The Children’s Prayer

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    (A true story)

    All afternoon the children had filled the house with happy sounds of play and laughter. But toward evening, when Joseph Smith came with news that some wicked men had gathered into a mob and were looking for him to do him harm, a feeling of worry and fear settled over everyone.

    A few minutes later some friends of “Brother Joseph” also came to the house and offered to help him escape or to stay all night and act as guards against the mob.

    Instead of the lighthearted play of the afternoon, the children’s thoughts were now heavy with concern. They loved Brother Joseph. He always had a smile and a pleasant word for them, and never seemed in too much of a hurry to stop and talk with them as he walked about the streets of Kirtland, Ohio.

    As the adults discussed how the Prophet could be protected, the children went with their playmates to Mother’s bedroom to talk about how they might be able to help their beloved friend.

    The oldest boy was just ten and the youngest child only four years old. In solemn whispers they made their suggestions, but no one had any solution until a seven-year-old girl quietly said, “I know what we can do. We can pray and ask our Father in heaven to keep Brother Joseph safe from harm.”

    At that very moment Mother passed by the partly opened door and overheard the suggestion. She hurried to the room where the men were talking and whispered something to the Prophet Joseph. He excused himself and went with her, and they arrived at the bedroom door just in time to see the children kneeling together and to hear their simple prayer for his safety.

    Tears filled his eyes and then rolled down his cheeks. And as the children arose from their knees by the bedside, he heard one of them say, “I know Brother Joseph will be safe now. The wicked men can’t hurt him at all.” And he saw the other children nod in agreement.

    He wiped his eyes and returned to the room where the men were still discussing his safety. Joseph Smith thanked them but assured them they need have no fear for his safety. He urged them to go to their own homes and rest, saying he no longer needed to worry about escape or about being guarded throughout the night, for he knew that the prayers of the children had been heard.

    Everyone rested in peace that night and the next morning the thankful children had breakfast with their beloved Prophet Joseph Smith.

    Illustrated by Del Parson