09663_000_018Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee (Isaiah 41:10).
“Alexis, would you like to give the opening prayer?” Sister Vigil asked.
Alexis shook her head.
“That’s all right,” Sister Vigil said. “Maybe another time.” She called on another child to say the prayer.
Alexis bit her lip. She wanted to participate in her CTR 6 class, but it was hard for her to speak in front of the teacher and the other children.
On Monday night in family home evening, Mommy gave a lesson about service. After the family talked about ways to serve each other, Mommy opened the Book of Mormon and read from Mosiah 2:17: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
After family home evening, Daddy asked Alexis to sit between him and Mommy.
“Sister Vigil told us that you don’t feel you can say a prayer in Primary class,” Daddy said.
“You are a big helper in our family,” Daddy said. “If you think of saying a prayer as serving your teacher and the other children, that might help you not to be afraid.”
Alexis wanted to be able to say a prayer in class, and maybe even to give a talk in opening exercises someday.
“Do you think I could learn to say a prayer in Primary class?” she asked.
“Yes!” Mommy said. “We can help you, and you can ask Heavenly Father for His help. Then have faith that He will give you what you need.”
During the week, Alexis’s parents called on her to say family prayers and blessings on the food at mealtimes. The following Monday, Alexis gave a short lesson in family home evening about tithing. She volunteered to recite a poem in her first-grade class. Sometimes she stumbled over the words, but she never gave up.
When Alexis knelt by her bed at night, she asked Heavenly Father to help her not to be afraid to speak in front of others.
“I think I can say a prayer in Primary class today,” she told Mommy a month later as they walked into the church building.
Mommy squeezed Alexis’s hand.
After sacrament meeting, Alexis hurried to her classroom. “Could I say the prayer today?” she asked her teacher before the other children arrived.
Sister Vigil smiled. “Of course you can.”
When class started, Alexis walked to the front of the room, folded her arms, and bowed her head. She said a simple prayer and closed it in the name of Jesus Christ. “Amen,” she said.
“Amen,” the other children said.
“Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.” 3
President Thomas S. Monson
“Examples of Righteousness,” Ensign, May 2008, 65.
Illustrations by Elise Black