“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Larissa yelled to her classmate Eric. She jumped off her bike and raced for the door. Bursting inside, she threw her arms around Mom and blurted, “Eric says I’m not really yours. He says that all of you are white and I’m black, and that we aren’t a real family because we don’t match.” She shoved her arm next to Mom’s to compare. “See!”
Mom hugged Larissa tight. “Maybe Eric doesn’t understand what makes a real family.”
Just then Dad walked in. “What’s wrong? Did you hurt your arm?”
Larissa sobbed. “No! I don’t match you guys, so Eric says we aren’t a real family.”
“Hmm.” Dad held his arm next to Larissa’s. “I guess Eric doesn’t know what makes a real family.”
“That’s what Mom said.” Larissa jerked her arm away. “But maybe he does know. He looks like his family. He says families are supposed to match.”
Allie squeezed through the door, trying to keep the wind and dry leaves outside. “What’s supposed to match?” she asked.
“We are,” Larissa said. “Eric says so, and he should know because his whole family matches.”
“Well, he doesn’t know what makes a real family then,” Allie said.
The door flew open and the wind blew leaves and the twins in together. “Why is Larissa crying?” they asked.
Larissa wailed. “See! Jeremy and Zack match. They look alike, they dress alike, and they even say the same thing at the same time. I don’t match any of you!”
“What?” Jeremy and Zack asked.
“It seems that Eric thinks Larissa doesn’t belong with us because she doesn’t look like any of us,” Dad said.
“Well,” Zack began, “Eric must not know what makes a—”
“It’s true,” Allie interrupted. “We don’t look alike, but there are lots more important qualities for a family to share. We love each other and we help each other. Each of us is special to the other. Isn’t that more important than looking alike?”
“That gives me an idea,” Mom said. “Come to the computer.”
Opening the family history album, Mom pointed to a name on a pedigree chart. “My grandmother, Eleanor Edmonds,” she said. “Let’s see what we can find.” She quickly entered the name “Eleanor Edmonds,” the word “Ohio,” and the year “1882” into the computer.
“Larissa,” Mom said, “please click on ‘search.’”
The computer clicked and whirred and finally, after a few seconds, a box appeared on the screen that read, “NO MATCH FOUND.”
“That’s not right!” Allie said. “Eleanor is your grandmother. How can the computer say there’s no match?”
“What would the computer use to match families together?” Mom asked.
“Names!” the twins said.
“Dates and places,” Dad added.
“Then why did it say no match found?” Allie asked.
“The computer has to have all the right information to match her to us. I entered Ohio as Eleanor’s birthplace. Actually, she was born in Nebraska. Because the computer had the wrong information, it couldn’t make a match. But no matter what the computer says, I have all the information I need to know that Eleanor is my grandmother.”
“Oh, I get it,” Larissa said slowly. “Eric doesn’t think I belong in this family because he doesn’t have the right information.”
“That’s right,” Mom said. “He does not know that Heavenly Father wanted you to be with us and made sure we could adopt you and be sealed as a family in the temple.”
“We match because of more important things than our hair and our eyes and our skin,” Dad said. “We are a family because we followed God’s plan for us.” He held up the family history album and pointed to a photo. “This is Eleanor Edmonds, Mom’s grandmother.”
“Wow!” the twins said.
“She doesn’t look anything like you, Mom,” Larissa said. “Your hair is straight, your skin is dark, and your eyes are brown. Her hair is curly, her skin is fair, and her eyes are light.”
“That’s right, honey. When I was growing up she lived next door. I learned that she and I are a lot alike in ways that are far more important than looking alike.”
“Poor Eric,” Larissa said. “He doesn’t know that looking alike doesn’t even matter.”
“And the best part is that we can be a family forever, no matter what we look like,” Dad said.
“Cool!” the twins shouted.
Larissa smiled. “We’re a perfect match!”
“Our sense of belonging to one another … foreshadows our belonging in the eternal family of God. … Belonging can be forever, because love can be forever.”
Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy, “The Waning of Belonging,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 72.