The Peter Pan mentality might not be a bad one. In fact, having the believing heart of a child can increase our spiritual growth.
January 14, 2002
“Tonight I had a verry bad dream and I started to cry then I said a paryr and then I stoped crying.”
February 3, 2002
“Today at church during testimony meeting I rilly loved the testimony and some of them mad[e] me have that worm filling inside and I new that that was the Holly Gost.”
March 26, 2002
“Today at school I had a rilly rilly sick tummy. So I went to the hall and said a prair to hevenle father and asked him to help my stumic wold fell good. After that I went back to class. And the stumic eack [ache] dident come back.”
In 2002, I was eight years old. Recently, as I read these old journal entries, I started to think about what’s happened since then. I’m still strong in the Church; I have a testimony. But there’s something about my simple faith as a child that has waned as I’ve grown older. Is this change just the natural result of aging? Unlike Peter Pan, we all inevitably do grow up. However, holding on to some of our childhood views and mixing them with an adult perspective can be a good thing.
In Matthew 18:3, Christ teaches that we should “become as little children.” This admonition has been frequently repeated throughout the scriptures and by modern-day Church leaders. Sister Jean A. Stevens shares her insights on this topic in the general conference talk “Become as a Little Child.” She explains, “If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.”
Among the childlike attributes that Sister Stevens discusses, she highlights “believing hearts.” Children have a natural gift to believe in things wholeheartedly. Whether that belief is in a fairy tale like Peter Pan or in the simple truths of the gospel, children are rarely skeptical. As they get older, though, they often lose that simple faith.
Just because we have to grow up, that doesn’t mean we have to lose our believing hearts. We can follow the example of children and choose to believe.
To learn more about how to follow the example of children, read Sister Jean A. Stevens’s talk “Become as a Little Child.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Alisa Hulme, Mormon Insights
feature image by du preez
Find more insights
To learn more about how becoming like a child can give you strength, read or watch Elder Henry B. Eyring’s address “As a Child.”
To learn how parents can teach and nurture their children, read President Boyd K. Packer’s talk “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them.”