“Welcome to Primary, Piper!”

By Jessica Larsen

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in Arizona, USA.

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Piper stood uncertainly in the doorway. Who would she sit by?

“It’s nice to be here with you in Primary. I’ll help you, and you’ll help me” (Children’s Songbook, 254).

Welcome to Primary, Piper!

“We’re going to church tomorrow,” Mom announced as she laid out Piper’s dress on her bed.

“Which church?” Piper asked. She had been to different churches a few times with friends, but she had never been to church with Mom.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Mom said. “The Mormon church.”

“Oh.” Mom had been baptized in that church before Piper was born, but she hadn’t gone since Piper could remember.

“You’ll like it,” Mom said. “They have a class especially for kids. It’s called Primary. You don’t need to be nervous.”

But Piper was nervous. She wouldn’t know anyone at church. Who would she sit by? Would she get lost all on her own? Piper stared at the dress on the bed, her stomach twisting up into knots.

Her stomach was still in knots the next day when she and Mom walked to the Primary room after sacrament meeting. The room was decorated with bright pictures, and children and adults sat in rows while a lady played music quietly on the piano. Piper stood uncertainly in the doorway.

“Piper?” Piper turned. A freckled girl coming down the hallway waved at her. “I’m Amy,” the girl said. “I remember you from school. Do you want to sit with me?”

“OK,” Piper said. She followed Amy to a row near the back of the room.

“Sister Davis, this is Piper,” Amy said to the woman sitting at the end of the row. “Sister Davis is our Primary teacher.”

“Welcome, Piper!” Sister Davis smiled. “If you girls will take your seats, I think singing time is about to start.”

Piper sat down and folded her arms just like Amy. She didn’t know the words to the songs, but Amy didn’t make fun of her or even look at her weird. Later, the woman teaching held up a picture of a man in an old-fashioned suit, and everyone nodded like they knew who he was. Piper didn’t know who he was, but Amy leaned over and whispered, “That’s Joseph Smith, the first prophet of our church.”

“A prophet like Moses?” Piper asked.

“Yes,” Amy said. “But Joseph Smith is a modern prophet. He lived in the 1800s.”

Piper smiled. She could understand the lesson thanks to Amy’s help.

“Follow me!” Amy said when they split into smaller classes. Piper followed her to a classroom with four other children, all Piper’s age.

“Who brought their scriptures today?” Sister Davis asked. Piper looked around. All the other children had heavy books on their laps, but she didn’t have any.

“You can share with me,” Amy whispered. She opened her scriptures and pointed so Piper could follow along as the class took turns reading. Piper even got a turn to read aloud. When she came to a name she didn’t know, Piper stopped. Then Amy prompted her softly, “Nephi.” When Piper finished reading the verse, Amy gave her a thumbs up.

When class ended and Piper’s mom came to pick her up, Amy gave her a hug. “See you next week!” she said. “I’ll save a spot for you!”

Piper couldn’t stop smiling as she and Mom walked out to the parking lot. “How was it?” Mom asked.

“Great!” Piper said. “I think I really like this church.”

“Me too,” Mom said. “Want to come back next week?”

“Definitely,” Piper said. She might not know the words to the songs or have her own scriptures, but she knew that everything would be OK because of Amy, her Primary friend.

Question for You

What can you do to help someone who is new at Church or school?