I have a grandson who thinks he's a dog. An only child, he's almost a year old, and he has grown up in close association with a very friendly and protective family pet. Although he can walk several steps alone now, he prefers to crawl; and lately he has taken to carrying toys in his mouth as he scurries around on all fours--just like his older and bigger "brother" does.
Very soon, of course, he will realize that he is really not a dog, but a human like Mom and Dad. Once he is able to walk faster than he can crawl, he'll see that hands are better than his mouth for carrying toys. But meanwhile, he is a living example of how naturally little children learn by example.
I'm around little children a lot, and I need to remember that the things I do and say, the way I deal with everyday crises and triumphs, even the expressions on my face that show how I react to things--all these are examples that can help those little ones to grow into honest, compassionate, hard-working adults.
Just as my grandson will come to know that he is more like his earthly parents than like his dog, I pray he will come to realize he also has the divine potential to develop the attributes of his Heavenly Father.
The family dog can teach a boy a lot about having fun, loyalty, obedience, and affection. But it will be the good example of the humans around him that will truly help him see who he really is, and what he can become.
The Samaritans in Our Lives: Some Might Be Surprising - I gave a talk in a ward years ago about charity in which I asked the congregation to consider, very seriously, what their first reaction would be, internal...
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