Scripture Day


Lord, help me (Matt. 15:25).

“Mommy, Daddy,” Colin said, “get up!”

He tugged harder at his parents’ puffy blue quilt.

Mommy opened her eye for a second, then snapped it shut. Daddy rolled over and said, “Colin, why are you up so early?” Daddy’s voice croaked like a frog, the way it always did in the morning.

“Because I just remembered something important.”

Mommy opened both eyes, and this time she kept them open. “What did you remember?”

“I’m supposed to give the scripture today in Primary.”

Daddy groped for his glasses on the night table, and Mommy pulled the covers tightly around her. “I wish you’d told us yesterday when we were getting ready for Sunday,” she mumbled.

Colin wished that he’d remembered too. But he hadn’t. Maybe it was because he’d never said the scripture before. He hadn’t been in Primary very long.

Daddy rolled out of bed. “Well, Colin, let’s go find a scripture. You can learn one right now and still have plenty of time to get ready for church.”

Daddy and Colin went into the living room and got down the big brown Bible. “How about this one?” Dad said. “Matthew 19:14 [Matt. 19:14]—‘Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’”

“That’s a nice scripture,” Colin said.

“Do you know what it means?” Daddy asked.

“Not exactly, but I think it means that Jesus loves kids,” Colin answered.

“You’re right,” Daddy said. “When some parents had brought their children to be blessed by Jesus, his followers, called disciples, tried to turn them away. But Jesus told them to let the children come to him.”

“That’s a perfect scripture for Primary,” Colin said. “Besides, it’s short.”

Daddy laughed and helped Colin learn the scripture. They worked on it for quite a while. Colin said it slowly and loudly, just like Daddy told him to, until he could say it perfectly. He was ready.

A few hours later, when Colin was sitting in Primary, Sister Marlowe asked him if he was ready with his scripture. Colin grinned and said, “I sure am. I’ve been practicing all morning.”

Sister Marlowe looked happy and asked Colin to sit in the front.

At first it was fun to sit there and look at the other children. Then he noticed how many people there were. The rows were full of children and teachers. Some of the girls and boys were little, like Colin—but some were big! Those big kids won’t listen to me, he thought. They might even laugh at me.

Just then Sister Marlowe announced, “Colin Samuels will give our scripture now.”

Colin walked to the microphone. His knees shook, and his hands were sweaty. His heart pounded so loudly that he wondered if everyone could hear it.

At the microphone, he took a big breath and started to say his scripture. But nothing came out. Not a single word. Colin couldn’t remember anything.

The room got very quiet. Colin was the quietest of all. He felt as if hundreds of eyes were staring at him.

One of the teachers coughed. Colin’s teacher, Sister Lopez, smiled. His best friend, Jacob, squirmed in his chair.

Colin looked at his mommy and daddy sitting in the back row. Daddy was trying to tell him something, but Colin couldn’t tell what it was. Mommy was smiling at him, but she looked a little worried.

Colin turned to Sister Marlowe and whispered, “I can’t remember.” Then he went back to his seat and sat down. His face was burning, and he felt like he was going to cry. How could he have forgotten? He knew it so well when Primary had started.

Sister Marlowe stood up and said, “You know, boys and girls, sometimes if we don’t say something out loud, Heavenly Father still hears us and knows what is in our hearts.”

Colin thought about Heavenly Father listening. Please help me, he prayed in his mind. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Suddenly he remembered his scripture. He jumped up and walked to the microphone. Sister Marlowe looked surprised but put her arm around his shoulders and stood with him while he spoke into the microphone.

Colin looked straight at his daddy and mommy. “Matthew 19:14—‘Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” [Matt. 19:14]

Every word was exactly as he’d practiced it. Daddy and Mommy both smiled. Sister Lopez smiled and winked. Jacob grinned. Even the big kids smiled.

Colin sat down. His knees didn’t shake any more, and his heart stopped thundering. With Heavenly Father’s help, he’d done it! He’d remembered his scripture! He grinned at everyone in Primary—even at the big kids.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young

[illustration] Painting by Theodore Gorka