Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Prayer of the Children

Ethan Stacy. Caylee Anthony. Kelsey Briggs. Brianna Lopez. Riley Ann Sawyers. Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates. And so many others who suffered at the hands of their parents.

I am a child of God, and he has sent me here,
has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.

I used to sing that song feeling peace and joy that I was born to parents who were kind and dear and that my own children have been born to parents who are kind and dear (at least we try to be). But it makes me sad thinking of all the children in the world who are born to parents who are not. Now I understand that this is how parents should be and that Heavenly Father sends children down with the expectation that parents will rise to the occasion and become "kind and dear", at least that's what I believe He must do. But these parents have all fallen very short.

My heart is so full today. The story of Ethan Stacy who died at the hands of his mother and stepfather after a court battle that resulted in a shared custody has been all over the news. He was 4 years old. He was cruelly abused by his stepfather while his mother stood by and did nothing. Then, when he finally died of his injuries, they disfigured him so he would be unrecognizable and then buried him in a snowy canyon. At the same time, on the national news, there was talk of Casey Anthony, the mother of little Caylee Anthony, who was a month shy of 3 when her mother murdered her, and how she is seeking to get the death sentence revoked from her penalty. This made me think of all the little children who've been in the news the last decade or so with the same sad tale.

I don't understand how a parent could do this. It makes me question my faith as well. How could Heavenly Father send a child down to that, knowing that is how the child would return to Him? I love President Kimball's Tragedy or Destiny? but somehow, it doesn't seem to comfort me when I think about how these little, innocent, sweet children have suffered.

I like to think that the Savior himself welcomed these little ones home with open arms and held them close for a long time after such a tragic end to their mortal sojourn. That is one thought that does bring me comfort. I have read and studied Bruce R. McConkie's The Salvation of Little Children over and over after an acquaintance lost her little boy to a tragic accident a few years ago. I believe that I understand the doctrine, but my heart grieves for their suffering.

I don't know how others react to such sad incidences, but I cry. My heart literally feels broken when I think of these little children and what they endured. When I think of my own children and their sweet innocence at these ages, how they look at me with so much love and admiration, even when I'm not the most loving of mothers, I can hardly stand to think of what these people have done to their children. Makes me really look forward to the Millennium when we will be free of such evil.

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