Little Brothers and Temples


Let every man esteem his brother as himself (D&C 38:24).

Deanna’s CTR B teacher held up a picture. “Does anyone know what this is?”

Deanna raised her hand. “The temple.”

Sister Dench smiled. “That’s right. Do you know which temple it is, Deanna?”

“The Denver Temple.” Deanna knew because her mother had hung a picture of it in their home.

“Why do you think Heavenly Father wants us to have temples?”

Mark raised his hand. “So that we can do baptisms for the dead.”

Danny said, “Families can be sealed there.”

“Those are both good reasons,” Sister Dench said. “What can you do now to prepare to go to the temple?”

“Pay our tithing.”

“Go to church.”

“Be honest.”

Sister Dench nodded after each answer. “During the week, I’d like each of you to think of other ways you can prepare to go to the temple.”

Deanna thought a lot about her Primary lesson that afternoon. She wanted to go to the temple someday. On the last Friday of each month, her parents drove to Denver to attend it. When they came home, they always seemed extra happy. They smiled at each other in a special way that made Deanna feel happy too.

She was imagining her own temple wedding, when five-year-old Robbie asked, “Can I use your crayons? I want to draw a picture for Grandma.”

Deanna frowned. “You broke one the last time I let you use them.”

“I didn’t mean to.”

“I don’t care. You can’t use them.”

Robbie turned away, but not before Deanna saw a tear roll down his cheek. She tried to ignore the stab of guilt she felt.

As she helped set the table for dinner that evening, Deanna told her mother about her Primary lesson. “How else can I prepare to go to the temple?” she asked, glancing at the picture of it on the dining room wall.

Her mother placed a casserole dish on the table. She didn’t answer Deanna’s question but asked, instead, “Do you know why Robbie was crying this afternoon?”

Deanna was surprised. Usually her mother wanted to talk about her Primary lesson. “I wouldn’t let him borrow my crayons,” she said reluctantly. “The last time he used them, he broke one.”

“He’s still learning how to color,” her mother said. “You could help him.”

“Are you going to make me share?”

“No, but I hope that someday you’ll want to. One thing we learn in the temple is how important families are.”

Deanna thought about that the rest of the evening. After school the next day, she noticed that three-year-old Kevin had messed up the jigsaw puzzle she’d been putting together. It had five hundred pieces, and it had taken her a long time to do as much as she had.

She started to yell at him, then remembered her Primary lesson. “It’s all right, Kevin,” she said. “I know you just wanted to help me with it.” She went to his room and found a simple wooden puzzle. “Here, I’ll show you how to work this one.” She spent an hour helping Kevin fit the pieces of his puzzle together over and over again.

After dinner, she took her box of crayons to Robbie’s room. “Do you still want to use these?”

He nodded eagerly. She sat down beside him and helped him with his picture.

For the rest of the week, she tried hard to help her brothers. Sometimes they still annoyed her, but they also made her smile—like when Kevin planted a big kiss on her cheek, and when Robbie threw his arms around her and said, “You’re the bestest big sister in the world!”

“How many of you remember what we talked about last week?” Sister Dench asked on Sunday.

Everyone raised his hand.

“What are some ways you thought of that we can prepare now to go to the temple?” she asked.

“Obey the Word of Wisdom,” Danny said.

“Keep the Sabbath Day holy,” Janet volunteered.

“Those are both good ways,” Sister Dench agreed. “Does anyone else have any other ideas?”

Deanna raised her hand. “Be nice to my brothers.” Someone snickered, and she ducked her head in embarrassment.

When she raised her head, she saw that Sister Dench was smiling. “Thank you, Deanna. That’s one of the most important things we can do to prepare to go to the temple.”

“Why is it so important?” Danny asked.

“The temple is about families. How do you think Jesus feels when we can’t get along with our brothers and sisters?”

“He probably feels sad,” Danny said.

“I think you’re right. Jesus wants us to treat our families here the way we’ll treat them in heaven.”

Deanna remembered Robbie’s hug and Kevin’s kiss. She could hardly wait for Primary to be over so that she could tell them how much she loved them.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young