Your faith groweth exceedingly (2 Thes. 1:3).
Paige shrugged off her backpack, kicked off her shoes, and slumped onto a kitchen stool. “What? No hug? No kiss? No demand for an after-school snack?” Paige’s mother teased. When Paige didn’t respond with a smile, her mother became serious. “Did something happen at school today?”
Paige lifted one shoulder.
“Is it about the play?”
Paige nodded slowly.
“You didn’t get the part, did you?”
Paige shook her head. Her mother wrapped her arms around her. “Honey, I’m sorry. I know how much you wanted to be Dorothy and how hard you practiced. What part did you get?”
“Well, that’s not so bad. You’ll be a wonderful munchkin. You can ham it up and make it fun.”
“I guess,” Paige said, leaning on the counter. “Something’s bothering me more than not being Dorothy, though.”
“Well, you know how you and Dad have always taught me that if I want something, I need to work hard and do all I can do to make it happen, right?”
“Then I need to pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ and ask Him to help me.”
“Yes,” Mom said slowly.
“If I have enough faith, Heavenly Father will bless me. Well, I worked hard. I practiced as much as I could, and I did my best at the audition. I had faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus could help me get the part. They can do anything—I know They can. At least I thought I did. I didn’t get the part, so does that mean I don’t have enough faith?”
“Oh, Paige, that’s not what it means at all.” The timer above the stove started beeping. “Just a minute, honey. I need to punch down the bread dough.” Mom lifted the towel covering the bowl of dough. “Oh, no!”
“What happened, Mom?”
“The dough didn’t rise. I can’t make bread out of it now.” Mom drummed her fingers on the countertop, then smiled. “The dough should work for scones.” Paige’s mother placed a pan on the stove, filled it with oil, and began heating it.
Paige smiled for the first time since coming home. “I’m glad the dough didn’t rise. Scones taste better than bread.”
“You know, I worked hard on that bread dough,” Mom said as she flattened small balls of dough into circles and gently placed them in the hot oil. “I followed the recipe, and I tried to make the best bread dough I could. I had faith that it would rise. But it didn’t. Does that mean that I just didn’t have enough faith?”
“I don’t think so,” Paige said. “And something better came from it.”
“Sometimes Heavenly Father has plans for us that are different from what we think we want. Even if we work hard and have faith, He doesn’t always bless us in the way we think that we want Him to.”
“But being a munchkin isn’t better than being Dorothy.”
“You need to try faith again, Paige.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need to have faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know things that you don’t, that They know what will be best for you in the long run. Do you think that you can have that kind of faith?”
“Good.” Mom set a piping hot scone onto a plate, dropped a glob of butter and dribbled honey onto it, and set it before Paige. “Would you like the first scone?”
The next week during play rehearsal, while the children playing Dorothy and the other lead characters were practicing their lines, Paige painted scenery with the rest of the munchkins and the flying monkeys. She turned to the girl next to her. “Could you pass the green, please, Trisha?”
“Sure.” Trisha set the paint can between them, and the girls dipped their brushes into it together. Trisha sighed as she gazed toward the stage where the other children were practicing.
“Did you want to be Dorothy, too?” Paige asked.
Trisha shook her head. “I wanted to be the Wicked Witch of the West. I would have scared everyone with my cackle.” She cackled wickedly, and Paige laughed.
“That was super! I can’t believe Mrs. Mullen didn’t choose you for the witch after hearing your cackle.”
“I didn’t do it at the audition. I didn’t even try out for the witch. I overheard Sylvie talking about how much she wanted to be the witch, so I decided not to compete against her.”
“Wow, that was nice!”
Trisha shrugged. “It’s what I think Jesus would have wanted me to do. In my church we learn to ask ourselves, ‘What might Jesus want us to do?’ and try to do it.”
“We learn the same thing at our church.” Paige smiled a bit ruefully.
“Really?” Trisha’s eyes grew wide. “I thought you were a Mormon.”
“I am. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. You see, the real name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
“It is? I’m glad I know that now.” Trisha paused. “I like talking to you about church and stuff. We never would have had this chance if we had been given the parts in the play we wanted.”
Paige froze for a moment, paint dripping from her brush back into the can. “I have another scone,” she whispered.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Sorry—I was just thinking about something my mom and I talked about.” Paige began painting again. “This year, at church, we’re learning how to have more faith in Jesus Christ.”
“Is it working?” Trisha asked. “Do you think you have more faith now than you did before?”
“Yes,” Paige said, smiling confidently. “I know I do.”