It was just a normal Sunday morning until we entered the classroom. Our new Primary teacher, Brother Smith, was waiting for us.
“We’re going on a field trip today,” he announced after Sue gave the opening prayer. He put on his coat, grabbed his cane, and walked out the classroom door. “The bishop has given us special permission.”
Brother Smith had a twinkle in his eye, but he’s old and walks with a cane, so we didn’t have a hard time keeping up with him.
“Where are we going?” I asked as we went out the foyer doors and started down the walk.
“To a very special library,” explained Brother Smith, the twinkle in his eye getting brighter.
Our town had just opened a new library, but I hadn’t been to it yet. This was going to be fun! Then I remembered something. “The library is closed today—it’s Sunday!”
Brother Smith smiled as we reached the parking lot. “This library is open whenever someone wants to read and learn.” We all looked at each other with surprise; nothing in our town was opened that often!
“What kind of library is it?” asked David. David’s father was a lawyer, and he knew that lawyers had their own libraries full of law books.
“It’s a sacred library,” Brother Smith answered.
“You mean the meetinghouse library?” asked Sue, looking back. Her mother was the meetinghouse librarian, and she knew that it had lots of books and pictures and tapes about gospel subjects.
“No, not the meetinghouse library.” Brother Smith took out his keys and opened his van. “Everyone in!” We all piled in, jockeying for the window seats, as Brother Smith explained more about his mysterious library. “It has two rooms—an ‘old’ room and a ‘new’ room.”
“Our new city library has two rooms just for children’s books!” Jared piped up.
“This sacred library doesn’t have many books,” Brother Smith said. “In fact, it has only sixty-six.”
“We have more books than that at home!” exclaimed Justin.
“In the old room there are thirty-nine books,” Brother Smith continued with a smile.
“What kind of books?” asked David.
“Well, the first five are often called ‘The Law.’”
“My dad uses law books,” David bragged.
“These law books teach us God’s laws. They teach us about the Creation and about Adam and Eve. They also teach us about Moses and the laws God gave to him.” Brother Smith paused, but none of us said anything, so he continued, “There are twelve history books that tell us how the people were blessed when they obeyed God and how they were punished when they didn’t obey.”
“Is there any poetry?” Michelle asked. “I like poetry.”
“Yes,” Brother Smith replied, “there are four poetry books and another of wise sayings.”
By now I’d noticed that Brother Smith hadn’t started the engine; we were just sitting in the van, talking.
“And the last collection of books in the old room of the sacred library is seventeen books written by prophets.”
“What do they say?” Justin asked.
“They teach the people to obey God, and they tell us about future events.”
By now most of the class realized we weren’t going on an ordinary field trip. But we still wanted to know about this sacred library.
“Now, in the new room of this library,” Brother Smith continued, “there are only twenty-seven books.”
“Yes,” said Sue, “and four of them are history!”
Unlike me, Sue seemed to know what Brother Smith was talking about.
“Actually, there are five history books,” he told her, “but in four of them, sometimes called the Gospels, four different authors tell the story of Jesus and his life and teachings.”
“What are the rest of the books?” I asked.
“They are letters from church leaders to church members who lived in different places,” Brother Smith explained, pleased to see that I was interested.
“Where is this library?” I asked.
“In my hand.” Brother Smith held up a book.
“The Bible!” David announced.
“The Holy Bible,” Michelle added.
“The Holy Bible,” Brother Smith agreed. “In the Greek language, bible came to mean ‘divine library.’”
“The Old Testament and the New Testament are the two ‘rooms’!” I exclaimed.
“What did you learn today in Primary?” my mom asked later that day. She always asks, and in the past, I didn’t remember very often.
“We learned that we carry a whole library to church,” I answered proudly.
Mom gave me a funny look. But then Dad whispered, “Brother Smith’s his new Primary teacher,” and her puzzled look changed to one of understanding.
I can’t wait to go to Primary next week. Brother Smith says he’s going to take us on another field trip.