Heidi’s Blessing

By Linda Strain

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    He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them (3 Ne. 17:21).

    Once or twice a year the Wagners drove from their home in Evanston, Wyoming, to the Church Distribution Center in Salt Lake City. Every trip was full of alphabet games and Primary songs. Today’s trip was even more fun. Heidi’s sister, Amanda, was getting married soon, and the family planned to do some extra shopping. Between today’s games, they talked about the wedding, which was going to take place in the Salt Lake Temple.

    Heidi loved to listen to her father and mother talk about the temple. “You can each set a goal to go to the temple,” Dad said. “Even Heidi, as young as she is, should make that one of her most important goals.”

    “Every time I go to the temple, I feel Heavenly Father’s love and know that He will bless me and watch over me,” Mom added.

    Heidi wasn’t completely sure that she understood everything that her parents were saying, but she knew that she wanted to go to the temple someday.

    The Wagners visited the Distribution Center, then drove downtown. As they went past the temple, Heidi had goose bumps when she looked at the beautiful building.

    After lunch they all went shopping. Dad and Daniel went to a sports store, and Heidi followed her mother and sister to a department store, where Amanda tried on dress after dress. Amanda will never pick one, Heidi thought. Tired and bored, she found a nearby nook and settled down on her coat. Soon she was asleep.

    At first when she woke up, she didn’t know where she was. Then she remembered—shopping! She looked all over for her mother and sister. They were gone! She couldn’t even find a clerk to help her.

    Heidi’s heart began to beat faster and faster. Her face felt hot, and she wanted to cry. Then something caught her attention. Was that her mother’s coat going down the escalator? “Mom,” she called, running toward it. But when she reached it and started down, the woman in the coat was gone.

    As Heidi wandered through the store, she saw someone wearing a jacket like her sister’s. Heidi yelled, “Amanda,” but the person kept going and went out the large main doors. Heidi ran after her. She looked up and down the street but didn’t see anyone she recognized. Tears began to fill her eyes. Where was her family?

    She looked at the people waiting for a traffic light to change to “Walk.” That’s when she saw the spires of the temple. She remembered her mother’s words, “Every time I go to the temple, I feel Heavenly Father’s love and know that He will bless me and watch over me.” That sounded like what she needed right now!

    The light changed, and Heidi crossed the street with all the other people. A young man and woman, who were carrying little suitcases like her mom and dad did when they went to the temple, were going into Temple Square toward it, so she followed them. They went past flowers and trees and interesting buildings, one of which had a statue of Christ that Heidi wanted to see. She didn’t dare stop to explore now, though, but followed the young couple out of Temple Square and along the wall until they came to a tall, black, wrought-iron gate. The man turned as Heidi came through the gate behind them. “Hi,” he said. “Are you coming in here too?” He seemed surprised.

    Heidi nodded, “I need to go to the temple.”

    “What’s the matter?” asked the woman. “Are you lost?”

    Tears again filled Heidi’s eyes, and she nodded again. “I need a big blessing, and Mom and Dad always said they get blessings by coming to the temple.”

    The couple took Heidi through the gates and to the doors where a woman dressed in white came to help. She looked like Heidi’s grandma, and Heidi felt better. “She says she needs a temple blessing,” the man explained. “We think she’s lost.”

    “You’re a little young to be coming to the temple alone, aren’t you?” The lady smiled and took Heidi’s hand, Heidi felt warm and safe. Turning to the couple, the older woman said, “She’ll be all right. You go ahead.”

    The couple went down some stairs, and the lady took Heidi into a room near the door. She invited Heidi to sit on a chair. “I’m Sister Chumn,” she introduced herself.

    “What’s your name?”

    “Heidi Wagner.”

    “And why is it that you came to the temple today?”

    Tears built up again in Heidi’s eyes, but she tried to not cry. Sister Chumn picked her up and sat down with Heidi on her lap. “It’s all right. Just tell me, and we’ll see what we can do.”

    “I got lost from my mommy. She told me that if I go to the temple, Heavenly Father will bless me.” Tears ran down Heidi’s cheeks. “I want my mommy.”

    Sister Chumn smiled and hugged Heidi tightly.

    “Where were you before you came to the temple?”

    “Across the street, in a mall with lots of stores.”

    Sister Chumn reached for the phone and dialed a number. After talking to someone for a minute, she hung up and turned back to Heidi. “That was a man who will find your family. I imagine that they’ve been looking everywhere for you. We’ll just sit here and wait until they come.”

    When Heidi’s parents arrived, she ran to them. After long, happy hugs, her parents turned to Sister Chumn and thanked her, and Heidi gave her a big hug. “I’m so glad I came to the temple today. It’s a wonderful place!”

    Sister Chumn smiled at Heidi. “When you get older, you come back and I’ll show you just how wonderful the temple really is. Your mommy is right—the temple does bring blessings from Heavenly Father, and today He blessed you and me and all of us.”

    Illustrated by Jerry Harston