“Childviews,” Friend, Apr. 2003, inside front cover
One night when I was afraid, my mom told me stories about when she was a little girl. She said that sometimes she got scared, and her mom, my Grandma Smith, would sing to her. Grandma Smith said that her mom, my Great-grandma Hill, used to get scared at night, too. And Great-grandma Hill remembered how her mother, my Great-great-grandma Wirthlin, used to sing “Dearest Children, God Is Near You” (Hymns, no. 96) to her and her brothers and sisters. Great-grandma Hill said that this hymn gave her a special feeling of peace. She sang it to her children, Grandma Smith sang it to Mom, and Mom sang it to me. It helps me know that Heavenly Father watches over me and cares for me, just as He did for Mom and all of my grandmas. One night, after Mom sang this hymn to me, I lay in bed and made up a fourth verse:
Dearest children, God is near you,
Standing with you day and night.
Through the scriptures, He will teach you
How you can always choose the right.
We love the Lord.
He loves us, too.
If we have faith, we’ll return home.
Great-great-grandma Wirthlin died when Grandma Hill was only 22 years old. I wonder if she knew that the little boy she sang to, Joseph Leopold Wirthlin, would one day become the Presiding Bishop of the Church and that his son, Joseph B. Wirthlin, would become an Apostle. I wonder if she knew that a song that she sang to her children so long ago would bring peace to me, her great-great-granddaughter, so many years later. Someday I will sing this song to my children. Great-great-grandma Wirthlin left a great legacy of faith for me and for all of her posterity.
Tiffany Starr, age 7
Last year in my kindergarten class, we had a “Teddy Bear Tea Party,” and we got to bring our teddy bears to school. When the party began, I saw that my teacher was serving real tea. I knew that I should choose the right, so I asked for water. I felt happy that I did.
This year, in first grade, we had a “Tarts-and-Tea Party.” Again, my teacher served real tea and I chose to not drink it. I realized that it was easier to choose to not drink it this time because of the good feeling I had when I chose to not drink it the first time.
Ryan Wilcken, age 6
One Friday in fourth grade, I was eating lunch in the cafeteria. After I threw my trash away, I couldn’t find my CTR ring. It was really special to me. I thought I had put it on my lunch box, but it was not there. It wasn’t under the table or in the trash can, either. I prayed, and later I asked my teacher to tell the custodians about my ring. I worried the whole weekend and prayed and prayed to get my ring back. On Monday morning, Mom and I went to the office, and the secretary held up a ring and asked if it was mine. It was! I know that Heavenly Father answered my prayer, and I still have my ring.
Emily Rawlins, age 10