Brother Dan

Based on a true story
One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8).

Daniel dressed quickly in his Sunday clothes. He knew how to button his shirt all by himself. He pulled his sweater carefully over his shirt and straightened the collar on the outside, just like Mom had shown him. He couldn’t tie his Sunday shoes all by himself, but he could get started. Mom would be coming into the living room with the video camera in just a minute to videotape Daniel on his first day of Primary.

Looking into the mirror, Daniel liked the clean, neat little boy who looked back at him. The only thing missing was a necktie. He wished he had one just like Dad’s. Then he would be really grown up.

Daniel knew that Mom had to take care of his little brother before she could come and videotape him. He felt very big getting dressed by himself. Now he could help Mom on Sundays even more, just like a grown-up man. Men in the Church were called “brethren.” Or if you were talking about just one all by himself, he was a “brother.” Now that Daniel was going to be in Primary, he felt like one of the brethren.

“OK,” Mom said, coming in with the video camera. “Why don’t you sing ‘Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam’?” (Children’s Songbook, pages 60–61.)

Daniel frowned. “I don’t want to sing that.”

“But you’re a Sunbeam now,” Mom told him. “And all the children sing.”

“The big kids, too?” Daniel asked.

“Of course.”

Daniel sang “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” as loudly as he could. He showed Mom how he was going to sit during Primary with his arms folded reverently. He walked back and forth in front of the camera to show how he would walk to his Sunbeam class. He felt very good and big inside.

“Well,” Mom said, turning the camera off, “it looks like you’re ready for Sunbeam class.”

Daniel beamed.

“Thank you very much, Mr. Daniel Dee Roper,” Mom told him.

Daniel looked crushed. “Mom, I’m not Mr. Daniel Dee Roper!” he cried out.

Mom was surprised. “Well, if you’re not Mr. Daniel Dee Roper, who are you?”

Daniel put his hands on his hips in exasperation. “I’m Brother Daniel Dee Roper!”

Mom nodded. “You’re right,” she said. “From now on we’ll call you Brother Dan.”

[Spirit Brothers and Sisters]

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“All men and women on this earth are the [children] of God, spirit brothers and sisters. What a powerful idea!” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles From an October 1995 general conference address.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young