Clarette’s Wish

By Jenna Vee Allgrunn

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    Clarette watched impatiently at the window for her father’s car. The delicious smell of roast lamb floating in from the kitchen assured her that dinnertime was near and that Papa would soon be home.

    Clarette wasn’t thinking of food, though, but of the very important question she must ask her father. She had just returned from the home of her friend, Briget, where Sister Macy and Sister Wright, the LDS missionaries from America, were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Clarette’s parents were content with their religious beliefs and weren’t interested in learning more, but they allowed Clarette to hear the Mormon missionaries. They felt that she should learn for herself about Heavenly Father.

    As the sister missionaries explained each gospel idea, Clarette listened carefully. Never had Heavenly Father and Jesus seemed so real to her. Things she had read in the Bible became clearer to her, and she was anxious to learn more.

    Finally the headlights of Papa’s car announced his arrival. Clarette ran to open the door for him. After a hug and a kiss, Clarette began, “Papa, I want to be baptized.”

    “Why, my dear, you were baptized when you were a baby,” her father replied as he hung up his overcoat.

    “But, Papa. I want to be baptized the way Jesus was. I want to be a Mormon.”

    Her father looked at her searchingly, then said, “Twelve is much too young to make such a big decision. You may go to the Mormon church if you like, but you may not join any church until you are older. Now let’s have dinner.”

    Clarette knew further pleading wouldn’t help. Her mama and papa were reasonable parents, but when they believed something firmly, it was almost impossible to change their minds.

    For the next few weeks Clarette continued to hear the missionary discussions at Briget’s home. Her parents drove her to the LDS chapel on Sundays and picked her up after meetings, but the subject of baptism was closed.

    As Christmas neared, Clarette felt closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus than she ever had before. She knew that the gospel of Jesus Christ was true, and every day she prayed that her father would change his mind.

    One evening Clarette’s father asked her what she would like for Christmas. Mustering all the courage she could, Clarette looked into her father’s eyes and said, “Papa, the only thing I want for Christmas is to be baptized. I don’t want anything else.”

    She was afraid that her father would be angry with her for bringing up the forbidden subject, but instead he looked back into her eyes. “Clarette, my dear, if it is that important to you, I will give my permission.”

    Three days later, on Christmas Eve, Clarette was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Illustrated by Susan Bittner