BYU Women’s Conference: There is so much we can learn from children

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Michelle Cluff and Cynthia Simpson addressed an audience at Women’s Conference about what lessons can be learned from children Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Both presenters started their speeches by declaring their gratitude for their children and stated what a blessing it is to be a mother. The two presentations referred to the 18th chapter of Matthew, where the Lord gives the commandment to be as a child: meek and humble.

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Michelle Cluff addresses a Women’s Conference audience, testifying of the importance of learning from children, Thursday, May 1, 2014. (Photo by Maddi Dayton)

“Children have no pride,” Cluff said. “They are free from the natural man, and they cannot sin because power is not given to Satan to tempt them until they become accountable. They are alive in Christ.”

Cluff is a member of the Primary presidency in her home ward. She told a touching story about how the children in her Primary brought about a small miracle to a 7-year-old boy named Jackson.

Jackson was born with an undersized jaw that would often fall to the back of his throat and block his air flow while he slept. The breathing defect began to seriously affect his heart, which required major surgery. A couple days after the surgery, Jackson was not doing well and refused to eat or see visitors. On Sunday, Cluff felt inspired to ask the children in Primary if they would be willing to say a personal prayer that night specifically for Jackson. Every child enthusiastically raised a hand and willingly claimed they would pray for him that night.

The next day, Cluff received information that Jackson had returned home early from the hospital. When she spoke with his mother she was told the miracle happened on Sunday night. Jackson fell asleep peacefully on Sunday night and woke up on Monday morning with what appeared to be a huge recovery. He was eating full meals, happily visiting with his family and walking around. The doctors sent him home from the hospital five days earlier than expected.

“Children are full of love, and sometimes the young ones are the best motivators to be His hands,” Cluff said.

She explained how Jackson’s story strengthened her testimony and continued to talk about how children love people unconditionally.

“Children are the first to love and the first to forgive,” Cluff said.

To close her address, Cluff challenged everyone in the audience to watch the children around them closely and to look to them as examples of Christ; to learn from them and strive to be more like them.

Simpson then took the stand and shared similar thoughts about the unconditional love children have. She showed a montage of interviews she had done with 10 different adults. She asked each of them the question, “What have you learned from children?” The responses varied, but many of them said children have taught them the principle of purity, the importance of expressing love, the meaning of happiness, how to find joy in the simple things and how to find the beauty in others.

Simpson reminded the audience that everyone is a child of God and that if people really understood what that meant thry would be more kind, patient and loving. She emphasized the importance of humility, meekness and submissiveness.

“Submitting oneself to God will bring great joy and happiness,” Simpson said.

Together, their presentations had wonderful messages that left the audience in tears. Both presentations were great reminders of how important children are to the kingdom of God and how much can be learned from them. Cluff gave the last little bit of advice by saying, “Surround yourself with sinless people — surround yourself with children often.”

 

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