I have often stopped to consider and ponder on how we teach our children. How do we help them understand the essentials of life, the universe, and everything to paraphrase Douglas Adams. There is so much that our children need to know and so little time to teach them the harsh realities of this world. Do we shield them from the harsh truths of life on earth, or do we educated them on the things they will have to deal with in this life. Our children are our most important resource and as such they will be the leaders and people of the future who will have to live with the choices we make today.
Children, especially young children do not understand the world in the same way that we do as adults. In the case of 911 phone calls children are often the most calm and easiest calls to handle. This I learned while taking Emergency Dispatch Certification at university because they do not have the same ability to understand what is happening as an adult would in the same situation. This principle is explained in Doctrine and Covenants section 50 verse 40
When considering this principle we can look to the life of Christ. When Christ was born to Mary he was not born with all knowledge and truth. Throughout his life Christ had to learn of his mission step by step. While he was clearly much more advanced than other children his age I imagine he still had to learn and grow. Luke 2 verse 40 and 52 tells us
“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Christ to had to grow in the spirit and throughout his childhood had to be filled with wisdom.
If Christ was born with the wisdom he needed and all knowledge he would not have had to grow or be filled with the wisdom necessary to complete his mission. We don’t know much about Christ’s early life before his ministry but we know that during the first 30 years of his life he was growing in wisdom, stature and the spirit in preparation for the task he must bare. Just before Jesus started his ministry we read in Mathew chapter 4 verses 1 and 2
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward and hungered”
This was part of his preparation and his growth in grace and knowledge and truth. Just as Christ had to grow in grace and knowledge and truth so too must we. Like Christ we cannot bear all things without learning through growth and grace with knowledge and truth. It is through learning and growth that we can come to bear those things that we must. Because of Christ’s perfection and abilities he was able to bear all things but even Christ had to take time to learn and grow in the gospel. How much more so do we have a need to learn and grow in knowledge and truth when Christ who was and is perfect had such a need himself.
It is for this reason that we do not tell our children everything. They simply cannot understand everything all at once. We teach them line upon line, precept upon precept. As children grown in wisdom and knowledge we as their parents will teach them more important matters as their level of understanding continues to grow with them.
We too are like children and are Gods in embryo. We cannot understand all things at this stage of our existence. As much as I want to and as frustrating as it can be at times it is a fact of our mortal life and existence. God our father will help us to bear those things we cannot bear alone and sometimes we just need to be patient. My daughter who is 2, can be frustrated at times because we do not let her do certain things. She does not understand why we have denied her access to some things and is not at a level of understanding that we can explain it to her in a way she will understand. We can be a lot like this ourselves having a bit of a fit and whining and complaining because we do not understand why things are as they are, or why God has asked us to do certain things or told us not to do other things.
In all of this we must understand that we cannot bear all things now. We simply do not have the mindset, maturity or knowledge base to fully comprehend the vastness of the knowledge of God. We have so much potential just as an infant does but we must grow into that potential and learn and grow in wisdom.
As we grow in wisdom and stature the day will come when we will be able to bear all things. That day however will not come in our mortal existence but in the vastness of eternities as we work towards our eternal salvation.