Sweet Is the Faith of a Child
"I can't wait till tomorrow, Mother. It's the best secret!" The eyes of six-year-old David were dancing.
"What secret, my dear?" Elnora Anson looked lovingly at the sensitiveness of her small son's face as she asked the question. "Surely a little boy doesn't have secrets from his mother."
"Oh, but I have! And it's been such fun keeping it a secret all this week. Six long days already! But you'll know what it is tomorrow, if you come to Junior Sunday School with me. Will you, Mother?"
"I'll be glad to, David, and Daddy will, too, I'm sure."
David gave a few happy little skips about the room, clapped his hands in front of him, then behind him and stood laughing happily as he chanted, "Tomorrow you'll know! Tomorrow you'll know! Miss Clifford said I could do it all by myself and I have. Tomorrow you'll know, Mother, in Sunday School."
His mother kissed him tenderly then said, "But unless your new trousers come in today's mail you won't be able to go to Sunday School." Seeing the startled look in his eyes, she continued, "But they should be here, for I ordered them nearly two weeks ago."
"Oh, Mother, I forgot. I wouldn't have given my Sunday trousers to Ronnie last Wednesday if I had thought my new ones wouldn't get here. I mean I would have waited a little longer to give them to him."
"Ronnie looked very nice in your trousers. I'm sure his mother was grateful, too. There goes the mailman now. In about fifteen minutes, Mrs. Martin will have the mail sorted so you may go to the post office."
At the gate he turned and called to her. "You pray I'll get my new trousers, won't you, Mother?"
Mrs. Anson hurried toward him as she answered, "But, Son, it's too late to pray about that now."
"But God can do anything, Mother." David's eyes held perfect trust as they looked into hers.
"Listen, David. Suppose the clerks in the mail-order house mailed our parcel just yesterday or even the day before. It couldn't possibly reach us today. Four days is the very shortest time it takes for a parcel to come that distance. Now do you understand what I mean by saying it is too late to pray about getting it today? Either it is at the post office now or it isn't. Do you see?"
David stood pondering things for a while then said, "Yes, Mother, I see. God can do anything he needs to do, but of course he doesn't do things like bringing my trousers in a few minutes when it takes four days. I think he expects us to let the mail train bring them."
"You are right, darling."
Watching him running eagerly toward the post office, Mrs. Anson sent a silent prayer upward that his faith would remain whole and shining and not be shaken by circumstance.
HEN David returned his disappointed eyes spoke before he said slowly, "They didn't come, Mother. What shall I do?"
She kissed his forehead and putting her arms about him, answered very, very gently, "I'm glad you love Sunday School, David, and if your trousers don't come this week, we'll go to town and buy you new ones. There won't be time today after Daddy gets here with the car. You'll only have to miss this once."
"But I must go this time, Mother. When I promised my teacher I would give the two-and-one-half minute talk, she said, 'I know you are dependable, David. God is pleased with dependable boys.' And I wanted you to hear me, Mother." In his need of knowing what to do, he had revealed his secret.
Before Mrs. Anson could suggest they let Miss Clifford know he would be unable to come, David said, "Heavenly Father couldn't get the parcel here for me today, but he can make me think what to do for tomorrow." It was not a question but a statement of truth. "I'm going to my room and pray now, and I'll tell you what we can do pretty soon."
A few minutes later he came to the door and spoke quietly, "I've prayed, Mother. Now I shall lie down and keep still as still and think hard."
A half hour later when Mrs. Anson quietly entered his room to tell him his father was home and it was time for dinner, he was sound asleep. She tiptoed out so as not to disturb him.
It was after dark when he awakened. He lay for a moment wondering, then thought out the answer to his prayer. Jumping from his bed, he knelt down and said quickly, "Thank you Heavenly Father," then hurried into the living room where his mother sat reading.
One look at the happy light in his eyes and she knew all was well with her little son. She waited for a moment and asked gently, "Tell me, David."
"I think Heavenly Father would like me to be dependable even if I have to wear overalls to Sunday School, So I shall wear my new overalls tomorrow."
"But David," his mother began, then left the rest of her protest unsaid. Humbled, she drew him to her and held him close.
"I'm proud of you, my son."
David turned quickly to see his father in the doorway. He had returned home from a village board meeting just in time to hear his son's words.
HE next morning as David and his mother were walking to Sunday School, he said, "I may not look right on the outside in these overalls, but I feel right on the inside. There's daddy now waiting for us. I guess his Priesthood meeting is out." As they joined him on the lawn in front of the chapel steps, David continued, "I'll show you where to sit," and he took a hand of each.
"Remember to go home with daddy, won't you, son, for I have a meeting after Sunday School, but it won't be too long."
When they were singing the opening song, "Count Your Blessings," and reached the words, "See what God hath done," David, sitting on the stand, saw Ronnie enter wearing the trousers he had given him. He looked at his mother a few feet in front of him in the audience and from his eyes flashed triumphant assurance as he smiled sweetly.
A little later as she sat listening to him giving the talk he had prepared all by himself, telling in simple child-language how Heavenly Father had made the earth with the sun for the day and moon and stars for the night; the hills to climb; the meadows where the little lambs and colts and calves could play; the flowers to make the air smell good and the world beautiful; the rivers to wade in and to water the land; the wheat to grow for our bread... and all he asks is for us to love him and do as he tells us ... she offered up a prayer that she would never let appearance or false pride keep her from seeing the needs of her own or the soul of her son, and others of God's children.
When she returned home after her meeting, David was at the gate to meet her. "Daddy is putting lunch on to please you," was his greeting.
"What a thoughtful daddy!" she answered smiling. "You did very well, David. Your talk was wonderful. And to think you did it all by yourself! I am proud of you."
"Daddy said he is, too. Aren't you glad I wore my overalls and went?" Without pausing for his mother to answer, he went on, "Miss Clifford said we should wear our best clothes to enter Heavenly Father's house, but it was all right to wear overalls in an emergency. I knew it was all right to wear them last night, but I knew it even more when we were singing and I saw Ronnie come in."
"Darling, "Mrs. Anson said, as she kissed his upturned, radiant face, "You are a precious blessing God has given me. Now let's go in and thank daddy for trying to please us."
Hand in hand, the two went into the house to greet a smiling father who stood in the doorway, his arms open to receive them.