Sharing Susie

(Based on a true story)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17).

“No. Mine!” Eli said loudly and pushed his little fist into my shoulder, hard. “Susie is my bear,” I shouted back. “Grandma gave her to me for my birthday!” I turned away from Eli so he could not grab the bear from me. Then I yelled for Mom.

“Susie, mine! No Hannah!” Eli told Mom with a frown.

“Hannah, I know Susie is your bear,” Mom said. “But Eli doesn’t understand. Could you at least let him hold her today, since it’s his birthday?”

That didn’t sound fair to me. When Susie was new, Eli was just a baby. I let him carry her around and sleep with her in his bed. Pretty soon Eli thought that Susie was his own special bear. He wouldn’t share her with me anymore—not ever.

“Mom, Eli is two years old now,” I said. “He should know how to take turns.”

“We’re going to have to think about this,” Mom said. Then she put Susie up high in the closet so we wouldn’t keep fighting.

That afternoon, when Eli was taking his nap, Mom and I had a good idea. “This means that when you want to play with Susie, you will have to ask Eli,” Mom reminded me.

“I know,” I said. Mom gave me a hug. Then we went down to the basement and found some tissue paper and a bag. Mom let me decorate the bag with markers. “This is going to be so fun for Eli,” I said.

When Eli woke up, we brought him into the living room. “Hannah has a special surprise for you, Eli,” Mom said.

I handed him the bag and he pulled out the tissue paper. At the bottom of the bag he found Susie.

“Susie. Hannah. Me!” Eli said. He smiled and laughed and did his happy dance. He hugged Susie again and again.

“Susie is your bear now,” I told him. “Happy birthday.”

That night Mom and I watched Eli fall asleep with Susie in his arms. Mom squeezed my hand and I felt warm inside. But I wondered how long it would be until Eli would let me play with Susie again.

A few days later we were reading scriptures in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. Mom and I sat on the bed, and Eli stood next to us, holding Susie. We read about being witnesses for Jesus Christ. “To be a witness means that we tell people about Jesus,” Mom explained. “How do we help Eli know about Jesus?”

“We love him,” I said.

“That’s a very good way,” Mom said.

Suddenly, something warm and fuzzy landed in my lap. It was Susie Bear.

“Hannah. Susie,” Eli said, pointing at me.

“Is it my turn to play with Susie?” I asked him.

Eli nodded.

“That’s so nice, Eli,” Mom told him. “Hannah, I think Eli loves you a lot.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “And I love him a lot too.”

[illustrations] Illustrations by Jim Madsen

Jesus Christ Loves Everyone

Instructions: Mount these two pages on heavy white paper, then cut out the picture pages on the broken lines. Punch holes along the sides of the pages as marked. On the back of each mounted picture (except the title page), draw a picture of yourself doing an act of love similar to the one Jesus is doing. As you draw a picture, think of the people you can show love to. Place the picture pages on top of each other with the title page on the top. Line up the holes, and tie your book together with ribbon or yarn.

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

Book of Christ(click to view larger) Book of Christ(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Elise Black

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).

Jesus loves everyone (3 Nephi 17:21–23)

Jesus forgives those who make mistakes (Luke 23:32–34)

Jesus teaches the gospel (Matthew 5)

Jesus serves others (John 13:4–15)

Jesus heals the sick (John 9:1–11)

[illustration] Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Heinrich Hofmann, courtesy C. Harrison Conroy Co. Inc.