Lindy burst through the front door. “Mom, I’m home! No more school for the rest of the week, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving!”
Mom smiled and gave her a big hug. That’s when Lindy noticed Dad and her older sisters sitting in the family room.
“Hi, Dad,” Lindy said. “Are you home early because of the holiday?”
“No, sweetheart. Come here and give me a hug, and then I’ll tell you all my news.” Dad smiled calmly. “I lost my job today. I know that’s a little scary, but I’ve already started to work on finding a new one. It may take a while, so we have to be patient and trust in the Lord.”
Lindy’s oldest sister Rebekah started to cry. “Will we have to move?” she asked through her tears.
“I’m going to try to find a new job here first,” Dad said.
“But even if we do end up having to move, remember the last time we moved?” Mom said. “We found great friends and activities here that we didn’t have before. The most important thing is that we go where the Lord wants us to go.”
“That’s right,” Dad said. “We’ll pray for the Lord to guide us, and we can talk about our choices as a family. I think right now the best thing we can do is have a family prayer.”
During the prayer Lindy felt a little better, but she was still scared. She thought a lot about her school, friends, neighborhood, and home.
The next day family and friends came over for Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the adults told Dad they would talk to people at work and see if there were jobs available. Lindy felt good to know there were so many people who cared about them and wanted to help, but she was still worried.
After their guests left, Lindy asked Dad if she could talk to him for a minute. “Are we going to have to leave our house since we don’t have any more money to pay for it?”
“Oh, Lindy,” Dad said, “you don’t have to worry about that. We have money put aside so we can pay for our house until I get a new job.”
A few days later, Lindy went into the room where Mom was ironing clothes. “Mom, you know how we’ve been eating leftovers every night? Well, I was just wondering if that was because … well, because Dad’s not working now.”
“You mean you wonder if we can’t go to the store to buy new food?”
Lindy nodded, looking at the ground.
“Oh, sweetheart,” Mom said, “we have money for food. We just have lots of leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t worry—we will have money for food until Dad gets a new job.”
That night both Mom and Dad came to tuck Lindy into bed. “Lindy, how are you feeling now? Are you still worried?” Mom asked.
“I don’t know. My stomach feels sort of sick. It just feels strange.”
“Lindy, we don’t want you to worry about anything,” Dad said. “Do you remember our food storage in the basement?”
“We have that because we obeyed the prophet when he told us to be prepared. And he didn’t just tell us to prepare by storing food—he told us to get a good education, put money into savings, and prepare spiritually to feel the Lord’s direction in our lives. We have tried hard to do all those things, so we’re prepared for a time like this.”
Lindy looked up at her dad. “Did the prophet really say all those things?”
Mom nodded. “When the prophet warned us to put our houses in order, Dad and I decided to follow his counsel. We don’t spend all the money Dad gets paid. We save some of the money every month for an emergency like this. We haven’t borrowed money to buy things we can’t afford.”
“So here’s our emergency, and we’re ready because we obeyed the prophet,” Dad said. He smiled. “Now we need to listen to the Spirit and trust in the Lord to keep guiding us.”
For the first time, Lindy started to relax. Her stomach didn’t feel strange anymore. She remembered the family home evening they’d had a few weeks before Thanksgiving, when they had talked about things they were grateful for. Even though a sad thing had happened since then, she was even more grateful!
“Dad and Mom, I didn’t really think about how the prophet helps us until now,” she said. “I’m glad you listened to him. I’m not going to worry anymore.”
Dad tucked Lindy’s blankets around her, and Mom sang to her while she snuggled into her bed. She fell asleep hoping it would snow so she and her sisters could build a snowman.
“Many … live within their means, they honor the debts they have incurred, and they strive to reduce the burden they owe to others. We congratulate those who are doing so, for the day will come when they will reap the blessings of their efforts and understand the value of this inspired counsel.”
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” Ensign, May 2004, 41.