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"The spiritual plight of some children in the world today is depicted in a painting by the Danish artist Carl Bloch. This painting beautifully illustrates a scriptural account found in John, chapter 5 . Christ, the healer and comforter, is the focus of the painting. He is lifting a covering from a man who has had infirmities since birth. The man is waiting for the miracle of healing in the pool of Bethesda, but he has no one to assist him. As the man waits, hoping for a miracle, Christ stands in his presence with the power to heal him.
"The painting includes several figures in the background, none of whom are looking directly at Christ. The Lord is in their midst, yet only one man sees Him as such. All the others appear to be going about their daily business, oblivious to the great power of Jesus and the miracle about to occur in their presence. A young child and a woman, perhaps his mother, are in view of Jesus; yet like the others, their eyes are focused elsewhere. In the very presence of the Savior, this woman fails to direct the child to the Savior. I wonder, would we, too, have missed this opportunity to come unto Christ? Are life's experiences distracting us and dulling our spiritual view so we are not focusing on that which matters most? I wonder, do we miss opportunities to learn of the Lord and feel His love? Do we miss opportunities to share with others-especially children-that which matters most, the gospel of Jesus Christ? We have all seen children and youth standing in the crowds confused and wanting to know what matters most." - Coleen K. Menlove, " All Thy Children Shall Be Taught ," General Conference, April 2005
"Yes, life can be fast-paced for parents and is becoming so for children. It would be easy to say there is not enough time to fit everything in. Looking back at a time that passed all too quickly, I can now see that each day was filled with precious little moments full of opportunity to help our children hear the voice of gladness in the gospel. Children are always learning from us. They are learning what is important by what we choose to do as well as what we choose not to do. Casual, infrequent family prayers, scripture study, and family home evenings will not be enough to fortify our children. Where will children learn the gospel and standards such as chastity, integrity, and honesty if not at home? These values can be reinforced at church, but parents are the most capable and most effective in teaching them to their children." - Colleen K. Menlove, "A Voice of Gladness for Our Children," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.13
We are living in our “once upon a time.” We are experiencing a mortal probation now during our turn on earth. In our premortal existence, “all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7) as we accepted the great eternal plan of happiness. We happily anticipated coming to earth to experience opportunities to grow spiritually. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25). The opportunity is here and now to obtain happiness that extends beyond our earth life; however, we need to know what it is and where to find it. - Coleen K. Menlove, "Living Happily Ever After," Ensign (CR) May 2000
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