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YA Weekly

Do You Have Childlike Faith in Christ?

Shirah C. E. Ólafsson
12/20/22 | 4 min read
I’ve been inspired in so many ways by the faith of my own children.

When Jesus Christ visited the Americas, one of the first things He invited His disciples to do was “become as a little child” (3 Nephi 11:38).

Why is that? Children don’t know everything. My four-year-old asks me so many questions—at least one hundred a day! But her curiosity and thirst for knowledge may be some of the childlike natural instincts that the Savior wishes us to emulate.

As I’ve watched my children grow, there are three distinct lessons they have shown me about their childlike faith:

They have complete trust in their parents.

When my girls have a problem or are hurt or afraid, they immediately call out for me or my husband. They don’t stop and consider if they deserve to be helped. They don’t wonder if they have been obedient enough. They just know we love them and are ready to help.

We can trust Heavenly Father the same way.

I love my daughters. Yet the love I have for them is incomparable to the love Heavenly Father has for us. The moment we call out to our Father in Heaven, He will be there (see Joshua 1:9). We can immediately feel His comfort and peace, and, with patience and faith, we can receive answers to our questions.

For example, a few years ago I was given an exciting job offer. But I was worried it would require me to work on Sundays. As I struggled to decide what to do, I prayed and fasted. I was filled with peace and was even prompted to ask the manager if I could have Sundays off. Without my childlike trust in Heavenly Father, I never would have had the courage to set such a condition, but the manager agreed. So, I began a new and exciting chapter.

They don’t question what they are taught.

When my daughter was little, she asked me why her magnets stuck to the fridge but not to the wall. I explained how magnets worked, and she immediately believed this new knowledge and began testing the magnet against different surfaces.

Just as my daughter trusts the answers I give her, Heavenly Father expects us to trust His answers.

After I started my job, challenges came. My hours became extremely hard on my family, and my manager grew frustrated with me. I began questioning the answer I’d received about accepting the job.

Heavenly Father is “a God of truth, and canst not lie” (Ether 3:12), so I assumed I didn’t understand His guidance, which made me wonder how many other promptings I had misunderstood. Then I remembered the words of Alma the Younger: “Experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if [you] can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you” (Alma 32:27).

I had the desire to continue believing in Heavenly Father, so I chose to exercise faith and experiment upon His prompting for me to accept this job, and I pressed on.

Jesus Christ Ministering to the Children of the World: Walking in a Field

They have unshakable faith.

I was very sick when I was pregnant with my youngest child. But one afternoon, my daughter wanted to go hiking. My husband told her I was too sick to go. My daughter prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me feel better and promptly got ready to go. Minutes later, my husband was surprised to see me awake. He told me about our daughter’s prayer, and her sincere faith inspired me to try to hike. Somehow, I made it to the top of the mountain.

Having the faith to finish my job contract also required faith like my daughter’s. I couldn’t see what lay ahead. But I kept moving forward with faith that Heavenly Father led me to my job for a reason. And that reason was eventually revealed.

On a quiet day at work, a coworker opened up to me about how when she had learned I was a member of the Church, she assumed I wouldn’t be any different than some contentious religious people from her past. She told me she had been moved by my respect and kindness for her and our other coworkers. We spent the next hours talking about faith and Jesus Christ.

She told me she wanted to believe in Him, and the Spirit swelled in my chest as I told her about the gospel.

I realized that she was one reason Heavenly Father had directed me to this job. It was a miracle.

As President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Miracles come according to your faith in the Lord. Central to that faith is trusting His will and timetable—how and when He will bless you with the miraculous help you desire. Only your unbelief will keep God from blessing you with miracles to move the mountains in your life.”1 When I exercised childlike faith in His prompting to take this job and finish my contract, Heavenly Father showed me His ability to bring forth miracles.

Childlike Faith Will Keep Us on the Path

Life can make it difficult to hold on to simple, yet powerful, childlike faith. Our Savior knows this. That is why He invites us to consider the steadfast example of children. If we have a heart that is open to trusting our Heavenly Father and His prophets like little children do, we will experience incredible spiritual growth and better understand the love and the plan He has for each of us.

Shirah C. E. Ólafsson is from California, USA, and now lives in Iceland. She loves reading and writing fantasy novels and owns her own graphic design business. Her dream is to inspire others to draw closer to their Savior by sharing her mental health journey in a raw but encouraging way. Her love languages are words of affirmation and potatoes.

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You can find more For Mothers of Young Children articles to help you through all the challenging aspects of adjusting to motherhood in YA Weekly, located in the Gospel Library under Magazines or Adults > Young Adults.

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1. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 103; emphasis in original.

Shirah C. E. Ólafsson
Mother from California