The Blessing Quest

By Marianne Monson

(Based on a true story)

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Couldn’t Nathan miss church just this one time? It hadn’t been sunny in days!

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

The Blessing Quest

Nathan jumped out of bed and ran to the window. The sun was streaming from a bright blue sky.

“All right!” he said. It had been raining for days, and Nathan couldn’t wait to ride his bike. He pulled on his clothes and ran to the bathroom. His little sister, Aria, was already there brushing her hair, wearing a dress.

“Oh no!” Nathan groaned. “It’s Sunday!”

“You better hurry,” Aria said. “We’re going to be late for church.”

Nathan went back to his bedroom and looked out the window. His friend Isaac was outside riding his bike, and David was zooming around on his skateboard. It looked like they were having fun.

Normally Nathan liked going to church. He liked learning scripture stories and singing Primary songs. But today he wanted to play outside.

Nathan knocked on Mom’s door. “Mom,” he said, “I don’t want to go to church today.”

“Why not?” Mom asked.

“Because it’s been raining all week and now my friends are playing outside. Can’t I miss church just one time so I can play? I’ll go next week.”

Mom smiled at Nathan. “I know you want to play, but do you know why we go to church every week?”

Nathan didn’t feel like hearing a lesson. “Because it’s a commandment,” he said in a bored voice.

“That’s true,” Mom said. “But the commandments aren’t just rules that are made up to be hard. They’re actually things Heavenly Father wants us to do because they make us happy.”

“But right now riding my bike would make me happy.”

“Riding your bike may give you a fun feeling, but feeling the Spirit when you do something right feels even better.”

Nathan scrunched up his face. He thought about times he had helped Mom or was nice to Aria. Those things had made him feel good. And riding his bike would be fun, but he wouldn’t feel very good about missing church.

“Besides, when you go to church, you always get a blessing,” Mom said.

“What kind of blessing?”

“Well, sometimes it’s something you can hold, like a scripture bookmark. But most of the time it’s something you can’t hold, like learning a new song or feeling the Spirit.”

“I guess,” Nathan said. “Maybe today I’ll see if I really do get a blessing at church.”

Nathan got ready, and soon they were at church. Nathan took the sacrament and listened to the talks. Now that he was here, he felt like he’d made the right choice. Was that his blessing?

Nathan was surprised when they announced the closing song. It was “Praise to the Man”—his favorite. He smiled. Maybe that was his blessing.

In Primary he raised his hand and got to help with a game. Could that be his blessing?

After church Nathan found his family. As they walked to the car, Sister Silva gave them some leftover cookies from her class.

“Thank you!” Mom said. “These cookies look delicious. Nathan, see what you would have missed if you’d stayed home? Was I right about the blessing?”

“Kind of,” Nathan said. “But you said there would be one blessing. I counted a bunch!” He climbed into the car. “I’m glad I came.”

“I’m glad too,” Mom said. “Here, have a cookie.”

Nathan bit into a cookie. “What a yummy blessing!”