"Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
These verses make me think of a lot of things:
(1) The nursery and primary programs. I have had people tell me that Primary is brain-washing and is forcing ideas into young minds. But what argument is that? This is a time when a person can learn most -- being un-inhibited by preconceived notions and pressures of the world. It is a place where they are taught love, honesty, kindness, equality, and many other generally wonderful qualities. Why would we want to forbid our young children from such an opportunity to be healed and blessed?
(2) Jace and I were having a discussion the other day about the movie "Toy Story 3". I said I liked the ending because Andy finally gives up his toys, or in other words, left his childish things behind to move onto college as a man. Jace, however, saw this scene in a negative light. He said that Andy does not need to give up his childhood to be a man, but that the Lord desires us all to be "childlike", or "meek" as the footnote suggests, or they cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
(3) I find it interesting that the footnote for verse 14 leads to Moroni 8:5-9. This is where the ritual of infant baptism is discussed.
I say interesting because it almost feels like Moroni is saying "forbid them!" rather than "forbid them not." However, it takes understanding of the principle of baptism to understand why it is "forbid[ing] them not."
It says in verse 12 that "little children are alive in Christ" and because of this need no repentance or baptism. Ok, that makes sense. But then why is infant baptism described as a "gross error" and "solemn mockery before God"? This is the case because as more and more infants are baptized, which has not effect, less and less adults are being baptized -- those who actually need it.
So it is not merciful or nice to continue baptizing infants, because it is detracting from the real and true ordinance of baptism by immersion for those beyond the age of accountability.
(4) Irregardless of age, however, children should receive blessings. In the church, a baby's life begins when it is given a name and a blessing. Although the baby cannot remember it later in life, I believe the baby can hear it and understand it in terms of the Spirit.
Father's blessings are also essential. Unlike patriarchal blessings, Father's blessings are "one time use." We get them at a specific time when we need it, become strengthened by the words and the Spirit, but then get another one at the next needed moment. It is because they are individual and immediate. Children are not strangers to hard times, even if they seem trivial to adults. And for this reason they are eligible for blessings and should be frequent recipients.