The Memory Box


And [Elijah] shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:6).

Sara quietly climbed into her family’s car after church. She sighed and leaned her head against the window.

“Why are you so sad?” Mom asked.

“Today in Primary Jonathon gave a talk about families. He talked about his grandma and the things they do when they are together. It made me think of Grandma and how much I miss her.”

“I miss her too,” Mom said.

“I know that I’ll see her again someday,” Sara said, “but right now I miss her so much. I wish I could still do things with her.”

As they walked into the house, Mom put her arm around Sara and said, “Wait in the living room. I have something to give you.”

Sara was very curious.

Mom came into the room carrying a sack. Sitting on the couch next to Sara, Mom reached inside the sack and pulled out a small wooden box. She put it on Sara’s lap.

“What’s this?” Sara asked.

“It’s a memory box,” Mom said.

Sara opened the box, but there was nothing inside.

“One thing that helps me feel better when I am missing Grandma is to think about all the special things I did with her,” Mom said. “Why don’t you see if you can find things to put into the memory box that remind you of her? When you’re feeling sad, you can open the box and remember some of the wonderful things about her. You’ll still miss her, but maybe it will help.”

Sara took the box to her bedroom. She started to remember special things about Grandma. She spent much of the evening gathering things for her box.

The next morning at breakfast, Sara asked Dad if she could share something during family home evening that night.

“Definitely,” Dad said. “What do you want to share?”

“You’ll have to wait and see,” Sara said, smiling.

That night, during family home evening, Sara stood up. Holding the box, she said, “This is my memory box.”

“What’s inside?” Eric asked.

Sara lifted the lid of the box. She pulled out a small flower called a snapdragon. “When I was at Grandma’s house last summer, she picked a bouquet of snapdragons from her garden. With one of the flowers, she made the snapdragon tell me a story.”

“How can a snapdragon tell a story?” Susan asked.

“Like this.” Sara pinched the edges of the flower together. Each time she did, the flower petals opened and closed like a mouth.

“When I was a little girl, Grandma used to tell me snapdragon stories too,” Mom said.

“What else is in the box?” Dad asked.

Sara pulled out a cupcake wrapper. “Grandma made the best cupcakes.”

“I loved her chocolate ones,” Eric said.

Next Sara pulled out a penny. “Grandma told me to be sure to pay my tithing—even if it is only a penny.”

Sara pulled out one thing after another. At last she took out a piece of paper with music on it. “I love that Grandma liked to sing as she worked. This is her favorite song. Can we sing it now, Mom?”

“Absolutely,” Mom said.

Sara smiled as her family sang “Families Can Be Together Forever.”

That night Sara placed the memory box on her bookshelf. Even though she missed Grandma, she was happy to have so many memories of her. Sara’s happy memories would keep her from being sad until she could be with Grandma again.

Illustration by Jared Beckstrand