By Marissa Widdison | Church Magazines | October 2019
I always think of the lengths my husband and I have endured throughout the years to protect our two young children as they were growing and maturing. Protect them from accidents or from bullies. Saving them from harmful substances or environmental dangers. For the most part, I believe that we succeeded in our efforts, but since we are not perfect, there were times that we stumbled. Through our parenting experiences, reflecting on the gospel and its teachings have always helped us to understand the best ways for us care for and safeguard our children. We have been given excellent coaching and instructions by our loving Saviour, who especially loves children. ~Emilia Julian
What can we do to better protect and empower the children in our lives?
Out of all the groups of people Jesus taught, we know He particularly loved children. He gave attention to children even when it was not convenient. He invited children to receive an individual blessing from Him. He condemned those who hurt children. And He taught us that we need to become more like children to enter the kingdom of heaven.
“Behold your little ones,” He told those on the American continent after His Resurrection. The heavens opened, and loving, protective angels came down and formed a circle around the children, surrounding them with fire. (See 3 Nephi 17:23–24.)
With all the dangers in the world today, we might wish that our children could be constantly surrounded by heavenly fire. It is estimated that one in four people worldwide has been abused as a child, and that average number rises when you look at specific vulnerable groups, such as those with disabilities. The good news is that there is much we can do to be proactive about protecting children.
“Picture in your mind a child you love,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President. “When you tell this child, ‘I love you,’ what does it mean? … We provide protection so that we can help those we love to become their best selves and face life’s challenges.”
Perhaps looking more closely at the Savior’s example will prompt ideas about how we can better protect the children in our lives.
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