What I learned from a four-year-old….


I am a Primary President!

Those of you who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will know instantly all that this title entails and at this moment are either smiling or cringing at the thought of it…

For those of you who are not, it means that every Sunday I have the greatest job on earth. I am blessed with the privilege of overseeing the instruction of the children in my congregation from the age of eighteen months to twelve years old.

I LOVE little children! I love that they are so pure and innocent. They remind me of the little child that I used to be and the adult that I should be now. I can be having the worst day ever or be in the worst mood but in seconds they can melt my heart and all is well with the world.

Last Sunday afternoon I was reflecting on the time that I had spent with my little ones that day. I marveled as I thought of how they were teaching me so much more than I was teaching them. On that particular Sunday a little four year old with big blue eyes taught me three important lessons.

First, he taught me the importance of taking responsibility for my actions instead of making excuses or justifications for them. As he sat next to me he looked at my hand and asked if I bit my fingernails. I instantly thought of all of the regular excuses that I give people for why I sometimes bite and/or pick at my fingernails. None of them seemed to translate into the innocent language of a four year old. None of them seemed valid. I told him yes.

After I took responsibility for this bad habit of mine, he taught me the second lesson. He taught me to trust completely. He told me emphatically that I should not bite my fingernails. He said he didn’t know why, but he knew that it was wrong because his mother told him that it was. He trusted completely in the words of his mother. I thought how I should trust so completely in the words of my Heavenly Father….

The third lesson that he taught me was to love unconditionally and to forgive quickly. As that Sunday morning progressed he became more and more anxious to go home and less and less inclined to sit in his chair. He became very unhappy with me as I attempted to enforce this issue. However, minutes later when it was time to leave he had completely forgotten his displeasure with me. He hugged me, told me he loved me and that he would miss me this week. All was forgiven.

So last Sunday an innocent four year old with big blue eyes reminded me to take responsibility for my actions, to trust completely and to love unconditionally….Oh, and to “not bite my fingernails”! I plan to do my best to remember the lessons that he taught me and I look forward to what my little ones will teach me this Sunday….

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15 Responses to What I learned from a four-year-old….

  1. Anonymous says:

    That is a beautiful story. Thank you for shareing.


  2. Rose Haynes says:

    Four year olds are so wise! We should be more like them. I’m working on it.


  3. Nick says:

    Inspired and inspiring!


  4. Anonymous says:

    Loved it! As always!! Children at that age are always honest to a fault, they say exactly what’s on their minds, not realizing that it could hurt feelings or have different meanings. They just say it. So if you ever just want that honest opinion, ask a four year old. Children are wonderful, and very resilient, we are the ones, who tend to hold on to their words. They just move on to what’s next. I too love children! That’s why I worked with them, and taught them for 25 years. Love your story!!


  5. Anonymous says:

    My favorite thing about kids is how quick they are to forgive. They can be mad at you one minute and love you to pieces the next. Wish I could forgive and forget that quickly too.

    And PS. Our kids couldn’t have a better more loving primary president than you. -Deb


  6. Cheryl says:

    Sandy, you are more like a four-year-old than you realize! Cheryl


  7. Cora says:

    awww..this story is so awesome and truthful! I love little kids too~


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