A Letter to Grandma


(Based on experiences from the author’s family)
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8).

When Aaron and his family got home from church, the seven-year-old boy asked his mom if he could go down the street and see his friend Toby’s new remote-controlled race car. Mom knelt to his level, looked deep into his eyes, and smiled affectionately. “Whose day is this, honey?”

“Well,” Aaron replied after giving her question some study, “I guess it’s the Lord’s day.”

“That’s right,” Mom answered. “What do you think the Savior would do today if He were here?”

Aaron wrinkled up his face as if trying to squeeze out the right answer. It worked. “He’d help people? Maybe visit someone who was sick … or lonely … or sad?”

Mom’s smile widened, but Aaron sighed unhappily. “I don’t know anybody like that, Mom.”

“I bet Heavenly Father does, honey. Why don’t you ask Him?”

Aaron spoke softly to himself, but his mother heard the words as he drifted toward the living room. “I’m just a little kid, anyway. How can I help anybody?”

When Aaron stepped into the living room he spied their dog, Nick, lying on the floor asleep. Aaron knelt beside the big dog, resting his head on Nick’s slowly rising and falling side. He closed his eyes and prayed, asking Heavenly Father to help him figure out who he could serve. When he opened his eyes, he found himself staring up at a picture of his Grandma McKillop hanging on the wall in a little patch of window light. Her husband, Grandpa Eugene, had died just a few months before, and Aaron’s father had told him that she was very lonely. “I wish we could go visit her today, Nick,” Aaron informed the sleeping dog. “But she lives far away from here, clear over in California.”

His eyes brightened. “I know,” he said, “maybe I could write her a letter.” And with Mom’s help, he did.

Dear Grandma,

Do the raccoons still bang on your sliding-glass door with their fists if you don’t put food out for them by five o’clock? I caught a big bug last week, Grandma. I let him go, and watched him walk down into the turnips. He walked kind of like a wind-up toy. I miss you, Grandma. I love you. And I even like your broccoli. Heavenly Father loves you too. Be happy, Grandma, and good luck with the raccoons. God will bless you for loving His creatures. As Dad says, “We’re all in this together.”

Love, Aaron

One afternoon about two weeks later, when Aaron returned home from school, his mother announced that he had received a letter from Grandma McKillop. Aaron beamed with surprise. “Grandma wrote me a letter?”

His mother laughed. “Unless there’s another Aaron at this address!”

“Can we read it together, Mom?” Aaron asked excitedly, setting his lunchbox on the kitchen table. “Just in case there are any words bigger than I am?”

Mom smiled and nodded, and they sat down together at the table. Aaron opened the letter and began reading, carefully sounding out the words.

My dear, precious grandson Aaron,

Your letter came unexpectedly on a day that was especially difficult for me. You see, I miss your grandpa so. Your heartfelt words lifted my spirits and gave me cause for joy. They were like a warm spray of sunlight on a dark, bleak afternoon. Your letter made my day. You’ll never know what a big difference it made. And yes, I am surviving the raccoons. We are the best of friends, you know. And they also like my broccoli!

All my love, Grandma McKillop

Aaron’s eyes lifted to his mother’s, shining with wonder and delight. “She said my letter made her day!”

Mom’s eyes shone back, and her chin quivered with emotion. “You see,” she said, her voice as shaky as her chin, “a child can help others and do good on the Sabbath day.”

[Good Deeds on Sabbath]

President James E. Faust

“[Jesus taught] that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath. … He performed good deeds on the Sabbath.” President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Lord’s Day,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 33.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Elise Black

Ray Goldrup is a member of the Bennion 15th Ward, Bennion Utah Stake.