Sunday, March 30, 2008

A simple gift

Tavin and Jamy were with us for the weekend, and as I studied the First Presidency message in the Ensign before I went home teaching today, my nephew continually invited me to play. After a few minutes of this, an idea came to me, and I called the boy over to the rocking chair. See, his family doesn't go to church, and I doubt the gospel is taught much (if at all) in their home. I saw today as an opportunity to give my nephew something, even if it was something so basic as the name of our Savior.

I pointed at a picture of Christ in the Ensign and asked Tavin who it was. "A guy!" he said in his always-excited manner.

"Yes," I encouraged him. "What guy is He?"

"Mean guy!"

"No," I laughed. "He's a nice guy. That's Jesus."

"Jesus!" the boy said happily, not knowing what the name meant.

I spent the next few minutes going through the magazine with him, finding pictures of Christ, and asking him who they were (and to make sure he could tell there was a difference, I also pointed to pictures of people who weren't Jesus). By the end, I felt confident enough in his memory of the name and appearance together that I closed the magazine and pointed to the picture of Christ hanging above the piano. "Who's that?" I asked my nephew.

Tavin thought for a moment, then exclaimed, "Jesus!" I was so happy.

I didn't want to overfill the two-year-old's head with too much information too quickly, but I had to teach him one more thing before we were done for the day. "Jesus is your friend," I told him cheerfully, pointing to a picture in the magazine. "He loves you." Then after a minute or so of going over this with the boy, I asked Tavin if he liked Jesus.

"Yeah!" he said. It was the best I'd felt all day--all weekend, even--and though I wouldn't be surprised if Tavin doesn't remember what he learned from today's lesson, I'm sure we'll have more learning opportunities in the future. For my nephew to merely be able to recognize the Savior's face on his own would be wonderful!

There's beauty in such simplicity. The gospel is beautiful; it is simple.