My name is William Paul McCallister, but everyone calls me Willy. I’m ten years old, and last year my parents decided that our family would go to general conference in Salt Lake City.
We live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, so it was a long drive for us. Then we had to stand in line a long time—more than two hours—so that we could sit in the Tabernacle for the Saturday morning session. But it was all worth it. When I saw President Benson, I got a swelling in my chest, and my eyes got all watery, and I knew that he really was a prophet of God. I knew, too, that I should listen and do what he said because he spoke for Heavenly Father.
President Benson looked all around, then started to speak. He said that it was time for the earth to be flooded with the Book of Mormon and that it was the responsibility of every member to help.
Later, as we were driving home, our family talked about what we could do to follow the prophet. Mom suggested that we give copies of the Book of Mormon to the missionaries, with our pictures and testimonies inside. We did that the year before, and it was fun, but we didn’t hear from any of the people that got them.
Dad suggested that we give copies of it to some of our friends so that we would know the people who got them.
I thought about it a lot. There are so many people in the world! If I gave a Book of Mormon to someone, it would be like adding one little drop in a whole ocean of people. But I decided that lots of drops added together could flood the earth.
When we got home, I told Mom that I wanted to give a Book of Mormon to someone. She got me one, and I put my picture and my testimony inside it. I wrote that I knew that the Book of Mormon was true because Joseph Smith was a real prophet of God. I said that anyone who read the Book of Mormon and really wanted to know if it was true could pray and ask God, and the Spirit would let him know that it is true. Finally I signed my name. After I finished, I felt kind of scared because I really didn’t know who I was going to give it to.
The next day I put the Book of Mormon in my backpack and took it to school. I guess I expected somebody to just come up and ask me for it, but nobody did.
When I got home, Mom knew that I was discouraged. She said that if I prayed about it, Heavenly Father would help me to know whom to give the Book of Mormon to. So I prayed really hard. I told Heavenly Father that I would do whatever He wanted me to if He would just show me what to do. After I finished, I still didn’t know who to give the Book of Mormon to, but I knew that Heavenly Father was going to help me. I sure didn’t expect things to turn out like they did, though!
In the morning I put the book in my backpack again. During recess, I took it out and set it on my knees. I looked at it for a while, then opened it to my favorite scripture: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” [1 Ne. 3:7]. Right then I surely needed the Lord to provide a way for me to give that Book of Mormon to someone.
Suddenly a shadow fell across my book, and I looked up at a kid standing there. I had seen him lots of times before, but I didn’t know his name.
“What’re you reading?” he asked.
“The Book of Mormon.”
“Oh. You must be a Mormon,” he said. “My mother says that Mormons are pretty OK people, although she doesn’t believe that any church is the true church.”
“Well”—I hesitated, hoping that the Holy Ghost would help me know what to say—“that’s just because she doesn’t know about our church. We have a real prophet, and Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. He tells the prophet what to say to us.”
“Really? My mother says that even if there is a God, no one can really know for sure, because He doesn’t talk to people anymore.”
I took a deep breath and prayed for more help. “Don’t you think that God would want you to know that He exists and to know what He wants you to do?”
“I guess so.”
“A prophet tells people what God wants them to do,” I said.
“So what does your prophet tell you?” he asked.
I could tell that he didn’t believe me. I prayed really hard for help. “He says that we should study the Book of Mormon because it’s an inspired book of scripture and that a person can get close to God by reading it.”
“Is that what you’re reading?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Do you want to see it?”
I handed him my Book of Mormon.
“I have one question,” he said. “How do you know that someone isn’t just trying to fool you with all that stuff about God and real prophets, like my mother says?”
“I’ll show you.” I was getting really excited. I reached over and turned to Moroni 10:4. When I found it, I read out loud:
“‘And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.’ See,” I said, “you don’t have to take my word for it. If you pray about it, you can find out for yourself if it’s true, because God will tell you. But you have to read it first.”
The boy looked at the scripture again and read it himself. Then he looked at me. “I wonder what my mother would say about this.”
“Well,” I said, “maybe you could ask her. You can have this Book of Mormon. Then she can read it, too, and find out if it’s true.”
Just then the bell rang, and he left with my Book of Mormon under his arm. I was feeling pretty happy as I went back inside the school. Then I realized that I still didn’t know his name and that if they asked me, I would have to tell Mom and Dad that I didn’t know who had gotten my Book of Mormon.
Then a couple of weeks later, the boy found me during recess and said that his name was Chris Brown and that his mother wanted to know more about the Church. That was six weeks ago. Now we’re friends, and tomorrow he and his whole family are being baptized.
I have another Book of Mormon in my backpack now.