Joseph V.’s great-grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease. That means that she can’t remember things and sometimes doesn’t recognize people. Joseph started keeping a journal about his experiences with his great-grandmother’s illness, and then he wrote a book. Because of his book, My Grandma Has Alzheimer’s Too, Joseph has been in the newspaper, on the radio, and on TV. Now his book is going to be published.
Joseph says, “When the media ask me how my book started, I tell them first I kept a journal for two years then started to write my book. Then they say, ‘How did an 11-year-old boy learn to keep a journal?’ I tell them, ‘My church.’ ”
Joseph is happy that he can bring people’s attention to the disease and to the Church. He also wants to encourage young people to keep records and journals.
I Will Not Partake of Things that Are Harmful to Me *
Every Friday my class has “Food Fun Friday” when someone brings in a special snack that goes with our reading story. One Friday I was offered tea to drink. I asked, “Do I have to drink this?” My teacher said, “You can at least try it.” But I didn’t drink it.
A few days later my dad e-mailed my teacher explaining that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we don’t drink tea or coffee. My teacher e-mailed my dad saying she was glad I stood up for myself. I am glad I am striving to follow God’s plan.
For my sixth birthday, I got some money from my friends and family. I put some of it in my mission-fund bank account, and my mummy gave me some of it to spend. My sister and I went to the toy shop, and she saw a toy that she wanted but did not have any money. So I spent my birthday money and bought the toy for my sister. I love my sister, and I know that Heavenly Father is happy when we sacrifice for one another.
A few years ago our family decided to hold a special fast for the victims of a faraway natural disaster. I proposed that after our fast, we give the coins in our savings jars to the Church’s humanitarian fund. We have two jars that we put coins in. One is a courtesy jar, and each time someone helps or does a kind deed, I put a coin in the jar. At the end of the year we normally use the money in this jar for a fun family activity. The other jar is a rudeness jar, and each time someone is grouchy or quarrels, he or she puts a coin in the rudeness jar. The money in this jar is donated to children in need.
When we began our fast, we also began to count our coins. Leonardo, age 9, then went and got his own bank. He took all of his money and some of his toys and said that he wanted to donate them too. Mariana, age 12, also got her money to add to the donation. Although the children had only a few dollars to give, it was all that they had.
Fasting is a sacrifice for Leonardo and Mariana, and so was giving up the jar money. But when they donated their own savings, I knew that they truly cared about Heavenly Father’s children suffering on the other side of the world.
Photo illustration by Matthew Reier