Brother to Brother (Part Five)


Lay hold upon the gospel of Christ (Morm. 7:8).

Dear Reed,

Do you still like your big model airplane—the one that you made with Grandpa? Well, it doesn’t fly anymore. Please don’t be mad at me, Reed. I’m really sorry.

I was on my bed, and Rusty had his head and one paw in my lap. We were thinking about you. I was holding your catcher’s mitt, and Rusty smelled it. His eyes looked sad. So I got your gym shoes from the closet and held them up to Rusty’s nose, and he started to wag his tail. I said, “Reed,” and Rusty barked. He barked every time he smelled your shoes and I said your name.

Then Scooter woke up from his nap, and Rachel came home from gymnastics. They wanted to play my game with Rusty. That was when things got a little wild. We played catch with your shoes, and Rusty chased us across the beds and all around the room. He got too excited. I guess we all got too excited.

Mom fixed the curtains, and Dad fixed the desk chair. They look as good as new. I tried to fix your airplane. But it doesn’t look as good as new. I think that some parts are in the wrong places. I saved the extra pieces in a box. Maybe you can fix it better when you get home.

I’m really sorry, Reed. Maybe Mom will let me make some cookies for you to make you feel better.

Love, Buddy

Dear Buddy,

Your letter arrived just as Elder Watts and I were leaving for a baptismal service. Elder Watts is the district leader, which means that he’s in charge of all eight elders and two sisters in our district.

Anyway, the person being baptized was a seventy-year-old man named Richard Rockwell. He’s a very special person who was taught by Sister Adams and Sister South. Elder Watts conducted the baptismal service, Sister South gave a talk on baptism, Sister Adams gave one on the gift of the Holy Ghost, and I got to perform the baptism!

After I said the baptismal prayer, I glanced at Brother Rockwell. His eyes were closed, but his whole face was smiling, and tears trickled down his cheeks. I lowered him into the water completely and brought him back up, and for a few seconds we just stood there smiling at each other. Then he hugged me hard and whispered, “Thank you, Elder!” I felt like I was about to burst with joy.

After we changed into dry clothes, Elder Watts asked me to bear my testimony. Before I met Brother Rockwell, the sisters had told us that he had been studying the Bible most of his life but had never joined a church because he couldn’t find any that matched the one that Christ had organized. When the sisters taught him that ours does and that it has apostles and prophets and all the other offices, he became excited. And the more that they taught him, the more excited he became.

Well, in my testimony, I told about your letter and my model airplane. I said that if it’s going to fly, it needs all the right pieces in all the right places, just the way it’s shown in the blueprint that Grandpa and I used when we put it together. Then I explained that it’s the same with the Church. It has to have all the right pieces in all the right places, just the way it is shown in the scriptures.

Brother Rockwell beamed a big smile at me as I was talking. So thanks for your letter, Buddy. And don’t worry about my model airplane. I’m not angry. A little sad, maybe, but I know that accidents happen—especially when things get wild.

Give Rusty a big hug for me and tell him that I expect him to try harder to keep his human friends calm.

Love, Reed

P.S. If you really want to make some, a few homemade cookies just might help me feel a little better about the airplane. Either peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies would be great.

(To be continued.)

[illustrations] Illustrated by Jerry Harston