Trying to Be Like Jesus

By Donna Nightingale

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He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

Helping Others

Amy is in first grade, and she is new in her school. During the first week of school, a boy in her class dropped his lunch tray. Amy left the lunch line to help him pick up the mess. Then she went back to the lunch line with him and helped him get a new lunch.

Her teacher says that Amy is always kind and helpful to her classmates. One day a girl spilled her snack on the floor. Amy went over and helped her clean it up. She told the girl, “It’s OK. It happens to everybody.”

Amy wouldn’t tell you about these things, but if you asked her about them, she’d say, “That’s why I’m on this earth—to help people and to help them have fun.”

[photo] Amy Nightingale, age 6, is a member of Oakdale Ward, Oakdale Minnesota Stake.

My Brother’s Keeper

My little brother, Jacob, and I do everything together. We are two years apart but almost the same size. People always ask if we are twins.

One day when we were playing, Jacob cut his finger really bad. We rushed inside to run water on his finger. While Mom checked his finger, I put my arm around him to make him feel better. He was really scared.

Mom decided that Jacob needed to go to the hospital so that they could treat his finger. Our neighbor offered to watch our little sister and asked if I wanted to go with them. I looked at Jacob. He begged me to go with him. Even though I knew it would be a long wait at the hospital, I decided to go with him. He needed me.

On the way to the hospital, Mom had me say a prayer for Jacob. When we arrived, I tried to make sure he was comfortable. We brought a water bottle with us, and I made sure I offered him lots of drinks to take his mind off his finger.

When we finally saw the doctor, I was a little scared. I didn’t know if my brother would need stitches. I knew it might hurt.

While they worked on Jacob’s finger, he screamed and cried. Mom didn’t want me to watch, so I stayed in a corner of the room while she held Jacob’s hand. Seeing him in pain made me cry, too.

Soon Jacob’s finger was bandaged and we were able to go home. Mom told me that I had been “my brother’s keeper.” She said that in a small way, I had felt how Jesus feels about us when we are sad and hurting. I am glad I was able to be there for my brother when he needed me.

[photo] Jacob and Cody Seth Hatchard, ages 6 and 8, are members of Casa Grande Second Ward, Casa Grande Arizona Stake.

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

Taylor seems to have a special “gift” for playing basketball and has been shooting hoops ever since he could walk. In 2001, he and his family moved to a town near Atlanta, Georgia, where they have been glad for the opportunity to share the gospel with many new friends and neighbors.

Since moving there, Taylor has had the opportunity to play on both a city and an all-star basketball league. He enjoyed playing on both teams but decided it would be more challenging to try out for the city Elite Basketball Team. Knowing that only twelve boys would make the team, he practiced hard. He was thrilled when he made the team. His parents were happy for him and were committed to his schedule of practicing two hours a day, three days a week for the next five months, when the season would be over.

Then his mom received a phone call from his new coach. He told her that one of the three practice days each week would be on Sunday and that attending all practices was mandatory. He knew that Taylor was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said that he was sorry that one practice day was on Sunday. He knew that Taylor was one of the best players on the team and had been looking forward to being his coach. Even so, he would try to understand if the decision was made to not attend the practice and have to leave the team.

Taylor was heartbroken. He wanted very badly to play on the team. He had earned his position and felt it was unfair to have practices on Sundays. However, he was a baptized member of the Church and had covenanted with Heavenly Father to choose the right and keep the commandments. He knew that if he kept the Sabbath Day holy, Heavenly Father would bless him.

He decided to keep the Sabbath Day holy. His dad called the coach, and the coach was sorry but said that he understood.

Later that evening, Taylor’s dad received a phone call from the coach. The high school basketball coaches who oversee the city Elite Team were running the drills during Taylor’s tryouts. When they learned that Taylor was giving up his place on the team because of his religious beliefs, they decided to make an exception to the rule for him. They allowed Taylor to miss every Sunday practice and still be eligible to start in the games as the point guard.

Taylor was overcome with happiness—and gratitude, for he knew he had witnessed a miracle. He had set a wonderful example for his family, friends, coaches, and team. Best of all, he knows in his heart that he truly did make the right choice, whether he was on the team or not.

[photo] Taylor Peterson, age 11, is a member of Dacula Ward, Lilburn Georgia Stake.