My Darling’s Little Shoes

With my dearly beloved sister, Mary Elizabeth Rodriguez in mind, she having given up two of her little ones to Him who loves them more; and to each of you who have lost a little one, I say: as you live, and as I live, and as the Lord lives, if you will live worthy of the privilege, yet shall you hold your little ones in your arms again, never to let them go. You may ask, how is it done? I testify that it is because of Him who “drank of the bitter cup and did not shrink” (1) and was “wounded for our transgressions, and hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” It is because of Him “who was oppressed, and afflicted, and yet opened not his mouth…but was brought as a lamb to the slaughter…” (2) “Charity is the pure love of Christ.” (3) Can there be any greater love than this, that He should lay down his life you and for me? That being so, beyond that, what is greater than the love of a mother and father for their little ones? I say unto you then, that if such is so, He who has borne our sorrows is tenderly, sweetly, and lovingly, disposed to deliver unto us again our little ones, at another time, and in another place, and unto Him be the glory forever and ever, for what will give Him greater joy than to reunite a loving child to grieving parents? Can there be anything more wonderful? Can Heaven be Heaven without such sentiments? Can it be written by any man, or can the heart conceive how great and marvelous are the blessings which God will bestow upon loving and faithful mothers and fathers? Would He deny you of that which you most desire? Oh then, let us be faithful to Him, let us be obedient to His commands, for He loves us more than words can say. He lives, even the Only Begotten of the Father, and of Him, and in His name, even Jesus Christ, I testify, amen.

God bless the little feet that never go astray
For the little shoes are empty in my closet laid away
Some times I take one in my hand, forgetting till I see
It is a little half worn shoe, not large enough for me
And all at once I feel a sense of bitter loss and pain
As sharp as when two years ago it cut my heart in twain.

O the little feet that wearied not, I wait for them no more
For I am drifting on the tide, but they have reach’d the shore
And while the blinding teardrops wet these little shoes so old
I try to think my darling’s feet are treading streets of gold
And as I lay them down again, but always turn to say
God bless her little feet that now, so surely cannot stray.

And while I thus am standing, I almost seem to see
Two little forms beside me just as they used to be
Two little faces lifted with their sweet and tender eyes,
Ah me! I might have known that look was born of Paradise.
I reach my arms out fondly but they clasp the empty air
There is nothing of my darlings but the shoes they used to wear.

O the bitterness of parting I cannot drive away
Till I meet my darlings walking where their feet can never stray
When I no more am drifted upon the surging tide
But with them safely landed upon the riverside.
Be patient, heart, while waiting to see their shining way
For the little feet in the golden street can never go astray. (4)

(1) Doctrine and Covenants 19:18
(2) Isaiah 53: 4, 5, 7
(3) Moroni 7:47, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ
(4) “My Darling’s Little Shoes” (author anonymous)