Thursday, June 21, 2012

So I know this has nothing to do with food...

Just a few months after my fourth child was born I was sitting peacefully in the Celestial room at the Mt. Timpanogas temple when a distinct thought came to my mind that “my house was not yet full.” I knew immediately that we were meant to have at least one more child in our family. I actually came home feeling very distraught. I remember going outside and yanking the weeds from my garden. My last two pregnancies had been very difficult and I was determined to be done. Over the course of the next few weeks I convinced myself that I misunderstood my impression. Maybe it meant something else entirely… I began to systematically pack up all of our baby things as our littlest grew out of them and donated them to other families. I actually begged my husband to go “get fixed” just to be sure. He said it didn’t feel right. “I don’t know if we’re done,” he said, “right now I feel like we have all that we can handle but I feel like down the road we’ll change our minds.”

About two years ago I was reading in my scriptures and came across this passage:
“Children are an heritage of the Lord: and … happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”Psalm 127:3, 5.

It touched my heart and I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. I kept thinking of that feeling that I’d had while at the temple. But during this time in our life we were going through some enormous trials at home. I couldn’t imagine adding to the chaos of our home with a pregnancy and then another child. This was actually a very touching time during my life and because of the trials that we were going through I was able to bring myself closer to the Lord than ever before. I began to focus on ways that I could fill my quiver without another child of my own.

I worked in the nursery of our church at the time. Some people dread this calling, comparing it to babysitting and are sure they are being denied the Spiritual food that those in the other classes are being fed. Though I’d always loved working in the nursery (where else at church can you take off your shoes, sit on the floor and eat snacks?!) I was definitely of the mindset that I was being denied my spiritual food. I decided that I would make it a goal to gain something spiritual out of nursery every single week. That’s all it took! I immediately felt as though I were “filling my quiver” with other people’s children. I began to bond with them and felt the spirit stronger than I’d ever felt it in any other class. It was there when I was able to calm a crying child or when a timid little girl began to play for the first time. It was there when I was walking through the halls and these little babies would run into my arms. It was there when they learned my name and beamed when I remembered theirs. It was there when I saw a glimmer of reverence in their eyes when we discussed the Savior during our very short lessons. It was there when they sang. It was there when they danced…

From there I continued to fill my quiver through various church callings, all within the Primary. I taught sharing time lessons and learned over 100 names of all the children in our ward. I taught the 4-year-old class and fell in love with close to 20 children- all of whom I know love me too. I joined the ranks of Cub Scouts and learned how fun little boys really are!

During conference last October, Neil L. Anderson spoke to me personally in his talk entitled “Children”. It was as if he were compelling me to understand this sacred responsibility and open my heart to yet another of my own. A dear friend of mine was days away from delivering her seventh child. She too had felt that their family was complete when she had a similar impression at the temple. She heard a sweet little voice asking her if she could join her family since her “way had been blocked.” I was shocked to see that when this sweet little girl was born, she had broken the “cookie cutter” mold of the family and had a look all her own. I will admit that when my friend first shared her experience at the temple with me I actually did have the thought “good, you can have another baby and then I won’t have to!” But as I held her baby in my arms, I again had that feeling that I needed to be holding one of my own.

But the timing was not right. Doubts began to creep in and I never shared my sentiment with my husband. Life was just too hard right now! For every reason to have another child, there were 100 reasons not to. But for the first time in many years I actually did have that honest yearning in my heart. When our church’s annual General Conference rolled around in April this year, I was shocked that the very first talk after President Monson’s opening comments was again directed towards me personally. In his talk “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them” President Packer reiterated the importance of children:
"One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophecy that “a little child shall lead them.”Isaiah 11:6.
In Jerusalem, “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.”Matthew 18:2–4.
“Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
“And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”Matthew 19:14–15.
We read in the Book of Mormon of the visit of Jesus Christ to the New World. He healed and blessed the people and commanded that the little children should be brought to Him.
Mormon records, “They brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.”3 Nephi 17:12.
He then commanded the people to kneel. With the children around Him, the Savior knelt and offered a prayer to our Father in Heaven. After the prayer the Savior wept, “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.”3 Nephi 17:24.
I can understand the feelings expressed by the Savior toward children. There is much to be learned from following His example in seeking to pray for, bless, and teach “those little ones.”


President Packer even quoted Psalms,
“Children are an heritage of the Lord: and … happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”

I am deeply humbled and grateful for the opportunity to finally add one more of Heavenly Father’s precious children to our family. There is nothing so monumental than to be trusted with one of His beloved spirits let alone five. I am also so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve your children every day through volunteer work at the school, in the community, and at our church.

Our newest edition is due late in January next year.