Come Unto My Arms To Stay
by Kathy Penrod
One of my favorite hymns is one about Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is one of the children’s hymns that LDS children, worldwide, learn from a very young age. Like many who grew up in the LDS church, I learned and sang this song often as a child. It is still one of my favorites.
Just read these beautiful lyrics:
I wonder, when he comes again,
Will herald angels sing?
Will earth be white with drifted snow,
Or will the world know spring?
I wonder if one star will shine
Far brighter than the rest;
Will daylight stay the whole night through?
Will songbirds leave their nests?
I'm sure he'll call his little ones
Together 'round his knee,
Because he said in days gone by,
"Suffer them to come to me."
I wonder, when he comes again,
Will I be ready there
To look upon his loving face
And join with him in prayer?
Each day I'll try to do his will
And let my light so shine
That others seeing me may seek
For greater light divine.
Then, when that blessed day is here,
He'll love me and he'll say,
"You've served me well, my little child;
Come unto my arms to stay.”
As a youth, I remember closing my eyes and envisioning each line of these gentle lyrics in my head as the melody calmed my ever agitated soul. The very last line is my favorite, “Come unto my arms to stay.” I just knew that Jesus Christ WOULD come again and, me being a child, He would scoop me up into His arms.
Life happened. Now my own children are turning into adults. But there is a very real, living part of me that still imagines this song in my mind. I may be too big now to be “scooped up,” but the desire is still there to run to my Savior’s arms… to stay.
The scriptures are abundant in exhorting all to believe in and except Jesus Christ. Prophets have testified that He will in fact return to this fallen world, in glory and peace. It is prophesied that “…every knee shall bow… and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is the Lord.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
But. Do I really believe it?
Do I really believe that the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the King of all Creation, will descend again? And, more specifically, descend to earth and, among the billions of people populating this blue planet; will He really care about me?
I think at some point, as a Christian, we all have to stop and ask ourselves this question. Do I really believe it? After all, it is a pretty fantastic story. Does Jesus Christ, in fact, know and love each one of us?
Well, I am here to declare that I DO believe it. Every. Single. Word! I believe that Jesus Christ will come again, as prophesied. I believe that, just as in days of old, he will gather His little ones (Luke 18:16); ALL of His little ones. I believe that all of creation will rejoice in the presence of its King.
Just like the song asks, “Will I be ready there?” I wonder if I will be ready. Will I have followed Him to my full capacity? Will I have treated others just as He would have done? Will I have lifted the hands that hang down? Will I have lived my life so that others, by knowing me, will want to know Him?
I hope so.
I am so far from perfect. We all are. But I believe if we keep trying to do what is right, even after we make stupid mistakes, He will know us. I believe if we believe, even when doubt fights for our attention, He will know us. I believe that if we keep pressing forward when our very world crumbles around us, He will know us.
And yes, I believe it is possible that “when that blessed day is here, He'll love me and he'll say, ‘You've served me well, my little child; Come unto my arms to stay.’”