Nina watched as Sister Kelly struggled to pick up the toys her baby had scattered during sacrament meeting.
Sister Kelly was going to have a new baby soon, and Nina figured it must be hard for her to move around. She wondered how Sister Kelly managed to take care of Emily, especially since Brother Kelly had to travel a lot for his job.
The Kellys had moved into a house down the street from Nina a few months ago. Sister Kelly waved to her each afternoon as she walked home from middle school. Sometimes she stopped and played with two-year-old Emily for a few minutes.
Nina stooped now and began to gather up the toys and put them into the diaper bag.
“Thank you, Nina,” Sister Kelly said, standing with a sigh. “It’s getting harder and harder to bend over.” She smiled as she patted her rounded stomach, but her smile looked tired rather than happy.
How does Sister Kelly take care of Emily? Nina wondered. But what can I do? I’m only eleven years old. I have school all day and homework after that.
Nina thought about it all during Primary. When a girl in her Valiant class told a story about President Spencer W. Kimball,* Nina listened intently.
When the prophet had been waiting in an airport, he noticed a young, pregnant mother struggling to urge her child along in the line. She nudged the toddler along with her foot but didn’t pick her up. Other passengers whispered and pointed at her, but no one offered to help. President Kimball picked up the crying child and comforted her. The woman told him that because of orders from her doctor, she could not lift her child.
Only President Kimball had recognized that the young mother needed help. Only he had offered that help. Never once did he judge her, as the other passengers had.
A wave of pure knowledge swept through Nina, and she knew exactly what to do and how to do it. She spent a lot of time talking on the phone with her friends and watching TV at night. If she gave up those things, she’d have plenty of time to help Sister Kelly for a few hours each day. She could do her homework after the supper dishes were done.
She found her mother after church and explained her plan.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea.” Mom gave Nina a quick hug. “I’ll fix a casserole and send it over. If I double the recipe, they can freeze half of it and have it another night, as well.”
Nina found Sister Kelly after church. Her eyes looked tired, and faint lines creased the corners of her mouth.
“Sister Kelly, may I come over and play with Emily after school for a couple of hours? Oh, and Mom wants to bring a casserole.”
A single tear tracked down Sister Kelly’s cheek. Then another.
Nina didn’t know what to do. Then she remembered that when Mom was expecting her little brother, Jared, she had cried really easily. Nina reached out to touch Sister Kelly’s shoulder. “Is something wrong?”
“No. Something is right!” Sister Kelly dug in her purse for a tissue, then wiped away her tears. She hugged Nina. “I’m crying because I’ve been praying for someone just like you.” The tears fell faster. “You’re an answer to my prayers.”
Nina felt tears well up in her own eyes. “Does Emily like to play with puzzles? My little brother has some wooden ones that he’s outgrown. Maybe I could bring them with me.”
“Emily loves to do puzzles.” Sister Kelly found another tissue and handed it to Nina. “Would you like to come to the nursery with me and tell her the news?”
“I sure would!”
Nina could hardly wait until the next afternoon.
“Like faith, Christlike love is a gift of the Spirit. … Like faith, love must be exercised to grow. … As we … reach out to serve others, the Spirit will refine us and teach us. … President Kimball taught that ‘God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another mortal that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.’”
Elder Robert J. Whetten of the Seventy
(Ensign, May 1999, page 30.)