"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8
When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4
Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss" Emily - age 8
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen," Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6
"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them." Jenny - age 8
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." Tommy - age 6
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore," Cindy - age 8
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." Clare - age 6
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine -age 5
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." Mark - age 6
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget," Jessica - age 8
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry." Roger Knapp
The disciples asked Jesus a searching and eternal question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 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. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:1-6 To deceive, offend, or betray a little child who believes in Christ is a cruel sin and carries serious consequences.
On multiple occasions, Jesus taught that one of the requirements of salvation is that the recipients become as a little child. Matthew 19:13-15 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Luke 18:15-17
Those who fail to become like little children forfeit the kingdom of heaven. It may be valuable and worthwhile for some of us “hardened older folk” to soften up a bit and be more like a child, believe like a child, and love like a child. What do you think?
Jesus shows his redeeming love for little children, invites them into his presence, and blesses them with gifts from above. An ideal example of this is recorded in the Book of Mormon when the people of Nephi on the American continent were gathered around the temple in the land of Bountiful. 3 Nephi 17:1-25 Jesus showed himself unto the people, ministered to them, and they received the fullness of his gospel. He loved; He healed; He blessed; His joy was full; and He wept.
“And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.” 3 Nephi 17:21-25
After Jesus ministered to all present, Jesus further ministered to the children while the adults participated as observers. As angels descended out of heaven and encircled those little ones, the parents watched and eavesdropped on the Heavenly ministry to their children. Were the children participating in something that the others just overheard, viewed, and witnessed? What distinguished the children from the rest? I believe children and those who are like children have a connection with heaven that others may miss.
The greatest embodiment of love is Jesus Christ himself. He is the very definition of love and he lived the highest level of it. God is love. 1 John 4:8 His love cleanses and redeems those who love Him. Love renews and creates. It empowers and overcomes. Jesus Christ overcame all things. I believe His greatest victory was His infinite ability to love.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13