillie and I love to watch movies about the Savior. Over a year ago we found these reenactments of the stories and teachings from the New Testament. They’ve been a treasure to watch and a way for me to teach her of the Savior’s life and my love for Him. Yesterday morning she saw me on my computer, and quickly ran over to me, put her hands up to be held and asked “movie Jesus?” So up she came into my arms as I found a video for us to share.
I came across one that we hadn’t watched before and clicked on it. The clip is taken from Matthew 25, where the Savior is sitting on a hillside, teaching the “multitude.” It is an often quoted part of the Savior’s teachings, where he says us that “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” teaching us that when we serve others we are serving him. He cites as examples that when we visit the sick, clothe the naked, or feed the hungry, it is as if we are visiting, clothing or feeding him. To be honest as I watched the clip I felt slightly dismissive, or maybe worse a little frustrated realizing how little I serve these days and what a poor job I’m doing of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the stranger, or visiting those in prison. Mostly my days are made up of dirty laundry, diapers and dishes. Not much that would seem to really qualify me for heaven!
I didn’t think much more about it throughout the day. Later that night after dinner, Tillie and I went upstairs to get her ready for bed. After a quick change into pajamas, Tillie picked out a few books to read. One was a little story book that tells about the birth of Jesus, and has Christmas songs mixed in with the story and pictures. Tillie has caught on that the pages with a music staff are songs, and when we come to one of those pages she asks me to sing.
As we came to What Child is This, she pointed and said, “song!” so I began to sing these words that I don’t know if I’ve ever paid attention to:
What Child is this, who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping.
Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?

As I read, “Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?” the mother in me thought, oh that poor baby, and that poor Mary! How I would love to be there to rock the baby Jesus, and let Mary sleep.

No sooner had that thought come to my mind, then the little video Tillie and I had watched was brought back to my memory. When the Savior taught about the “least of these my brethren” surely he meant little children too? I can’t rock the baby Jesus, but I can and do rock and hold, feed and clothe, my children every day. Tears sprang to my eyes and a lump to my throat as I felt a heavenly assurance that the service I do as a mother is also service to Him.
Later that night as I was reflecting on the experience, this scripture came to mind, “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

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  • Reply Nicki Dunn January 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    That was perfect and just what I didn’t know I needed to hear today. Love you.

  • Reply Marianne Thayne January 18, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Your beautiful writing abilities always bring me to tears. (Good Tears) As always, the purpose of sharing and getting me to think was well filled today as I read your beautiful post. Some years ago I served in the Mesa, LDS Temple in the youth center. I was given this amazing opportunity during some of the hardest times of my life and as a result each week I had a few hours of paradise with the sweet children I was steward over as they waited for the very special time to be sealed for time and all eternity to their family. Your writing today brought back one of the beautiful memories of that time. (This is a little long–I hope that it is ok to share-it is so good to remember)

    A sweet young girl who came in with a runny nose and a little unkempt looking was afraid and scared as she entered our little sanctuary. We had a special book with pictures and I sat with her (she was 10) and we read the book. Then when it was time to get her into her beautiful white dress, we went and picked her dress and some white barrettes for her hair and proceeded to get her ready. This sweet spirit came out and looked into the mirror and with a total look of shock she said, I am a beautiful child because you are caring for me and heavenly father loves me. She was truly amazed that she was so beautiful and precious. Then just as we were getting ready to join the family, this little angel pulled me aside and told me she didn’t think it was right to be part of the family and I felt prompted to ask why. It was sad details that this young little angel had to share. Sad enough to stop the proceedings and have the Temple President come and talk with this young girl. She took my hand as she was leaving and she looked at all of the leaders in the room and she said, “Jesus had his arm around me and showed me how much he loved me and now I never have to feel alone again”. It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life. I had forgotten, or rather put aside that memory which is one a many wonderful experiences–little miracles–that I have been fortunate to experience. As we love others, we love Jesus. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to step back and reflect. You are truly a blessing to me each and every day I read and partake of your wonderful talents.

    • Reply Liz Jensen January 19, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Thank you for sharing Marianne. What a special experience. You will forever hold a special place in the life of that sweet girl. xo

  • Reply Dave and Julie February 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I live the music you are bringing into the of my precious grandchildren. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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