When The Little Ones Come Marching Home!

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TheDiscipleMD

Suddenly she said to me, “Pull over, pull over.” So I pulled the car off to the side of the road. “That’s the cemetery where my little girl friend was buried. She died when I was six. I want to see her grave.” It’s been over fifty years since my wife stood at her little friends graveside. She didn’t understand it all then, and like most of us, she barely understands at her age the complexity of this life that always ends in death.

We got out and found her little friend’s gravestone. Born April 20, 1957, died Febuary 19, 1963. As we surveyed the small cemetery it was clear that it was exclusivly made for children. In the middle of the cemetery, watching over the small ones was a statue of Mary with the baby Jesus in arms. My wife and I spent the next hour or so reading the inscriptions on the stones recording the tragedy of each small child who had tarried here for just a breath, or for those who had been lucky enough to spend a few years in this life.

Once, many years ago I held my own dying two year old in my arms. The panic and pain of my verbal cry, “Please God, save my son!” is still fresh in my mind. The pain of the potential loss was opened to my heart and soul but for a moment. I still hold his recovery to be divine. No singular event has left such a deep imprint on my soul. I wondered as I surveyed the graves how those mothers and fathers of lost little ones had been able to drink of that bitter cup without becoming jaded. I pondered what if?

No one asks for such an event to come into their life. No, none of the parents of the little ones asked for such a seperation. And although the fine trimmed lawn, fair weather, and serene surroundings were about this children’s cemetary, I am sure that the cries of the parents for their babies were not buried on the day of death inscibed on the tombstones. No, as I looked about at so many stones, I imagine the cries of the bereaved mothers and fathers is still echoing throughout the heavens. Who can console such pain?

Perhaps no one can fully remove the pain and suffering that comes with the loss of such an innocent one, yet for those who have been so tested, I suppose they have either cursed God above, or sought out His love and support through prayer while going through the grieving process. Perhaps they have done both.

Jesus Christ clearly loved ‘small ones’ and on numerous occasions told his followers to be like them, “for such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16)

Joseph F. Smith, who lost his own infant daughter to death once wrote:
“… Our beloved friends who are now deprived of their little one, have great cause for joy and rejoicing, even in the midst of the deep sorrow that they feel at the loss of their little one for a time…they have the assurance that their little one has passed away without sin. Such children are in the bosom of the Father. They will inherit their glory and their exaltation, and they will not be deprived of the blessings that belong to them…” (GDoctrine, 5th Ed, 1939, pg 452)

What a glorious doctrine! What a wonderful concept. What a merciful Father.

May all who sorrow at such loss seek out the Lord for comfort, and have faith and the hope, that someday the pain will be forever buried, and joy will rise out of the grave, when the little ones come marching home.

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