It was Easter morning, and Peter was grumbling.
He had looked everywhere, but he couldn’t find his favorite black church socks. Instead, he put on the only socks he could find—white ones with holes in the toes—and walked into the kitchen.
“Mom, can you pour me some cereal?” Peter asked as he plopped into his chair.
His mother and his stepfather, Jack, were dressing his two baby brothers, who were screaming so loudly it hurt Peter’s ears.
“Peter, can you do it yourself, please?” his mom answered. “I’m really busy.”
Peter understood that he needed to do his part to help at home. He knew Mom couldn’t do as much for him as she did before the babies were born. Sometimes it seemed to Peter as if nobody noticed what he was doing, but he tried to choose the right anyway.
As Peter poured the milk, he spilled some on his shirt and pants. He grumbled as he grabbed a towel and tried to wipe himself off.
Peter hadn’t always been grumbly. His grumbling started around the time his parents divorced and Dad moved to another state. After Mom married Jack, Peter got twin baby brothers who seemed to take up all of Mom’s time. It seemed Mom and Jack were always feeding the babies, dressing them, or getting them ready for bed.
Sometimes Peter felt sad and alone. Even though he was eight years old, he still wished someone would help him do things like thread his belt through all the loops of his pants or comb his hair the right way. Sometimes at night, when he heard Mom singing a lullaby to his little brothers, he wished she would sing to him too. Peter wished things could go back to the way they used to be. This is why he grumbled.
As his family walked to church, Peter kicked at the rocks on the sidewalk. He followed Mom and Jack, who were carrying the babies. In sacrament meeting, Peter didn’t feel like listening to the talks. He drew pictures in his notebook instead.
Later, Peter was talking to his friend Thomas in Primary class when his teacher said something that made him stop.
“Jesus knows and loves all of us,” Sister Jones said.
Peter didn’t believe her. “He doesn’t know me!” he said.
Sister Jones turned to Peter. She said softly, “Peter, Jesus knows everything about you. He knows you have two baby brothers that you help take care of. He knows you are having a hard time and feeling lonely. And He knows that you help your mom and dad because you want to do what’s right.”
Peter hadn’t thought anybody knew all those things about him, especially the part about being lonely but still trying to choose the right. But as he listened to Sister Jones’s words and saw her kind smile, a warm feeling pushed out the lonely, grumbling feelings inside him.
“Peter, if you are feeling happy, then you are feeling the Holy Ghost,” Sister Jones said. “He is telling you that what you are hearing is true—Jesus does know and love you.”
Peter knew he was feeling the Holy Ghost. It made him feel happy to know that Jesus really did know him and love him.
After Primary, Peter walked home from church with his family like he always did. Mom and Jack carried the babies while Peter walked behind. But now he understood that he never really walked alone—Jesus knew everything about him and loved him.
Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the Seventy
“Count Your Blessings,” Ensign, May 1984, 73.
Illustrations by Mark Robison