Carly pretended to study her long division, but her mind was on Sara. What do you do for a friend whose mother had died?
Carly and Sara had been best friends since they were in preschool. They’d learned to ride bikes together, taken tap-dance lessons together, and done almost everything together. Carly felt as welcome in Sara’s house as she felt in her own.
But two months ago, Sara’s mother had died. Carly knew her friend was still hurting because Sara had a funny kind of look on her face all the time—the kind that made Carly want to cry.
She wanted to buy Sara a special gift, but she didn’t have very much money. Maybe she could do some extra chores and earn some money that way.
Carly hurried home after school, eager to ask her mother.
“I know you want to help,” Mother said after Carly explained her plan. “But the kind of hurt Sara has won’t go away by buying her a present.”
“I know,” Carly said. “I just wanted to remind her that I love her.”
Carly thought more about that. How could she best show Sara that she cared? She recalled the blessing her father had given her when he confirmed her a member of the Church: “I bless you with the power of understanding. Use it to bless the lives of others.”
Understanding. Carly understood some things that Sara should know.
The next day, Carly wrote her testimony on the inside cover of a copy of the Book of Mormon. She tucked it inside her backpack.
As usual, Carly and Sara sat next to each other in the cafeteria at lunch. “I have something for you,” Carly said. She handed Sara the Book of Mormon.
Sara gave Carly a strange look. “What’s this?”
“It’s one of the scriptures we have in our church. We use it along with the Bible.”
Sara opened the book to the page where Carly had written her testimony. She read it, then looked up at her friend. “You never talked about your church before.”
Embarrassed, Carly nodded. “I know.”
“Why are you giving this to me now?” Sara asked. “Because of Mom dying?”
Carly nodded again. “Reading the Book of Mormon makes me feel good inside. I want you to have that feeling too.”
“What kind of feeling?”
Carly hesitated. She had never tried to explain the feelings she had when she read the scriptures. “The kind that makes you feel good right here.” She placed a hand over her heart.
The bell rang, signaling the end of the lunch period.
The next day, Sara asked Carly more questions about the Book of Mormon. A soft happiness enfolded Carly. She knew she had given Sara the right gift.
Illustrations by Dilleen Marsh