Sweet Innocence

“Have you seen the future when you gazed through the hospital nursery window and saw the bassinet wheeled into your view? You see that beautiful newborn infant for the first time. A new spirit comes into your life as a son or daughter, grandchild, or child of a friend, and you know that your life will never be quite the same again. How often have you had to blink back the tears as you stood in awe and contemplated the miracle of a new life? This newly arrived spirit has come in sweet innocence from the presence of God.

“Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth and gives to parents the sacred opportunity and responsibility to love, protect, teach, and to bring them up in light and truth so they may one day, through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, return to our Father’s presence.

“These precious souls come to us in purity and innocence. As parents, we assume an immense responsibility for their care and well-being. Parents share this sacred trust with brothers and sisters, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, and all who touch the lives and impress or influence the souls of these precious children. King Benjamin admonished parents many years ago, “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15.)

“The critical nature of the first tender formative years cannot be overstated. These little ones are like seedlings in a plant nursery. All look much the same in the beginning, but each one will grow to become independent and unique. Parents are to nourish, tend, and teach their children so they will grow to their full stature and potential.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Teach the Children,” Ensign, May 1991, 78

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