Singing a Prayer

As I knelt for prayer one night with my four-year-old son, Aaron, his simple faith touched my heart and reminded me of the true purpose of prayer.

Aaron began with his usual thank-thee-fors and then said, very simply, “And I’d like to sing you a song, Heavenly Father.” He then sang the entire first verse of “Families Are Forever.” After he had finished singing, he continued praying as though nothing unusual had happened. I often remember that prayer. It encourages me to make my own prayers meaningful conversations with my Heavenly Father.Linnea Ketcher, Merced, California

My Crochet Thread

Our daughter Dianna has started to crochet. I learned at about the same age and enjoyed doing all sorts of needlework; but the demands of motherhood required me to reluctantly pack the crochet thread away until life slowed down a little.

Many times through the years I took the well-marked box off the shelf and got a ball of thread, but not for crocheting. It was used to wrap packages for mailing; mark rows in vegetable gardens; surround newly planted lawn; suspend mobiles from the ceiling; fly Cub Scout kites. Each time thread was removed for such a purpose, it was done with a little sadness and, sometimes, even resentment. That’s not what it was intended for!

Then, as the supply of thread dwindled, a thought came to me which replaced any uneasiness associated with its use. My husband and I share a common goal of reaching the celestial kingdom with our five children. We know this will require a lifetime of working, loving, sharing, studying, praying, understanding, learning, and more. For an instant, these qualities became like beautiful threads in my mind, weaving us into a solid family unit as we progressed toward our goal. My crochet thread was interwoven with these other threads, working out the most intricate pattern it had ever undertaken. Packages, gardens, mobiles, and kites became lovely patterns in the evolving fabric.

This was the perspective I needed. I hadn’t stopped crocheting, after all!

The time has not yet come for me to resume needlework; but with Dianna’s increasing interest, I can begin to restock the thread box. In the meantime there are more gardens to plant and more kites to fly!Beatrice S. Hodson, Midland, Michigan

[photo] Photography by Jed A. Clark

Learning the Simple Truths

When I was called to be a Primary teacher, my heart sank and a hard, swollen lump formed in my throat. A convert of only a few short months, I had looked forward to holding a Church position. But teaching in the Primary? There were countless other Church positions far more attractive to a college freshman. What could have inspired that calling? I accepted with feigned enthusiasm.

As I was awaiting my turn to be set apart, I silently asked my Father in Heaven to somehow help me understand. The words of the blessing gave me the answer—and the Spirit bore witness to them: “You have been called to teach in the Primary so that you may learn the plain and simple truths that you were unable to learn as a child, because you were not a member of the Lord’s Church. …”

As the pride and doubt in my heart dissolved, a feeling of love encircled me—love for my Heavenly Father and for the children he had entrusted to my care. I would never again doubt his infinite wisdom and love for me.Patti Jean Angus, Delco, Idaho

She Gave Me Her Handkerchief

I’ll always remember the lovely gift my Relief Society visiting teacher gave me when my son passed away. Her mother, before becoming blind, had crocheted the borders of a number of beautiful linen handkerchiefs. “There will come times in your life when you can’t think of a gift to give,” she told her daughter. “Use these for those special occasions.”

As we stood greeting friends and loved ones at my son’s viewing and during an extended hour and a half beyond the scheduled time, a surging of strength filled my being as I squeezed the beautiful white handkerchief tightly in my palm. It continuously reminded me of the genuine concern, the kind support, and the unfeigned love of a true sister in the gospel. It silently assured me that I was not alone. And the next day it sustained me throughout the funeral services. For two days I clasped securely in my hand that very meaningful gift from my visiting teacher.Carolyn Joyner Freebairn, Salt Lake City, Utah