Who Made This Mess?

I’ll form good habits in my youth, To keep my word, to tell the truth (Children’s Songbook, page 149).

Mommy stopped at Austin’s bedroom door. She looked around the messy room. There were books, trucks, puzzles, blocks, and stuffed animals scattered all over. Mommy stepped over the clutter and into the room. “Austin, did you make this mess?”

Austin looked up from his stack of blocks. “Not me, Mommy.”

“Then who made this mess?” Mommy asked. She knelt down next to a large dump truck. “Dump truck, did you make this mess?”

“Mommy!” Austin giggled. “Dump trucks can’t make a mess. Trucks can’t even talk. But I can.” He snatched up his truck. “Brrrm. Brrrm.” Austin drove the truck into the toy box.

“Who made this mess?” Mommy asked. She scooped up a handful of puzzle pieces. “Puzzle, did you make this mess?”

Austin said, “Puzzles can’t make a mess. Puzzles don’t have fingers to use. But I do. I can pick the pieces up like this.” Austin dumped all the puzzle pieces into their box on the shelf.

“Who made this mess?” Mommy asked. She stood up and leaned over the bookcase. “Books, did you make this mess?”

Austin rolled his eyes. “Books can’t make a mess. Books can’t even jump from high places. But I can.” Austin climbed onto a chair and jumped into Mommy’s arms. She put him down. Austin bent over and picked up some books. He climbed back onto the chair and set the books on the shelf.

“Who made this mess?” Mommy asked. She gathered together three teddy bears. “Teddy bears, did you make this mess?”

“Teddy bears can’t make a mess,” Austin said. “Teddy bears can’t even turn somersaults. But I can.” Austin crouched low, tucked his head under, and flipped over. He stood up, gathered the bears in his arms, and laid them on the windowsill.

“Who made this mess?” Mommy asked. She picked up a stuffed lion. “Lion, did you make this mess?”

Austin said, “The lion can’t make a mess. The lion can’t even give hugs. But I can.” Austin gave Mommy a hug. He took the lion and gently placed it on the bed.

“Know what, Mommy?” Austin said. “Toys can’t make a mess, but I can. I made this mess.”

Mommy leaned over and gave Austin another hug. “Austin, you made this mess. But you cleaned it up, too. You are my big helper.”

Mommy’s face grew serious. “You did something besides making a mess, Austin. You told Mommy a lie. But you cleaned that up, too, by telling the truth. Toys can’t tell the truth. But you can.”

Austin smiled. Being a big helper felt good. Being a truth-teller felt even better.

Valentine for a Prophet

Tell your mother and father why you love the living prophet and what you will do to follow him. Ask them to write or help you write your answers on the lines inside the valentine below. Send the valentine to the Friend (50 East North Temple, 24th floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-3226) by February 28, 2001, and we will publish some of the answers in For Little Friends in June. Please be sure to include your name, age, city, and state or country.

Heart Bracelet

To make this bracelet for yourself or a friend, you will need: a strip of colored paper, 1″ (2.5 cm) wide and 8 1/2″ (21.5 cm) long; scissors; markers, crayons, or glue and glitter; and tape.

  1. 1.

    Fold the paper in half (long ends together), then fold it in half two more times. Crease each fold well.

  2. 2.

    With an older person’s help, cut a heart shape into the folded paper (see illustration). Be sure to leave the hearts connected at both side edges.

  3. 3.

    Unfold the strip of hearts and decorate one side of the paper by coloring designs or gluing on glitter.

  4. 4.

    Wrap the bracelet around your wrist or the wrist of a friend; tape the ends together.

The President of the Church

We have
a living prophet
to guide us in heaven’s ways.
He is
the President of the Church
in these latter days.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young