Monday, April 4, 2011


I was recently touched by reading the following:

Two-year-old Matthew supplied me a lesson.

He cried, I thought without reason, in bed tonight. He asked several times if I'd blow his nose for him or hold the tissue while he blew his nose.

After three or four trips, I stalked into his room and asked, "Do you want me to spank you?"

He nodded yes. I asked again, this time illustrating with my raised hand.

He said, "Yes."

Suddenly my heart melted as I realized he trusted me so much that if I thought a spanking would help his problem, that's what he wanted.

I rocked him for a while and realized to my further softening that he had a stuffed nose from a cold that was just beginning. That had been his discomfort. I got some tissues for him, gave them to him in bed, and told him to blow as much as he would like.

He said, "Thanks."

I went away a chastened man.

This incident appears in Henry B. Eyring's book, "Because He First Loved Us." I suppose I was touched because I too have experienced being impatient with a child when I didn't understand what his problem was. I was also impressed because President Eyring was humble enough to share this story without white-washing his own behavior.

And I suppose it also reminded me of another little two-year-old, whose name is Henry, who melts my heart on a daily basis.

"Do you want to go to bed?" asks his parent sternly-- indicating the punishment that is looming if Henry doesn't behave properly.

"Bed," responds a sorrowful Henry, meekly submitting to his punishment.

President Eyring points out that these little children are examples for us to follow. To be acceptable to God, we must become "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon us, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19).