Making Friends:

Benjamin Rock of Huddersfield, England

Written by Corliss Clayton

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    Jem’appellee Benjamin Rock. J’ai dix ans. Je n’ai pas d’animal familier, mais j’ai trois freres—Adam (12), Daniel (7), et Joseph (2). My name is Benjamin Rock. I am ten years old. I don’t have a pet, but I have three brothers—Adam, Daniel, and Joseph.” No, Benjamin, 10, isn’t French. He lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. But he would like to go to France someday when he goes on his mission—especially if they would serve his favorite meal: roast beef and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, vegetables, and jam doughnuts.

    Benjamin not only studies French but also loves learning about everything, and he is forever asking questions. He reads atlases, the dictionary, and the Guinness Book of World Records. And every morning, to start the day off right, his family assembles and reads the Book of Mormon.

    To learn things like the names of countries, Benjamin writes down the name of every country that he can think of. His teacher had a list of 161 countries, and Benjamin knew the location of all but two.

    At Lindley County Junior School, Benjamin likes “math, science, and literature, but mainly math,” he said. He also enjoys being in the chess club and the Scrabble club and singing in the school choir. Benjamin loves music—whether it’s singing or playing the piano.

    A couple of years ago Benjamin started a hobby. “I was at my friend’s once,” he said, “and he happened to mention stamps. When I got home that night, I thought, stamps could make a quite good collection, because all I had been doing in my spare time was think or watch the telly.” Benjamin collects stamps from Great Britain mainly, but also from America, Canada, and Australia. “I realized that it’s too hard to collect stamps from every country,” he said.

    Genealogy is one of Benjamin’s favorite activities. He has memorized his ancestors’ names and reads all that he can about them. Benjamin knows about them all—whether it’s William who ran off to America or Margaret who never once in her life left the city of Hull. “We’ll sit at the dinner table,” his mother, Lynda, said, “and he’ll be talking about Great-Great-Grandma Condie as if he really knew her.” Daniel likes to copy Benjamin’s family history records and to go with him and Dad to the Family History Center at their stake center.

    Benjamin helps around the house, but he likes to have a list so that he can tick off each job as it gets done. When Joseph was born, Benjamin was devoted to him and helped his mum care for the new baby. Now that Joseph is two, Benjamin delights in hearing him say short sentences and prayers and talk about things no one has ever heard about. “He’ll get me a biscuit if I ask him to or turn the switch on the telly.” Benjamin smiles mischievously. “Now, if I can just get him to wash the dishes …”

    Benjamin and his brother Adam are very different from each other, but their parents have taught them to “never compare yourselves to each other. You don’t need to be the same. Look for what’s good in you.

    Even though they like different things, Adam and Benjamin both enjoy designing “massive, great houses with two-foot walls.” They also play chess, Monopoly, and Scrabble together, and tennis in the garden with Daniel and Joseph. And even though he doesn’t like football (soccer), as many English boys do, Benjamin will help Adam practice his favorite sport.

    One of Benjamin’s favorite family home evenings is when his family hides bits of paper in the garden, with names of people or places from the scriptures. Everyone looks for the papers. He gets five points for each paper he finds and five more points if he can say something about that person or place.

    What would Benjamin like to tell you? “To go on a mission, because it will be a good experience.”

    Then he laughs his infectious laugh and goes off to set the table for dinner.

    Photographed by Corliss Clayton

    Every stamp has a story

    Locating Huddersfield on a map

    Front to back: Joseph, Daniel, Benjamin, and Adam

    Benjamin and Daniel walking to school

    Playing tennis in the garden

    Joseph Rock

    Practicing the piano