Nate, wanted his own hymnbook, even though he cannot read. I watched as he traced his little finger carefully along the stanzas.
When a new verse began, he was right there, at the top, in the right place. He never lost his concentration. At the end of the song he proudly told me that he had been able to trace all the words plus the title and the page number!
What was so unusual or "aha" about a child and a hymnbook? I found the answer to a decades-old question I have had. How can I keep the commandment "Be ye therefore perfect"? Why did the Savior ask us to do something, command us to do something He knew we could not do? Why? I know. I know. It was a long-range goal for us. For me, though, it was downright frustrating. But, here was little Nate intent, focused, and still not able to read a word. Was he reading? Not by my standards, but in his time and place he was reading perfectly. I had been confusing perfection and performance.
I have a new favorite word, thanks to Nate. The word is "willing." The scriptures are full of the Lord pleading with us to be "willing." He understands willingness. In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Feeling weak was not imperfection. His willingness was a hallmark of his perfection. The Lord can help willing hearts. He can make them better, more, and eventually...perfect.
Nate started to squirm so I handed him a pencil and paper. He wrote very carefully and asked, "Grandma, do you know what this says?"