My cousin posted a picture on Facebook this morning for "throwback Thursday, or TBT). It showed a picture of all my cousins, parent, aunts, uncles, etc. A very nice picture that when I saw it, by mind literally did a "throwback". A comment from my cousin said, "ahhh, the good old days" - a comment that I remember my grandparents talking about when THEY were our age in the picture. So, we all go through the phases of remembering the "good old days" and reliving our childhood.

Childhood back then was, or at least seemed a lot different than today. I felt like it was a time where we felt free, but protected at the same time. We didn't have the issues that we are facing today. I'm sure there were other issues, but I can't remember any in particular. We were free (especially in the Summer) to roam our neighborhood without, or seemingly without any fear. We cousins played many "action" games that we made up on the spot and kept ourselves busy. We had "enemies" but they were far and few between the friends. We were protected by our parents (and my grandparents) from those kinds of enemies and playing "battle wounds" that occurred. All we needed to do it go crying in the house and tell our story in-between sobbing. We would get the reassuring hug, and occasional cookie and told to wait in the house while they went out to find the cause of the mishap and rectify it.

Yes, those were the days! We are told that we were born at a particular time for a particular reason. I was born in the late 50's and lived my "innocent" life as a child. My children were born in the early to mid 80's and my grandkids have been born in their particular time. Times with their individual feelings of free and protected. Not really our standards, or what we felt like when we ourselves were children. But each was born at a particular time and for a particular reason. We have been told through modern revelation that the most valiant spirits who fought for the cause of Father in Heaven were saved for the latter-days because our Father saw in them their fierce loyalty and possess in them that same fierceness to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary.

As I think about my childhood, I am reminded in the scriptures how the Savior admonishes us all to become as a little child. Could it be that the freedom and safety that we enjoyed as a child were attributes the Savior would have us also possess?

We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have our freedoms in the gospel; if we obey the commandments. Just like in our childhood days, we were free to "roam the neighborhood", we were also told places that we should NOT go. I remember a time when I tested the rule and found out the hard way why they told me that I should not go there. so it is with our Heavenly Father; we have the commandments, where many people view them as the list of "Don't go's". But if we look at them as safety, we will indeed be and feel free, We have the freedoms to listen or not to our parents, and Heavenly Father. We are not free to the consequences of those actions.

I remember, when big thunderstorms came and rocked the house, I was frightened. The sheer power of the storms and seeing, firsthand what a bolt of lightning can do and its accompanying crash of thunder were enough to drive my fears up. I remember running to my grandmother, who gently put me into her arms. In her arms and with her reassuring voice and tone, I felt safe.

We also have a loving Father in Heaven who we can run to when the storms of life are swirling around us. We, who are baptized members have the privilege of having the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. It is through the Holy Ghost that our Father in Heaven speaks to us. The reassurance that the Holy Ghost gives to us through the still, small whisperings can help us become at peace.

Those who know me, know that I am pretty big in the Social media scene. I can also liken my interactions like a child. The internet can be had for both good and evil. People use the internet to promote their agendas, and others use it to spread happiness. I choose the latter. I like to think about the the end of the 13th article of faith and change it up a bit, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, I seek after these things. If we seek for the good in our Social media posts, comments, likes, shares, tweets, etc. we can feel at peace knowing that we are part of the "drop of water" in the sea of  sharing goodness as Elder Bednar remarked. We can choose to stand for something, as President Gordon B. Hinckley admonished, but what exactly are we standing for with our social media actions?

The primary hymn which always comes to mind (and I switch it up a bit) says, "If the Savior stood beside me, would I post the things I post ? Finally, the beloved children's song and one that is so important, that it also appears in our hymnal tells us:

  1. I am a child of God,
    And he has sent me here,
    Has given me an earthly home
    With parents kind and dear.
  2. I am a child of God,
    And so my needs are great;
    Help me to understand his words
    Before it grows too late.
  3. I am a child of God.
    Rich blessings are in store;
    If I but learn to do his will,
    I'll live with him once more.
  4. I am a child of God.
    His promises are sure;
    Celestial glory shall be mine
    If I can but endure.
  5. Chorus
    Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
    Help me find the way.
    Teach me all that I must do
    To live with him someday.
  6. Words: Naomi Ward Randall, 1908-2001. (c) 1957 IRI. Fourth verse (c) 1978 IRI

Yes, childhood and all its joys were, and will continue to be the "good old days". Our Child-like progression while on this earth; possessing all the attributes of a true child of God is really all we need to know to return back to Heavenly Father.

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