“Suffer Little Children”: Raising Happy Children is a Joint Effort at Home, School and Church

Primary children are discussing the life of Jesus in a video with Brother Dave. Primary children discussing the life of Jesus, as seen in a video, with Brother Dave. (Author’s Photo)

When Jesus was doing His ministry here on earth, he loved the little children. Children by nature are curious and inquisitive. They are pure and honest. The love of Christ to these children is shown when He rebuked His disciples who stopped the little kids from seeing Him. And this is what He said: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 19:14, KJV).

Parents are commanded by God to nourish their children according to His admonition and nurture. What about the school and the Church? The school, the church, and the family are the common institutions that give the child an opportunity to achieve a bright future. In school, they are taught the 3 Rs of education: reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. In church, they are taught of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how Jesus offered His life for the salvation of mankind. The family can make their house like Heaven. The parents do their best to rear up their children according to the “admonition and nurture of the Lord.” (Ep. 6:4, KJV) And children are commanded to honor and obey their parents.

When I was a kid and studying in a public elementary school, I could never be moved by my parent’s bid to be absent. I always wished that there was no weekend and that classes would go on throughout the whole week. I didn’t want to miss my classmates’ camaraderie, friendship, and the fun that we had every day. Moreover, I don’t want to miss the love and care of our teacher-adviser who gave us all the motivation and inspiration we needed in our young lives. Missing a class was like being deprived of the happiness the children need as part of growing up.

La Carlota LDS Primary Organization staff and officers, and the children La Carlota District Primary officers; children from different branches. (Author’s photo)

“The Primary is an organized program of religious instruction and activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for children from eighteen months of age until their twelfth birthdays. Its purpose is to teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them learn to live it” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism [1992], 3:1146).

This August, our Church celebrated the 138th anniversary of Primary, a children’s program that was started in Farmington, Utah, in 1878.

I have just come back from the Church after taking some pictures and joining in the fun of the anniversary celebration. I was amused by the active participation of my two Primary granddaughters, Stephanie and Sophie. “How I wish I could go back to my Primary days to enjoy the games, the fun, and the foods prepared by the Primary teachers without taking any pennies from the pockets of children’s parents,” I thought.

There are eight branches of the Church that participated in the one-day Primary celebration. Every one of them joined the games. Small children, as young as three years old, were full of enthusiasm. But they always lost the game, for the older kids have more skill. At least, they had the opportunity to be a part of the group. They had the opportunity to develop their self-confidence and the determination to try winning the game. I loved to watch the older kids running to and fro for their scripture chase game. Every group was provided with Scriptures to look for. The group which found the required number of scriptures was declared a winner.

The last game is called “Tumba-Patis” in our local dialect. When were kids, we used to play this game. Tumba-Patis (in English, “Hit The Can”) is one of our national games. It is a game played by a group of 10. Each member has to hit an empty can placed about 8-10 meters away. When the can is hit, another child takes his turn. Play continues until each member of the group has successfully hit the target can. The first to complete the 10 hits is declared the winner.

The group of players who touched me the most were the children from the Magallon Branch, Moises Padilla, Philippines. It is the most distant unit of the Church. Many of their Primary children came and actively participated in the activities. I was very proud of them, for they were talented. They danced and sang very well.

These two institutions, the school and the Church are completed by the family to provide for the holistic growth of the child. The parents follow up on their children’s activities in school and in church. They praise their children’s good achievement. They instruct them well when their children fail to obey them. That completes the all-round development of the children in terms of education, spirituality, and charity – which is the love of Christ in their own family.

These are some of the ways to make children happy. Since we live in a faraway country with a different culture and folkways, you may have different activities for getting children involved and feeling the proper fellowship as the children of God.


  1. Andria Perry

    Children are tomorrow nurses and doctors, attorneys and judges. Treat them all well, never know who will be over you one day!

    I love children but never had any of my own, I have to say I always had children around me my whole life, I reckon that is why God did not give me any, I was needed for those children.

    I tweeted this article

    1. Gil Camporazo Post author

      It is very kind of you to do that. Thank you. In our faith, we consider little children as the Spirit Children of God. We are their earthly parents bound by a stewardship of rearing them up according to the “admonition and nurture” of the Lord.

  2. Rex Trulove

    Unfortunately, the US has removed references to God from public schools and made it illegal for kids to pray or to even have a bible at school. That persecution on the Christian faith began before I graduated my 12th year of school at the age of 17, and it has gotten much worse. I was not raised in a Christian home, but my parents didn’t forbid me from worshiping. In fact, they would have fought relentlessly for my right to pray and read the bible if I chose to do so.

    Today, sadly, much more tolerance is being given in US schools for Muslims than for Christians, though this is a Christian country that was founded on Christian principles.

    1. Gil Camporazo Post author

      It is no difference here in our country. Muslims are gradually given much attention as to their faith has been treated by the government as important as Christianity. The country has even issued a proclamation for the public holiday when the Muslim celebrates their Ramadan and on the day they conclude it. A separate school curriculum for the Muslim children is already implemented and more is coming. I don’t know if I am right to say that the world is beginning to cower as far as Muslim is being talked about. I am not saying that the world is afraid of the Muslims.

  3. Pat Z Anthony

    Yes, children should be treated well and fairly in all areas. Those who are given love and treated correctly are more likely to be happy adults who will contribute to society in a manner that benefits all.

    1. Gil Camporazo Post author

      Making those children feel they are genuinely taken care of wouldn’t be a problem, but rather a hope to solving problem in society. Remember it’s love that makes the world go around. Once the world stops revolving, problems are piling up.

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