Secret Journal Friend


(Based on a true story)
For a book of remembrance we have written among us (Moses 6:46).

Jody had five older brothers and sisters. When Jody was little, being the youngest was fun because she got special attention. But now that Jody was getting bigger, being the youngest sometimes meant being overlooked.

For example, today when Jody came home from school she had lots of exciting things to tell her mother, but Mom was busy in the garage helping Jody’s brother Derek repair his bike. Later, before dinner, Jody’s oldest sister, Lisa, was in the kitchen with Mom. Lisa was helping fix dinner, chatting endlessly about boys. After dinner, Jody’s sister Amber needed help with her math homework. Then it was time for family prayer, and Jody was off to bed.

On days like these, Jody was grateful she had her secret journal friend. That night she wrote:

Dear Secret Journal Friend,

I wish I could spend more time with Mom. She is always busy with the family, but I wanted to tell her about school today. I got 100 percent on my spelling test, we did gymnastics in P.E., and in art, I made a beautiful flower out of tissue paper. I like my teacher a lot, but I love my mom.

Your friend,

Jody

Jody felt better when she had finished writing. She put the journal next to her bed, said her prayers, and went to sleep.

The next day, when Jody got home from school, her mother wasn’t there. Lisa told her that their sister, Ellen, who shared a room with Jody, had gotten sick and Mom had taken her to the doctor.

When Jody went into her bedroom to drop off her backpack she saw her journal on her pillow. She opened the journal and read the reply from her secret journal friend.

Dear Jody,

Your mom loves you very much too, and wants to spend more time with you. Why don’t you invite her out for ice cream on Friday night? You know how much she likes rainbow sherbet.

From,

Your Secret Journal Friend

Jody smiled. The ice cream was a good idea. It sounded like fun. But right now Jody was worried about her sister. She wanted to do something to make her feel better.

Jody took out her pencil and wrote:

Dear Secret Journal Friend,

I am sorry that Ellen is sick. I want to give her my tissue-paper flower, even though I made it for Mom. Do you think Mom would mind?

Your friend,

Jody

Then Jody remembered something else she was feeling bad about and wrote:

P.S. Today in art I got mad at my friend, Sara, because she spilled my paints. I even pulled her hair. Later I told her I was sorry. Will you still be my friend even when I do bad things?

The next day after school Jody found Ellen resting in their bedroom and gave her the brightly colored flower. Ellen’s eyes lit up and she grinned.

“Thanks, Jody,” Ellen said. “It’s really pretty. It makes me feel cheerful just looking at it.”

Jody smiled. Then she sat down on her bed and started reading her journal.

“What are you doing?” Ellen asked.

“I’m reading a message from my secret journal friend,” Jody told her.

“Your secret friend?” Ellen asked. “I think I saw your secret friend writing in your journal today. Do you want me to tell you who it is?”

“No thanks,” Jody responded. She took her journal out to the living room couch so she could be alone. She sat down and read:

Dear Jody,

I’m sure your mother won’t mind you giving away her flower. She will be very proud of you for being such a thoughtful sister.

From,

Your Secret Journal Friend

(who loves you always, NO MATTER WHAT)

Jody turned to a blank page, thought for a moment, then wrote:

Dear Secret Journal Friend,

Ellen liked the flower. I’m glad I gave it to her. Last night I prayed that she would feel better, and now she does!

I used to wonder how Heavenly Father can hear everyone’s prayers when there are so many people in the world, but now I think I know. Because Heavenly Father loves us no matter what, He will always find a way to answer our prayers.

Then Jody wrote in extra big letters:

I LOVE YOU, MOM!

Thanks for being my secret friend and my mother.

Love,

Jody

P.S. Don’t forget—tonight is ice-cream night!

[Build Family Relationships]

Elder M. Russell Ballard

“Build relationships with your family … through open and honest communication.” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance,” Ensign, May 1987, 15.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Elise Black