Trying to Be Like Jesus

By Vinny Ken Muramatsu de Oliveira

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

Helping Mom

When I was five, my mother had a problem with her back and she could not stand up for very long. One afternoon after lunch she and my two-year-old sister, Dafne, fell asleep.

I was playing a video game—my favorite thing to do. When I was playing the best part of the game, I thought about my mom. She always has to keep the house clean. Now her back was hurting her a lot. I thought I should help her and surprise her when she woke up.

I stopped playing my game. I went into the kitchen, stood on a chair, and started to wash the dishes. There were lots of dishes, but I thought Mom could sleep some more if I did this for her.

I was still washing dishes when I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Mom, asking what I was doing. I told her I was helping her back get better, and she started to cry. Then she said she was very happy because I wanted to help her. She hugged me and said that Jesus was happy about what I was doing.

I learned in Primary that we should be like Jesus. I never understood very well what I should do to be like Him. But because I helped Mom, I learned that the Holy Ghost helped me get the idea to help my mother when she needed it. The Holy Ghost helped me be like Jesus.

[illustration] Vinny Ken Muramatsu de Oliveira, age 9, is a member of the Kariya Ward, Okazaki Japan Stake. (Illustrated by Gregg Thorkelson.)

Touching Hearts

Four-year-old Jayde Cluff’s sixty-cent donation to help victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack touched hearts across the nation and inspired others to donate, too.

When Jayde, who was living in Utah, saw a news broadcast of the attack, she was very sad. Three days later, while walking to preschool, she gave her mother a handful of dimes and said, “Mommy, this can help the people who were hurt in those towers.” Her mother knew that Jayde had been saving her ten-cents-a-week allowance for a long time. “That’s the money you’ve been saving for your doll,” she reminded Jayde. “Send that money to New York,” Jayde said.

So the next day, Jayde and Mommy taped the six dimes to a letter to the New York City mayor, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Mommy wrote, “I know this contribution is only pennies, but we are a family of little means, and this is my daughter’s greatest treasure. Please send it where it can help someone.”

Word of Jayde’s sacrifice reached the manufacturer of the doll she wanted, and they sent her 17 dolls and clothing and other things for them in a box taller than she was. Moments after opening the box, Jayde drew out a particular doll and told her mother, “This is the doll, Mommy. This is the one I want to give to the little girl who lost her daddy,” referring to a firefighter’s little girl whom Jayde had seen on television. Jayde’s parents were able to locate the girl and send her the doll so that it arrived on her birthday.

A hotel worker heard about what Jayde was doing, and his heart was touched. He sent her another doll. A New York police officer sent her some police badges and another doll. More dolls came from other people whose hearts were touched. Altogether, she received 46 dolls and other toys and gifts!

Jayde gave all of the things to grieving families and to other needy children. Mommy talked to the families to learn which doll would be best for each child. If there was a boy in the family, a different toy was sent for him. Children who lived as far away as Washington and Arizona received dolls from Jayde. Some went to the local Toys for Tots organization.

And Jayde’s effort to be like Jesus Christ inspired her sisters, too. They have raised money by doing chores. Jayde’s sixty-cent donation came from her heart—and touched the hearts of many people all across the nation.

[photo] Jayde Cluff, age 4, is now living in the Koiwa Ward, Tokyo Japan East Stake.