Doing Good to All Men

By T. S. Hettinger

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Whenever I am good and kind And help someone I see, I feel so very happy, For then I’m helping me (Children’s Songbook, page 197).

Christopher stared out the window as the car zipped along the highway. The family was returning from a weekend of visiting relatives. The sun had gone down, and the view of the countryside was quickly disappearing.

“Are you warm enough?” Dad asked. “Do you want me to turn up the heat?”

“I’m OK. I have my blanket and my pillow back here.”

“Did you have a good time with your cousins?”

“Yeah!” Christopher answered. “That was an awesome snowman we built yesterday. I bet it won’t melt until spring!”

“You might be right,” Dad laughed.

“It was fun going to Primary with Joey today too. I asked his class my favorite article of faith question.”

Dad adjusted the rearview mirror so that he could see Christopher in the back seat. “What’s the question?”

“Do you know which article of faith you can see at the circus?”

“Which one?”

“The thirteenth. It says we believe in being honest, true, and chased by an elephant.”

Dad chuckled. “Who taught you that?”

“Sister Egbert. She finds good ways to help us memorize the articles of faith. The thirteenth is really long, so she asked us that question to help us learn it. And now I can say the whole thing.”

“Good for you! Do you know what it means?”

“Well, she explained all the big words. Mostly it just means that we believe in being nice to people and in doing good things.”

“That’s a pretty good explanation.” Dad glanced at Mom, asleep in the seat next to him. “Why don’t you try to get some sleep, too, Son. We won’t be home for about an hour.”

Christopher rested his cheek on the pillow against the side of the car, and pulled his blanket up to his chin. He was almost asleep when the car swerved sharply.

“What happened?” Mom asked, awakened by the jolt.

“A car just cut in front of us and went off the road,” Dad said, breathing deeply. “They barely missed us.”

“We should go back and see if they’re all right,” Christopher said.

“I’m sure they’re fine,” Dad told him. “I saw them come to a safe stop.” “We’ll call the highway patrol when we get to town,” Mom added.

“But what if they’re not all right?” Christopher asked. “What if they need help? We should help them.”

Dad looked at Mom. “He’s right—we should see if we can help.” At the next opportunity he headed back in the other direction.

Christopher pressed his face against the cool window, searching for the car. “There it is!” he shouted when it came into view.

Dad carefully pulled off the road behind it. “You two stay here,” he said. “I’ll be right back.”

Christopher felt uneasy as he watched his father disappear into the darkness. But after just a few minutes, he saw Dad returning with a big smile on his face.

Mom rolled down her window. “What happened?”

“Would you believe it—it’s Brother and Sister Egbert!”

“My Primary teacher?” Christopher shouted. “Is she all right?”

“They’re both fine,” Dad continued, “just a little shaken up. One of their tires blew, and they lost control of the car.” He asked Mom, “Would you move our car up so that the lights shine on their car better?”

Mom slid into the driver’s seat and pulled the car up so that the headlights shone on the flat tire that Dad and Brother Egbert were getting ready to change. Sister Egbert came back and climbed into the seat next to Christopher.

“Thank you so much for stopping,” she said with a shiver.

Christopher handed her his blanket.

“Christopher is the one you should thank,” Mom said. “He insisted that we make sure whoever it was, was all right.”

Sister Egbert turned to Christopher. “Thank you,” she said. “You were the answer to a prayer.”

“You’re the one who taught me that we believe in being nice to people and in doing good things. We were just following the thirteenth article of faith—‘being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and doing good to all men.’ “

“I’m proud of you for learning to say that article of faith,” Sister Egbert said. “But I’m more impressed that you know how to live it.”

Illustrated by Scott Snow