As I was preparing to leave to serve a mission in Brasil I remember being concerned that I didn’t have the Portuguese vocabulary to share a grand testimony with the people I would teach. I had simple words and simple phrases. But I quickly learned that it is often the simple testimonies that are the most powerful. A truth, simply and clearly stated, is a beautiful thing.
I also remember the sweet spirit that would come when someone would say their first prayer and the privilege I felt at being there to hear their innocent communications with deity. Again it was the simple phrases, the honesty they expressed, that really stood out to me.
And now I am being taught how to truly testify and pray by our 2-year-old. She loves to testify of everything she knows. And that means that she can tell me Heavenly Father loves her and then immediately after tell me that clouds are outside. Both statements are true and that’s all the connection she needs in her mind. Truth is truth. It doesn’t get any more complicated than that. She doesn’t need big words or involved stories to her truths. They just are. And because she states the so clearly and without hesitation she’s taught me to do the same. God does love me. Prayers are answered. Temples are the House of God on the Earth. Families can be forever. The priesthood power is real.
And she loves to pray. Now that she knows how to pray we’re having to teach her that we all have to take turns praying at meals and for our family prayer because she would say them all. She likes to randomly fold her arms throughout the day and say a little prayer and as soon as she’s finished and we’ve both said “amen” she starts a whole new prayer. Pray always. And she does.
And her prayers are so specific. She’s thankful not for the food but for tacos or soup or waffles. She’s thankful not that we had a good day but that we went to the park and that we go to the temple. She’s called out while one of us is saying the prayer to remind us to bless that Grandpa gets better or that Daddy’s leg will stop hurting. Her prayers are not long and they don’t need to be because saying “amen” isn’t the end of praying, it’s just the end of that particular prayer and we can start another one whenever we want.
Watching our daughter grow in the Gospel has been a wonderful reminder of just how much we adults over think things and complicate things, especially the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel. Isaiah said “and a little child shall lead them” (11:6) and she really is in many ways.