September 25, 2011 • 5:35 am 0
By Debra Randall
“I’m going to miss the flowers,”
I told my mom today.
“I think it’s nearly autumn.
When it is, they’ll go away!”
My mom said, “They’ll be dying.
You have the story right.
But they’ll be back next springtime,
Just as morning follows night.
“You’ll have a dance in crunchy leaves.
You’ll see the snowflakes fall.
And soon the spring will bring new life—
It won’t be long at all.”
“Did Jesus make the seasons, Mom,
Just as He created man?”
“As all must die—so all will live,”
She said. “That’s Jesus’ plan.”
September 25, 2011 • 5:06 am 0
Your parents love you. You can learn about how to follow Heavenly Father’s commandments and how to be happy from them. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, wrote about this recently.
Bring up your children in light and truth (Doctrine and Covenants 93:40).
Happiness does not consist of [great] luxury, [or] the world’s idea of a “good time.” Nor must we search for it in faraway places with strange-sounding names.
Happiness is found at home.
All of us remember the home of our childhood. Interestingly, our thoughts do not dwell on whether the house was large or small. . . . Rather, we delight
in the experiences we shared as a family. . . .
Seemingly little lessons of love are observed by
children as they silently absorb the examples of
their parents. My own father, a printer, worked long
and hard to support our family. And yet, following
church on Sunday, he often visited elderly family
members and brought cheer into their lives.
One was his uncle, who was crippled by
arthritis so severe that he could not walk or care
for himself. On a Sunday afternoon Dad would say
to me, “Come along, Tommy; let’s take Uncle Elias
for a short drive.” Climbing into the old 1928
Oldsmobile, we would proceed to Eighth West,
where, at the home of Uncle Elias, I would wait in
the car while Dad went inside. Soon he would
emerge from the house, carrying in his arms like a
china doll his crippled uncle. I then would open
the door and watch how tenderly and with such affection
my father would place Uncle Elias in the
front seat so he would have a fine view while I occupied
the rear seat. The drive was brief and the
conversation limited, but oh, what a legacy of service
and of love!
My young friends, let us determine . . . to make
of our houses happy homes. Let us open wide the
windows of our hearts, that each family member
may feel welcome and “at home.” Let us open also
the doors of our very souls, that the dear Christ
September 25, 2011 • 4:19 am 0
Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles (Mosiah 8:18).
BASED ON A TRUE EVENT
By Jane McBride Choate
Miguel Arrellano looked out the window of
the tar-paper shack. Thunderclouds had
opened up, pouring forth torrents of rain.
Such storms were not unusual in his small village
set in the mountains of Colombia.
Normally Miguel did not mind the rain. It watered
the crops that the family depended upon for a living.
Today, though, he prayed for the rain to stop.
It was a special day—the day he and his parents
would be baptized members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He remembered when the two missionaries had
found them. Elder Berger and Elder Santos, dressed
in dark pants and white shirts, had appeared at their
door. They wore small, black, name badges proclaiming
that they represented the Church.
Elder Berger was tall, almost two meters. He
came from Utah in the United States of America. In
Colombia, men are rarely so tall. Papá was only a
few centimeters taller than Miguel. Elder Santos was
a native missionary and even shorter than Papá.
Miguel had practiced saying Elder Berger’s name.
The syllables sounded strange upon his tongue.
They laughed together as the American missionary
tried to say Arrellano.
The elders told the family the story of Joseph
Smith and the Restoration. When Elder Berger bore
his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, tears
streamed down his face. He and Elder Santos both
testified that Joseph Smith had been a prophet and
that Gordon B. Hinckley was now the prophet.
Though Miguel was only eleven, he knew that he
was hearing the truth.
Mamá had cried when the elders had spoken of
families being together forever. “Always, we search
for something,” she had said. “Now I know we
have found it.” She’d placed her hand on her
heart. “I feel it. Here.”
The rain continued to fall in sheets and
showed no signs of letting up.
Miguel looked from Mamá to Papá.
“We must go. We told Elder Berger and Elder
Santos that we would be there.”
Papá pointed to the flooded road.
“There will be no bus today.”
The family had no car and had to rely on the bus.
They had to change buses twice to reach the
church. Each week, they carefully counted out the
coins necessary to buy the bus tokens for Sunday.
This week, they had taken money from their small
food budget to pay for the extra trip to the church.
Papá worked very hard, but there was never
enough money. Mamá had saved a little and made
them new clothes. She had sewn Miguel and Papá
shirts and herself a blouse. Miguel thought that she
looked pretty in the bright yellow color.
He remembered the picture of President Hinckley
the two young elders had shown the family.
The prophet would not give up. He would find a
way to get to the church, Miguel decided, and so
“Señor Tomás,” Miguel said, glancing out the
window and seeing their neighbor. “He goes to the
city every day. Maybe he will give us a ride.”
Miguel ran across the muddy yard to their
neighbor’s humble home. Señor Tomás nodded
agreeably as the boy explained the situation.
Miguel and Papá climbed into the back of the
truck; Mamá rode in the cab with their neighbor.
They held on tightly as the old truck bounced
over the rough roads. When they arrived at the
small meetinghouse, they were wet and very
tired, but happy.
The elders greeted them. Their clothes were
wet and wrinkled, too, but the smiles on their
faces were the brightest Miguel had ever seen.
“We weren’t sure you could make it,” Elder
Berger said. “We’ve had problems here, too.”
They shared stories. Elder Santos explained
that the pipes that carried water to the chapel
had burst so that the baptismal font could not be
filled. After praying, the elders had filled buckets
with rain water and carried them inside the
church to fill the font.
Miguel and his parents explained how they
had found a ride with their neighbor.
“It’s a miracle you made it,” Elder Santos said.
Papá looked at the baptismal font and said,
“We have many miracles today.”
“And much to be thankful for,” Mamá added.
Miguel and Papá changed clothes in a
small dressing room while Mamá
changed clothes in another one. Miguel
touched the crisp white shirt and pants the elders
had given him. They felt strange against his skin.
The water was so shallow that the elders had
to kneel to perform the baptisms.
Miguel waited while his parents were baptized.
When the time came for his own baptism,
he felt a warmth come over him, even though
the water was cold.
After everyone had changed into dry clothes,
Elder Berger and Elder Santos confirmed Miguel
and his parents members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Miguel hugged his parents, then Elder Berger
and Elder Santos. He would never forget this day
or the baptism miracles.
Our Prophets’ Baptisms
By Rebecca Todd Archibald
President Gordon B. Hinckley was
baptized by his father on April 28, 1919,
in a meetinghouse baptismal font in Salt
Lake City, Utah. President Hinckley is
the first Church President to be baptized
indoors in a baptismal font.
Of the fourteen Latter-day Saint prophets
before him, two were baptized in rivers, one in an
outdoor baptismal font, one in a stream, five in
creeks, two in ponds, one in a swimming pool, and
two in a canal.
Although they were baptized in different places,
all of these Church Presidents made the same
promise that we make at baptism: to follow Jesus
Christ. All fifteen have kept this promise. They have
followed the Savior, and in time, all were called to
be special witnesses of Him.
(See “Our Prophets’ Places of Baptism,” Friend, August 1997,
ILLUSTRATED BY MARK ROBISON SEPTEMBER 2001 35
September 25, 2011 • 2:32 am 0
From an interview with Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy, currently serving in the Australia/New Zealand Area Presidency.
by Hilary Hendricks
Fail not to continue faithful in all things (Doctrine and Covenants 84:80).
When my wife, Pamela, was growing up in England, the Church was not very well established where she lived. They had a little branch, and they had a building to meet in, but they didn’t have a temple in England or anywhere nearby. Pamela remembers vividly her parents saying, “One day you will go to the temple,” and she believed them. The faith of her parents and her own belief in their faith was a wonderful thing.
Pamela’s father, Thomas Wilson, would go with the missionaries on Sunday evenings to the marketplace in the city centre, where they held street meetings. A crowd would gather as the missionaries preached the restored gospel, and Pamela’s father went along to bear his testimony.
When Pamela was a little girl, she used to ask if she could accompany him and
he’d say, “No, I don’t think that’s the best place for you to come.” He knew thatthe crowds were not always friendly.
Sometimes people yelled to distract the missionaries and threw rotten fruit at them. Just before Pamela turned eight, her father agreed that she could go with him one Sunday.
While she was there, she saw the hostility toward the missionaries and toward
her father. She relates that her father was standing on a box, so as to be seen,
bearing his testimony. She was standing behind him, holding on to his coattails.
She heard him bear his witness of Jesus Christ. To see her father stand in those circumstances and declare his testimony made a great impression on her life; it
anchored her to faith in the Savior.
And so she grew up participating in the tiny Primary they had, still determined
to go to the temple one day. She knew no young men, except for two cousins, who were members of the Church, and very few young women. Yet she grew up believing that she would be able to find someone she could marry and be
sealed to in the temple.
Pamela and I met at a dance when we were teenagers. I asked her for a dance, and as we talked, she told me that she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was the first time I had ever heard of the Church.
I wasn’t interested in religion then—but she was so different from the other young ladies I knew!
She had a strong character; she knew what she believed, and she knew what she wanted. Early on, she let me know that there would be no chance of any marriage between us, because in the temple was the only place where she would marry. She had made promises, covenants, with Heavenly Father, and she had the loyalty to keep those promises.Soon I realized that what made her so attractive was the gospel. She reflected truths of the gospel in her life. We met in April, and I was baptized that August. Three years later, she agreed to
marry me. We were sealed in the temple at last. I think one of the things that drew me to Pamela was her loyalty. My parents were not members of the
Church, but they taught me that it is important to keep our promises and be dependable.
When I was a boy, I played a lot of football (soccer). My father watched me play and gave me pointers. He bicycled long distances, often, to do that. But
I always knew that if he said he would come and watch me, he’d be there. His quiet dependability meant a lot.
At age sixteen, I started to deliver newspapers. I had anold trade bike, a bike that has room to carry papers on the front. I loved cycling! One day I was cycling through the city, and in the bicycle-shop window, I saw a Coventry-Eagle bicycle. It was magnificent! It was lilac-colored with black trimming, and it had racing handlebars. I went home and told my father
The next day, he said, “If you’ll save up half the price of the bike, I’ll give you the other half.” Great! It took me many months to get half the money
together. I did not realize until long after the event that my father would not have had sufficient money to contribute to the purchase when I first asked
concerning the possibility. He knew that as I was saving, he could also save. That way, between us, we could raise the amount needed. My father always kept
Loyalty and dependability are essential qualities for members of the Church. At
our baptisms and in the temple, we make promises with Heavenly Father. Keeping those promises blesses our lives and the lives of our families.
I’m grateful for Pamela’s loyalty, which anchored her in the gospel and led me to the Church. It is a privilege to be sealed to her for eternity.