by Lois Anne Williams
December 12, 2011 • 4:06 am 0
by Lois Anne Williams
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 18, 2011 • 11:13 pm 0
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27.)
When you are baptized, you take upon you the name of Jesus Christ. It takes great courage to honor that name by all you do and all you say. President Gordon B. Hinckley has written about that kind of courage.
As members of the Church, we . . . [are] set apart from the world. . . . (Latter-day Saints) may know discouragement and heartache as they explain their Church membership to family and friends. . . . The price of discipleship is personal courage. . . .
There is no more poignant (touching) picture in all history than that of Jesus in Gethsemane and upon the cross, alone: the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the world, bringing to pass the Atonement.
I remember being with President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. We could sense, if only in a very small degree, the terrible struggle that took place there, a struggle so intense . . . that blood
came from every pore (see Luke 22:44; Doctrine and Covenants 19:18). . . . We recalled that evil men laid brutal hands upon the Son of God. We recalled that lonely figure on the cross, crying out in anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Yet, courageously, the Savior of the world moved forward to bring about the Atonement in our behalf. . . .
I think of a friend whom I knew when I was a missionary in London many years ago. He came to our door through the rain one night. I answered his knock and invited him in. He said, as I remember,“I have to talk to someone.
I’m all alone.” I asked what the problem was.
He said, “When I joined the Church, my father told me to get out of his house and never come back. . . . Last month my boss fired me because I am a member of this Church. And last night the girl I love said she would never marry me because I’m a Mormon.”
I said, “If this has cost you so much, why don’t you leave the Church and go back to your father’s home, . . . to the job that meant so much to you, and marry the girl you think you love?”
He said nothing for what seemed a long time. Then, putting his head in his hands, he sobbed as if his heart would break. Finally he looked up through his tears and said, “I couldn’t do that. I know this is true, and if it were to cost me my life, I could not give it up.” He picked up his wet hat and walked to the
door and went out into the rain. . . . I should like to say to . . . young men and
women of the Church, that I hope you may come to know inner personal courage. . . .
It takes resolution to be virtuous when those around you scoff at virtue. It takes commitment to abstain from [drugs and alcohol] when those
around you scoff. . . . It takes love in our hearts to speak in peaceful testimony of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who would mock
Him and belittle and demean Him.
There will be times that demand courage for each of us. . . . Each of us is to live with his or her testimony. Unless we do, we will be miserable
and dreadfully alone. . . . Yet while there may be . . . heartache, even heartbreak, there can be peace and comfort and strength from the Lord for those who follow Him. . . .
The Lord [has promised]: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88). . . .
May we go forward with our righteous convictions.
May we walk in truth and in faith and in love. For if we do so, we will be upheld and strengthened by the Lord.
September 18, 2011 • 8:40 pm 0
Some families have traditions as they prepare for and listen to general conference. Do you have any conference traditions? We’d like to hear about them. Turn to page 48 for contact information.
We talk about King Benjamin’s speech to the Nephites. The whole kingdom gathered and turned their tents toward the prophet. So we created a tent in the living room facing the television. We love sitting in the tent and listening to the prophet.
We like to play gospel bingo. We print bingo cards with gospel topics and then we put a bean or a piece of candy on the squares when speakers mention the topics. It helps us pay attention and have fun.
We use coloring pages to color in the tie of the General Authority who is speaking. We enjoy coloring the ties the same color as those of the General Authorities.
We always have a puzzle set up in the living room, where we watch general conference. We like to piece together the puzzle while the General Authorities speak. It keeps us focused.
We like the general conference notebook that we can print from lds.org. The activities are great, and we are able to discuss what we learn at conference in family home evening.
We make a breakfast casserole Saturday night and bake it in the morning. This is the only time in the year when we eat together with the television on, which makes it special.
June 13, 2011 • 3:49 am 0
What Makes a DadGod took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
He called it … Dad
– Author Unknown
June 6, 2011 • 4:23 am 0
By Barbara J. Porter
June 6, 2011 • 4:22 am 0
By Bertra Kusik
June 6, 2011 • 4:21 am 0
Father’s Day is usually celebrated one day every June, but there can be other father’s days too. Fathers never stop being fathers, even when the holiday is over.
Besides your earthly father, who is the father of your earthly body, you pray to Heavenly Father, who is the Father of your spirit body. And there are other fathers who are concerned about your happiness and success—your grandfather; your bishop, who is often called the father of the ward; or perhaps you have a stepfather.
Countries, too, have wise and brave leaders who are looked upon as fathers by those who live there. George Washington is known as the “Father of His Country” because of his valiant leadership and deep devotion to the welfare of his countrymen in North America, who wanted to live as a free people. Simon Bolivar was called El Libertador (The Liberator) or the “George Washington of South America” because of his ability to help several South American countries gain their independence from the Spanish conquistadors. Leaders in other lands are thought of as fathers of their countries because of their loyalty and love for their people.
To show that you remember your fathers on the other 364 days of the year, here are some ways to make them happy:
Learn to obey Heavenly Father’s commandments by listening to the counsel of your parents and the instructions from your teachers. Pray to Heavenly Father often. He is real and He loves you. Avoid temptation. Satan is also real, and he can entice you to do things that are wrong.
Few things please a father more than having a son or daughter who is unselfish, helpful, pleasant, and kind and loving to everyone.
Learn to work hard, study hard, and play hard. When a father’s family is happy, it helps him to become a better kind of person.
In addition to his own family, a bishop has responsibility for the welfare of a larger family—all the members of his ward. Another big responsibility the bishop has is the care and upkeep of the meetinghouse. Some of the money paid to the bishop as a contribution to the Church is used to light and heat the building and to pay for many other necessary supplies. The bishop and custodian are especially grateful when we treat the building and all its furnishings and grounds kindly. Remember—it is really the Lord’s house, a place that can be acceptable to Him and a place where we can worship Him in peace and safety.
Just as fathers of countries hope that their people will be loyal, patriotic, considerate, and law-abiding citizens who recognize individual differences and needs, local public officials or “City Fathers” have the same hopes and concerns for their people.
If you show that you remember your fathers’ enduring love for you by the way you live, every day can truly be a Fathers’ Day.
June 6, 2011 • 4:11 am 0
By Margaret Shauers
Honor thy father and thy mother (1 Ne. 17:55).
Lisa was sad. The next day was Father’s Day, and her father was far away in another country. And it was already Father’s Day there.
“Why does Dad have to be in the Army?” she asked Mom. “I want him to be home, especially tomorrow. More than anything, I want Dad home on Father’s Day so I can give him a big hug.”
“The Army is Dad’s job right now,” Mom said. “But when he calls today, you can talk to him and tell him how much you miss him. We sent Dad a present three weeks ago. He knows that you love him.”
Then Mom sighed. “I had better take out the trash before fixing lunch. Taking the storm windows down yesterday took so much time that I didn’t take it out before I went to bed.”
Lisa watched Mom pick up the heavy trash container. Dad usually takes out the trash, she thought. He takes the storm windows down, mows the grass, and fixes our car. Mom must wish Dad were home too. There are lots of extra things she has to do that he does when he’s home.
Lisa thought about Dad. “I bet Dad worries about Mom doing everything he would do if he was home,” she said out loud. Then she smiled. Now she knew something special she could do for him today, even though he was far away.
She ran to the cabinet, found the silverware for lunch, placed it on the table, and went to get the plates.
“I can’t use the stove yet, or I would have cooked, too,” she told Mom later, while they were eating.
After lunch, Lisa helped Mom do the dishes. She found the newspaper and brought it for her to read. Then she went upstairs and picked up the toys on her bedroom floor. When the telephone rang, she was carrying her dirty laundry to the hamper in the bathroom.
“Happy Father’s Day!” Lisa cried when she heard her dad’s voice on the telephone. “I miss you, and I wish you were home.” Then she told him about the extra things she’d done to help Mom. “Mom does a lot of your chores every day, so I thought you might like it if I did something special for her as another Father’s Day present.”
“Helping your mother is the best Father’s Day gift you’ve ever given me!” Dad told her. “I have a Father’s Day surprise for you too. Next month, I’ll be coming back to the States. I’ll still be in the Army, but you and Mom can come and live at the Army base with me. Won’t that be fun? We’ll all be together again.”
“I’m saving up a big hug to give Dad the minute he gets home,” Lisa told Mom when she hung up the phone. “And I’ll keep helping you until he gets home, because that will be our real Father’s Day this year.”
June 6, 2011 • 2:56 am 0
“The Good Samaritan,” Friend, May 1999, 39
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you (John 13:34).
One day a lawyer asked Jesus Christ, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The Savior asked what the lawyer thought that the law said he needed to do, and the lawyer replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live,” Jesus said.
“Who is my neighbour?” the man asked.
Jesus answered by telling him a parable.
A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when thieves attacked him. They took his clothes, beat him, and left him near death.
When a Jewish priest came down the road and saw the wounded man, he crossed to the other side of the road to avoid him and continued his journey.
Next a Levite, also a citizen of Judah, approached. He looked at the wounded man, then he, too, crossed the road and went on his way without helping the man.
Finally a man from Samaria came along the road. The Jews and the Samaritans were bitter enemies, but the Samaritan saw that the injured man needed help. He bandaged the man’s wounds, put him on his pack animal, took him to an inn, and cared for the injured man there. When the Samaritan left the next day, he paid the innkeeper to look after the man until he got better. He promised that if caring for the man cost more, he would pay the innkeeper the next time he was there.
“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Jesus asked the lawyer.
When the lawyer said, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Jesus said, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (See Luke 10:25–37.)
We should each follow Jesus Christ’s example by loving and caring for one another. As we do, we will know that Jesus’ teachings are true and our faith in Him will grow.