Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Children's Invitation of Love

It's really late here, and the Easter Bunny just visited all of the children.  :-)  I love the excitement of the holidays, but I also feel a strong desire to ensure that Easter does not lose its true meaning in the hustle of the excitement.

This morning (Saturday) we were racing around the house trying to get ready for their Easter egg hunt.    I kept getting the feeling that we needed to read some scriptures about Easter before we left, but our children were running everywhere so excitedly that it seemed impossible.  The thought continued to weigh on my mind until I finally just plopped myself down in the middle of the family room and called all the children in.  Some children were half-dressed, some had half-eaten pancakes in their mouths, and others had drooping diapers.

I didn't care; we put everything else on pause right at that moment, and we sat in a circle to discuss the Easter season and Christ's great love for us.  I explained to the children that there are many people that don't believe that Christ ever existed or that He will even come again.  I explained that some people don't believe that faith in God is even necessary.

As I shared my testimony and read scriptures to the children about the need to have faith in Jesus, Tyson spoke up.  Feeling overwhelmed with the Spirit, he asked if he could invite our neighbors to church for Easter Sunday.  I told him he could and praised him for his beautiful desire.  Then Tyson rubbed his eyes really hard trying to fight back his tears that were trying to escape and said, "Can we go over and invite them after we get home from the Easter egg hunt?"  He paused only a moment and continued.  "Actually... Can we go over there right now and invite them to church tomorrow?"  Mariah chimed in, "...and to dinner?"  I of course agreed to let them go.

All thoughts of the Easter egg hunt had left them, and only their excitement to share this love that was in their hearts remained.  In just a few moments 4 of our 6 children were dressed and ready.  They ran over to our neighbor's house to invite them to church and to dinner for Easter Sunday; I stayed home with the babies.

Because our neighbors have family members that live close by, they very graciously turned the children down.  Tyson, unwavering in his courage, suggested they come to church with him another week, and they said they thought they could.  Tonight I visited those same neighbors, and they shared with me how touched they were that the children came over with such a sweet invitation.  I made sure that our neighbors understood that the children's invitation came from the pure love they felt for them.

Oh the miracle of conversion!!  Once my children's little souls felt the Spirit from our quick, impromptu scripture study, they felt a strong desire to share what they felt with someone else... and they couldn't wait another minute!  Watching my children be moved to immediate action because of what they felt, deepened my own conversion.  It's beautiful to realize that a testimony that is already so strong can grow/convert even stronger when the Holy Ghost is teaching.

The children's desire to invite reminded me of Paul in the Bible and Enos and Alma in the Book of Mormon.  They all had major conversions and then became great missionaries- having felt a desire to share what was in their hearts just as Tyson and my other children felt today.  It is a true principle... once we are truly converted, we feel a desire to share that conversion with others.

Although everyone is sleeping in my house right now- due to wake in a few hours to their morning Easter baskets, I feel very much awake putting in words the great love Jesus has for me (and you).  I'm so grateful for how forgiving He is- how patient He is- how understanding He is- and how perfect He is.  It's amazing how His love can make me feel so strong yet so weak at the very same time.  Jesus truly is the epitome of Love.  I'm grateful that I do believe and have faith in the truth that Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, died on the cross, and 3 days later rose again.  He lives!!  My Great Redeemer Lives!!