“Everyone out to the car,” Mr. Johnson called to his family as he opened the front door. “Church begins soon.”
There was a bustle of last-minute activity as scriptures were gathered up, hair ribbons tied, and sweaters donned. Mrs. Johnson came hurrying from the bedroom, with baby Alice in one arm and her bag of Primary materials in the other.
“Wait for me,” four-year-old Thomas called as he headed to his bedroom to put on his socks and shoes. When he came out of the bedroom, he heard the sound of the car backing out of the driveway. He threw down his shoes and ran to the door, but by the time he got there, the car was rounding the bend in the road. No one saw Thomas slump down in the doorway. Tears filled the corners of his eyes until they spilled down his cheeks. “I was coming,” he cried softly.
When his feet started to get cold, Thomas went inside, shut the door, and locked it. He remembered Mom telling them that they should keep the door locked when she and Dad weren’t home. He kicked one of his shoes angrily as he walked to the couch and threw himself onto it. I wish I had put my shoes on when Mom told me to, he thought sadly. Then I would have been ready when Dad called.
After crying for a few minutes, Thomas began to get frightened. He’d never been at home by himself before. He tried to think about another time when he’d felt frightened and about what he’d done then. A few nights earlier he had had a scary dream. When his mother came into his bedroom to comfort him, she had helped him offer a prayer to Heavenly Father. “You can ask Heavenly Father to give you a feeling of peace any time you are frightened,” she had told him.
He knelt down now by the couch and wiped the tears from his eyes. He folded his arms, closed his eyes, and bowed his head. “Dear Heavenly Father,” he began, “I’m sorry I didn’t put on my shoes and socks when I was told to. Please help Dad come back to get me, and help me to not be afraid. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
He still felt a little nervous as he sat on the couch and looked around the living room. Then he saw the photograph on the piano. He quickly climbed onto the piano bench and picked up the photograph. He sat on the couch and studied it carefully. Then he hugged it close to him. Peace filled his heart.
A few minutes later he heard the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. He knelt on the couch and looked out the big window. It was Dad! His father ran up the steps, unlocked the door, and called out, “Thomas? Where are you, Buddy!”
“I’m right here, Dad.”
“I’m so sorry we left you!” Dad gave him a big hug. “Were you scared?”
“At first,” Thomas admitted. “Then I said a prayer. And then I saw this.” He showed Dad the picture of the family dressed in white, standing in front of the Logan Temple. “I remembered that our family is forever, so I knew you’d be back for me.”
“You weren’t the only one praying, Son,” Dad said with tears in his eyes. “I had a prayer in my heart that Heavenly Father would comfort you until I could get home. And now I see how He did.”
“You put the picture back, and I’ll put on my shoes,” Thomas suggested. “Then we can go to church together.”
“Together forever,” Dad said with a wink.