If investigators of the LDS Church adapted as easily to gospel living as their young children, the church would rise from obscurity at an explosive rate.

Recent visitors to our nursery room reminded me how important it is to share the gospel, even with small children. One little girl who's close to her third birthday was somewhat timid when her aunt brought her to play. This sister in our ward decided to come back to serving in the church and is hoping to bring her entire extended family with her. But for now, her niece was the only one who jumped at the chance to put on a dress and attend Sunday meetings.

The little girl wore her hair up with a bow as well as a necklace with five sparkly stones in the shape of a cross. Her necklace was one indication to me that she may not know all of the Mormon primary songs we would be singing. But this little one's lack of experience in no way inhibited her ability to try.

As we sang, \"I Am a Child of God,\" her eyes were bright and she attempted to repeat each word as quickly as we enunciated them. When we folded our arms to pray over snacks, she eagerly folded her arms like her new friends at the table. Her thirst to join in the church experience is something I love to see new and returning members embrace.

Our ward has a fair amount of children from non-LDS families who have joined our Scout troops, attend Achievement Days regularly and accompany friends to Primary activities. Our children are not afraid to invite friends to church-sponsored events and we as leaders have a responsibility to plant simple gospel seeds at every fertile opportunity.

Just last week, many from our ward attended the Young Women's annual \"New Beginnings\" activity. The girls set up stations and games to help teach families the Personal Progress program. We learned about the new gold-colored value, \"Virtue\" from my daughter and her Beehive friends, and in one rotation learned about principles of modesty from a teen who hasn't been baptized but has been attending church activities for years.

I am certain our ward would double in size if the adults in our community would join their children in seizing opportunities within arm's reach to learn of the restored gospel and to make eternal, progressive covenants. It is up to us to follow our children's example and extend invitations, both social and spiritual.

At our ward's annual Christmas dinner, we had many guests attend with their friends and family. The food was delicious, the decorations were festive putting everyone in the mood to reach out and make new connections. One of my nursery boys who attends church randomly with his grandmother ran and wrapped his arms around my knees when I entered the room. His affection took away any inhibitions I had to introduce myself to his parents and aunt and uncle.

We talked about the little boy's fun personality and new haircut. I told them how much I enjoyed his energy and they were receptive to my compliments. If I hadn't experienced a bond with their child, I'm not sure I would have been as effective in helping the family feel welcome.

It is every missionary's hope to teach the gospel to families. Each elder has a tie trick and a story to tell about the children he loved from the areas in which he served. Each sister taught more than gospel principles to children and young women. While serving in South Texas, there were many times my companion and I shared our clothes and helped brush the hair of girls wanting to attend church.

Children feel the spirit at an LDS Church through warm welcomes, prepared activities, inspired song and forged friendships. They will return again and again if we are certain to extend invitations, earn parental trust and arrange transportation.

I believe children of all ages have the ability to lead their families down the path of righteous living if we help prepare the way through small and simple acts of service.