Two Journals


I’ll write my history (Children’s Songbook, page 94).

“Do you think Moroni was lonely, Daddy?” Roslyn asked as her family finished the Book of Mormon in their scripture reading session for the day.

“What do you think?” her father asked, then commented, “Moroni was alone for many years after the big war destroyed his people.”

“He was probably lonely,” Roslyn said, as she thought of her own loneliness over the past several weeks.

“What do you think Moroni did that might have helped him feel less lonely?” her mother asked.

Roslyn thought about Moroni for a few minutes. “Well, he wrote a lot.”

Her mother responded, “Moroni wrote some wonderful messages from the Lord to us, didn’t he, honey? It probably did help him in his loneliness.”

Later, as she brushed her teeth and changed into her nightgown, Roslyn thought about their conversation. She opened her desk drawer and lifted out the journal that had been there since the last time she’d written in it, more than three months before. She used to write in her journal on Sundays, and sometimes in between, but after her sister Shelly was killed in a bicycle accident, Roslyn had not felt like writing in it or doing the things they used to do together.

Roslyn looked again at the empty bed in her room. She had other brothers and sisters, but Shelly had been the one closest to her age, and they had shared many interests. She believed that Shelly was now in a wonderful place and happy among others who loved her—Roslyn was glad about that—but she missed her sister very, very much.

Opening her journal, she began to read some of the things she had written. One Sunday’s entry said, “Our family went to Steve’s Cub Scout pack meeting Thursday evening. It was fun. After they gave out the awards, all the families went Christmas caroling and then went back to the meetinghouse for hot chocolate and cookies.”

On another Sunday, Roslyn had written, “Yesterday when Shelly and I finished our morning chores, we fixed sack lunches and went exploring on the cliff by our house. Chips went with us. It was kind of scary because Chips kept running between us and the cliff. He’s a very protective dog. I said a silent prayer that we would be safe—I didn’t want to fall into all those spiky trees and bushes below us! My prayer was answered, and Chips helped Shelly and me eat our picnic lunch as we sat on our hillside ’thrones’ (the big ‘chairs’ we carved in the dirt).”

As Roslyn read, it was as if Shelly was with her again. What a sweet feeling it gave her! She turned to the last entry she had recorded. It was mostly about her brothers, Steve and Wesley: “Today Steve cut a hole in the bottom of one of his old sweatsuits. He stood Wesley behind a little table with a blanket over it. Wesley had the sweatsuit on, but the legs of the pants were on the table. Steve put his arms through the pants legs and put shoes on his hands so that it looked like Wesley’s legs were sitting on the table. He hid behind Wesley and made the legs dance from side to side, up around his face, and all over. We all laughed and laughed.”

The picture of six-year-old Wesley and those funny, dancing “legs” came clearly into Roslyn’s memory, and she began to laugh again, even harder than she had then. It felt good to laugh.

Then she found a pen in her drawer and began to write. She wrote about Shelly’s accident—about losing her best friend, her dear sister. She wrote about how hard it was to still sleep in the same room and to do alone or with someone else some of the things they used to like most to do together. She ended by referring to Moroni and saying that he must have felt even lonelier than she did. “But Moroni is very happy now,” she wrote, “and writing in my journal makes me feel less lonely too.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Jerry Harston