McKay and the Whale

(Based on a true story)
“I am sorry” is not always easy to say (Children’s Songbook, 98).

McKay felt terrible! He had been playing with his bubblegum and gotten it all over his hands. Then, to make matters worse, he had wiped the bubblegum off his hands and onto his bedroom wall. He knew his mother and father would be coming to tuck him into bed any minute, and he was afraid. He didn’t want to get into trouble, so he piled a toy box and some toys on top of each other until they hid the bubblegum mess.

When Mother walked into his bedroom, she said, “McKay, why are your toys stacked up like that?”

He shrugged his shoulders, hoping she wouldn’t figure it out.

Father came in and sat next to McKay on the bed. “Well, shall we read scriptures?” he asked.

“Yes,” McKay said. He loved reading with his parents every night.

Father began to read the story of Jonah and the whale. * McKay closed his eyes and listened. He could understand why Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh and teach his enemies about the gospel. That would be a scary and hard thing to do.

McKay’s father read about Jonah running away so that he wouldn’t have to obey God. But God knew where Jonah was no matter where he went. Heavenly Father had to send a whale to swallow Jonah in order to teach him a lesson.

McKay frowned. He thought about Jonah trying to run away and hide from God. McKay remembered the bubblegum mess on the wall. Even though his mother and father couldn’t see it, Heavenly Father could. “Mom, Dad,” McKay said, “I’m hiding something.” He went to the wall and uncovered the mess.

“Yikes!” Mother said. “I’ll get a washcloth and some cleaner.”

Father shook his head. “Why did you try to hide that?” he asked.

“Because I was afraid, and I didn’t want to get into trouble. I’m sorry.”

Mother handed him the washcloth. “Here,” she said. “I’ll spray the cleaner. You scrub.”

After he finished cleaning the wall, McKay knelt with his parents and said a prayer. Then, he climbed into bed. “I’m glad you learned a lesson tonight,” Father said.

McKay smiled and said, “And I didn’t even have to be swallowed by a whale!”

His parents laughed and kissed McKay good night. McKay didn’t feel terrible anymore. In fact, he fell asleep feeling great.

  •   *

    See Jonah 1–3 and “Jonah and the Whale Cutouts,” page 17.

  • [illustrations] Illustrated by Matt Smith

    Jonah and the Whale Cutouts


    Remove this page from the magazine, mount it on heavy paper, then cut out the figures. Use a brass paper fastener to attach the whale’s jaws together where indicated. If you want to use the cutouts with a flannel board, glue flannel to the back of the figures. For stick puppets, glue wooden craft sticks on the backs of the cutouts. These figures can help you tell the story of Jonah in a family home evening lesson or Primary talk (see Jonah 1–3).

    Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed from the Internet at Click on Gospel Library.

    Paper cutouts(click to view larger)

    Illustrated by Matt Smith

    Jonah Ship to Tarshish Sailors Whale People of Nineveh

    Tommy Likes 2 Share

    Picture story(click to view larger)

    Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki

    Tommy likes to share his blocks.
    Tommy likes to share his top.
    Tommy likes to share his rocks.
    Tommy likes to share his pop.
    Tommy likes to share his ball.
    Tommy likes to share his glove.
    Tommy likes to share his doll.
    Tommy likes to share his love.

    Plastic Play Dough

    This dough will dry to a hard, plastic-like consistency. You can make beads, animals, paperweights, or any other treasure that you want to last.

    1/4 cup white glue

    1/4 cup water

    10 drops food coloring of your choice

    1/4 cup flour

    1 cup cornstarch

    1. 1.

      Cover the work area with waxed paper or a plastic tablecloth.

    2. 2.

      In a medium bowl, mix together the glue, water, and food coloring.

    3. 3.

      Mix the flour and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Then add to the wet mixture and mix until a stiff dough forms. (If you live in a humid climate, you may need to use less cornstarch.)

    4. 4.

      Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute.

    5. 5.

      Mold the dough into shapes. If the dough becomes too dry, wet your hands. When you are finished with your creation, let it finish air-drying until thoroughly dry and hard. Drying time varies according to the size and thickness of the object.

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki