In His Mother’s Footsteps


It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California, home. But then, with ten children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores—all because of one little boy.

Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied.

“Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” I asked again. But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me.

After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eyes and said, “Well, Mommy, in Primary my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I’m walking in yours.”

I gathered Len in my arms and held him close. Tears of love and humility spilled over from the prayer that grew in my heart—a prayer of thanks for the simple yet beautiful perspective of a three-year-old boy.

This experience has served as a reminder to me of the vital role of mother. While it is sobering to realize that I am a crucial link between my children and the Savior, I need to remember that since a mother is a copartner with God, I am in a position to receive guidance from one who truly cares and wants all of us to walk in heavenly footsteps.

[photo] Photo by Welden Andersen, posed by models

[illustration] Inset: Detail from Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, original at the Chapel of Frederiksborg, Denmark; used by permission of the Frederiksborgmuseum

Davida Dalton is serving with her husband, Leonard, as a full-time missionary in the New Zealand Auckland Mission.

JoEllen Johnson is Primary chorister and ward music chairman in the Manito Ward, Spokane Washington West Stake.