Jonah’s Reverent Shirt

Father, I will rev’rent be and in thy house walk quietly (Children’s Songbook, 29).

Every Sunday Jonah wanted to be reverent in church, but sometimes it was hard to remember.

One Sunday, Sister Milner was leading sharing time. “Jonah, you can choose one picture to put on the board,” she said.

Jonah ran to the front before he remembered that he should walk in the church building.

Another Sunday, Stella had trouble remembering her scripture. “As I have loved you … ,” she said.

“Love one another!” Jonah called out before she could finish.

Sometimes Sam and Miguel would start acting silly with Jonah. Sister Fox would take Jonah to sit with Mom in Relief Society.

Jonah wanted to be in Primary. He liked his friends, the stories, and his teachers. But sometimes he still forgot to be reverent.

One day after church Mom said, “Jonah, it’s important for you to be reverent at church. What do you think you could do to remember?”

Jonah shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s hard to remember.”

“I know it can be hard,” Mom said. “Why don’t you think about it?”

That week Mom brought home a new church shirt for Jonah. “You’re growing up so fast,” she said. “Your old shirt is already too small.”

Jonah tried on the new shirt and buttoned all the buttons. He looked in the mirror. “Dad wears shirts like this,” he thought. “And Dad is always reverent in church.” Jonah smiled. “Maybe this can help me remember to be reverent,” he thought.

On Sunday, Jonah put on his new shirt. He buttoned the buttons and tucked the tails in neatly.

“You look like a missionary,” Dad said.

“The missionaries are reverent in church,” Jonah thought.

While he waited for Primary to start, Jonah sat quietly. He looked down at the buttoned cuffs of his new reverent shirt.

“That’s a nice shirt, Jonah,” Sister Milner whispered.

“It’s my reverent shirt,” Jonah whispered back.

Jonah sang the opening song in a strong, good way. He listened while Kim tried to give her first talk, even when she didn’t say anything for a long time. Sister Fox smiled at Jonah, and Jonah smiled back.

During sharing time, Miguel said something silly. Jonah stayed reverent. Then Sam poked Jonah. Jonah poked Sam and Sam poked back, but then Jonah felt his reverent shirt and remembered to sit quietly.

Pretty soon Jonah’s friends stayed reverent too. Jonah felt good, and Sister Fox let them go to class first.

“How was Primary today?” Mom asked after class.

“Can you please wash and iron my new reverent shirt for next Sunday?” Jonah asked. “I had a great time in Primary, and everyone else did too.”

Illustrations by Dani Jones