My two-year-old daughter, Katelyn, has a rich imagination and loves pretend play, especially mirroring adult life. Closets, space behind furniture, and other small areas often double as grocery stores, homes for her dolls, and other places to frequent in her make-believe world.
One afternoon Katelyn announced it was time to go to church, and her two favorite dolls were ready to put on their pretty dresses—one of Katelyn’s favorite Sabbath-day rituals. Afraid that she would want to put on a dress herself, I wondered if I needed to remind her that it was Thursday—not Sunday. Fortunately, Katelyn informed me that “church” was inside our large plastic playhouse and suggested we go inside.
After nestling her dolls in a corner, Katelyn settled herself and then looked up at me with large, eager eyes. “Teach me, Mommy,” she said. Delighted at the opportunity to capitalize on this moment, I jumped right into my role as “teacher.” I told some stories about Jesus and then sang a few familiar Primary songs. Leery of overextending my daughter’s invitation to be taught and driven by an assumption that she would quickly tire of my instruction, I soon ended our discussion.
But once again those bright eyes turned up to me as she implored, “Teach me, Mommy.” Surprised by her attention span, I stepped it up a notch. I began to explain principles of the plan of salvation such as the Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness, supplementing them with corresponding Primary songs. She listened attentively, and at each pause, she would once again request, “Teach me, Mommy.”
There we sat, my toddler, her dolls, and me, inside our playhouse, talking about the truths of eternity. Although she was the one who requested to be taught, I am certain that I learned a lesson too. Children are willing and ready to learn in ways that we parents often do not realize. As a mother I have the sacred responsibility to teach my children the magnificent truths of the gospel, regardless of their ages.