Childhood is a glorious period of life when we discover many things about the world around us. It is also a time when our parents teach us the righteous principles that govern this world in preparation for the numerous challenges we will meet.
One of the most important challenges given by our Savior is to bring souls to Him. Our beloved prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball, invites every boy to prepare himself to be a worthy missionary. Many boys and girls wonder how they can become worthy to be called as missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ. Parents and priesthood leaders will help answer that question, but the final answer is always YOURS. Yours, because your present actions as a child will become habits—good habits if your actions are good but bad habits if your actions are bad. All your habits combined will determine your personality, and it is your personality that will partly determine whether you will follow the Lord’s teachings or not.
Let me share with you an important principle that can help you to build a Christlike personality. If you obey this principle, you will follow the Lord’s commandments and develop the good habits needed to become a missionary. The principle is given in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 60, verse 13; and the way to remember it is to picture a clock in front of you.
What happens when your alarm clock does not ring on time or does not ring at all? Well, you may miss school or the bus or a meeting, and because of the delay you may feel sorry and frustrated. The alarm is a reminder of a duty, that it is time to act. You might also think of it as a reminder to help you better manage your time, particularly in doing the Lord’s work.
The alarm clock works because of a spring. Every time you hear the alarm, think of what a spring accomplishes with its energy. It causes you to jump out of bed. However, before the alarm can work, a key is needed to wind up the spring. And making sure that you always use that key is your challenge. If you forget to wind the spring, the hands will not move and the alarm will not work.
Sometimes I think that praying might be likened to winding up an alarm clock. It is the key for communicating with Heavenly Father. Just as an alarm clock will not ring unless the spring is wound, you will not be in tune with the Lord if you don’t use the key of prayer. When you do, then you are reminded that you are a child of God and that He is listening to your prayers and is mindful of your desire to be obedient.
I’m grateful for my clock as it not only tells me what time it is, but it also reminds me that it is time to think about prayer. It reminds me that I should not waste my time and that I should develop my talents and share them with others. This is one way of showing my love to my Heavenly Father.
We are children of God and our time is His time that He has given to us so that we can serve Him.