Thunder in the Night


The Lord hath comforted his people (Mosiah 12:23).

“Sammy, it’s time to leave!” Mom called.

Sammy closed his book about spiders, put it in his backpack, and raced to the car. He had been waiting all week for his family’s camping trip. As they drove along, he could hear his parents talking in the front seat.

“The weather report said we might have a thunderstorm in the next day or two,” Dad said to Mom.

“Does that mean lightning?” Sammy asked. Suddenly he wasn’t so excited about camping.

“There might be a little rain,” Dad explained. “But we’ll be careful. We can always get in our car if there’s any lightning.”

Sammy didn’t feel much better. He loved reading about bugs, volcanoes, and even lightning, but all those things were much less scary on the pages of a book than in real life.

At the campsite, Sammy quickly forgot his fears. He played with his brothers, helped Dad set up the tent, and watched the campfire crackle to life. He went hiking, played games, and roasted lots of marshmallows.

On the last night of the camping trip, Sammy looked up at thousands of stars spread across the sky. A cold wind made him shiver, so he ran inside the tent, snuggled into his sleeping bag, and quickly fell asleep. A few hours later, a loud boom made him jump. Thunder! He ran to the tent door and tried to unzip it.

“Sammy, stay here!” Mom said.

“But, Mom, shouldn’t we go get in our car?” Sammy asked. His knees felt wobbly, and he let Mom pull him onto her lap.

“There are a lot of trees and a big open meadow between us and the car,” Mom said. “I think we’re safer here in the tent for now.”

Sammy started to cry. A bright flash lit up the tent, and then came the crashing thunder. Mom held Sammy close. “The storm will be over soon,” she said. “Let’s ask Heavenly Father to help you not be afraid.”

Sammy slid onto his knees on the hard, bumpy ground. The lightning flashed again, followed by more thunder. “Please help me feel better and not be afraid. Please bless the wind to blow the clouds away so the lightning will stop,” Sammy prayed.

He ended his prayer and got back into Mom’s arms. She held him while they listened to the wind and the rain. Slowly, his shivering and crying stopped.

He jumped when the lightning flared again, but the thunder was much quieter this time. “It’s farther away, Mom!” he whispered.

The raindrops were slowing down too. It was several minutes before lightning lit up the tent again, and it was already so far away that they couldn’t hear the thunder.

“Heavenly Father answered your prayer,” Mom said.

Sammy smiled in the dark. He still felt a little nervous about the lightning, but he was warm throughout his whole body. His prayer had been answered. The storm was blowing away, and he was safe. Best of all, he knew Heavenly Father loved him and was listening to his prayers, even in the middle of the night when he was far away from home.

Illustration by Ben Simonsen