Youths Who Love God
A CHILD‘S FAITH
● Can little children comprehend and appreciate the meaning of God’s loving promise to resurrect the dead? Are they able to exercise faith in it in an intelligent way? A touching letter from a mother shows that they are capable of doing this more deeply than adults may imagine. She writes:
“I wanted to write you, thinking that my letter may be of encouragement to others who have small children and who spend time teaching them Jehovah’s Word. Sometimes we aren’t quite sure just how much their little minds are grasping, but when it comes right down to it they have strong faith.
“I’m speaking from our own experience with our little five-year-old daughter. She recently died of leukemia. She lived only three months after her first sign of illness. She had the bone type. Even though we tried to keep it from her, she was too bright and alert. She knew all along. Over and over again she would reassure us that she was not afraid to die because she knew she would be sleeping and Jehovah would bring her back right away, as she put it. She said: ‘I know my lying in the grave won’t seem long at all. It will just be like I went to sleep one night and then I will wake up and Jehovah’s new order will be here and I can play with the animals, and all the wicked people will be gone.’
“You cannot imagine the relief this gave us to see such faith. The morning before she died, she said: ‘Don’t cry, Mommy. I will look for you in the new order.’
“Sometimes we parents wonder how much our little ones are learning, but when they are put to the test, even the most severe type, they prove they really are children who are ‘holy.’ (1 Cor. 7:14) How precious life is, and how good and wonderful our Great God is to give us this wonderful hope of the resurrection!”
A CONSCIENTIOUS LITTLE PREACHER
● Christian parents are keenly interested in the spiritual welfare of their children. Lovingly they train them from infancy in the pure worship of God. Just how much children absorb of this Christian training can be seen in this experience of the parents of a little girl:
“One morning, after breakfast, my youngest daughter walked into the kitchen with a magazine bag and two of the children’s personal Bibles and announced: ‘Momma, I’m going out to preach from house to house.’ My children are always pretending to be conducting Bible studies, attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall or giving each other magazine presentations as done in the house-to-house preaching work. My wife agreed that that was good and told her not to leave the yard.
“After a short while, my wife noticed that the youngest girl was not in the backyard with the other children. Thinking she was out front, she called for her, and the neighbor lady next door opened her door and said: ‘Your little girl was just here ten minutes ago saying she was a missionary and wanted to know if I wanted a Bible.’ Evidently, since she could not reach the supply of magazines in our home, she resourcefully did the next best thing, use the personal Bibles.
“Now my wife realized that my daughter was not playing but had really gone out preaching. Going up the street, she found a lady working in the yard who confirmed that our daughter had been by to see her. The lady said: ‘Yes, your little girl came by and asked me if I knew who Jehovah God was. When I replied, Yes, she offered me a Bible.’ Farther on, another householder proved that my wife was on the right trail, for she said my daughter came by saying she was doing the Lord’s work.
“Our active little preacher had evidently done some reasoning on our instructions to her about obeying Jehovah first in everything. We instill this in our children by frequently asking them, ‘If Jehovah tells you to do something and Daddy tells you to do something different, whom will you listen to?’ They reply, ‘We’ll do what Jehovah says.’ This puts in their little hearts a desire to serve Jehovah and to be motivated to do his will. Our little preacher noted that Jehovah says to go out and preach, whereas Mommy and Daddy say to stay in the yard. Since you cannot talk to many people in the yard, she did what she thought would please Jehovah, and off she went with the best of intentions. By this time my wife was really worried, as we live on a busy street, and my aunt and uncle joined in the search. Since they could not find her, they returned home with the idea of calling the police.
“When they pulled in the driveway, who should be patiently waiting for everybody, but my little daughter. After all, she had done what she believed that Jehovah wanted her to do, and then returned home. When I came home, discipline was applied and encouragement was also given lest we dampen her zeal. I reasoned with her and carefully explained that she should never go out alone, as she would be in danger in view of her age. ‘But, Daddy, I wasn’t alone,’ she replied sincerely.
“‘You weren’t?’ I asked.
“‘No, you see Johnnie was with me and I was showing him how to go from house to house too,’ she said happily. This must have been a new experience for Johnnie, as he is from a Catholic home. In spite of her age, our little daughter wanted to serve Jehovah and was even training someone else to do so. Now she appreciates the need for someone to accompany her, because she has just turned five years of age.”