The Faith of a Sparrow

By Elder H. Bruce Stucki of the Seventy

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(Adapted from an October 1999 general conference address. See Ensign, November 1999, pages 44–45.)We are made alive in Christ because of our faith (2 Ne. 25:25).

I would like to tell you about a baby sparrow that was found lying on the pavement of a parking lot. During the night it had been blown from its nest by a storm.

As it lay there awaiting whatever fate would come, a young woman saw it and picked it up. Feeling sympathy for the helpless bird, she took it home to care for it. She prepared a nest in a basket with soft tissues.

She fed the little bird often, watching it gain strength. Within a few days, it opened its eyes and saw for the first time the girl who fed it and the family who lived in the home. It became accustomed to the sounds around it and was not afraid.

As the days passed, it was able to hop about, and it was taken from the basket and put into a clean birdcage. It trusted the girl and the family, and when it wanted food, it would chirp and flutter its growing wings. When the cage door was opened, it would hop out onto the girl’s hand and sit there patiently while she fed it.

It would sit on her hand even when she went outside to help it become accustomed to the world where it soon would have to live.

When the girl and her sister went to girl’s camp on Cedar Mountain, the bird went with them. It was there that it tried to fly for the first time, flapping from the girl’s hand to the low branches of a nearby tree. But it was always glad to come back to the familiar hand and security of the girl’s love. When the camp was over, the bird came home with the girls and continued its flying lessons.

Realizing that the bird must soon join its own kind, the girl took it out on the front lawn and encouraged it to fly away. It flew across the lawn to a small pine tree, where it perched and looked around. Assuming it would now join the other birds, the girl left it and went back inside.

Soon a chirping could be heard outside. When the girl went out, the bird flew out of the tree and landed back on her hand, and she fed it.

For the next few nights the bird came back to the house and wanted to come in with the family for the night. Soon, however, it began to stay out with newly found friends living in the trees close by the home. But when my daughter, Trinilee, went outside and whistled, it would return and land on her hand.

That little bird and my daughter taught me a great lesson in faith and trust. Although it was just a fraction of the size of its human friend, it trusted her and responded to her beckoning call.

Do we have that kind of trust and faith in the Lord? Do we respond to His beckoning call to serve and be fed at His hand?

I pray that we will show faith and trust equal to that of the little sparrow and respond to the call of the Lord.

Illustrated by Dick Brown