Flowers and Friendship

By Juliann Tenney Doman

(Based on a true story)

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All sorts of problems were coming up at school. What could Jenny do?

“He hears and answers me when I pray in faith” (Children’s Songbook, 14).

Flowers and Friendship

Jenny came home from school, dropped her backpack off in her room, and slumped down on the couch.

“What’s wrong?” Mom asked.

Jenny sighed. “Today Mrs. Patterson gave each of us three paper flowers. If anyone talks during quiet time, we have to give someone one of our flowers.”

Mom nodded.

“Emily keeps saying I need to give her a flower. But I’m not even talking!”

“Have you talked to your teacher? Maybe she can help,” Mom said. “But sometimes when people act like that, they really just want a friend.”

Jenny scrunched up her forehead. “It seems like a strange way to show you want a friend.”

“I know. But if you pray, Heavenly Father will show you how to be a friend to Emily.”

That night Jenny prayed for help. She asked Heavenly Father to help her know what to say when Emily asked for her flowers.

At school the next day, her teacher announced that she would retire soon. A lump grew in Jenny’s throat. She loved Mrs. Patterson! Jenny wanted to cry as she thought about how empty her school would feel next year. Later she went home and told her mom about Mrs. Patterson leaving.

“I’m sorry,” Mom said. “I bet Mrs. Patterson is sad too.”

Jenny nodded. “Maybe our class could buy her a new wind chime. She loves those.”

“Great idea! Let’s go to the store tomorrow. You could invite some friends to come too,” Mom said.

Jenny smiled. She was excited to give Mrs. Patterson a present.

“Speaking of other kids, did you talk to Emily today?” Mom asked.

Jenny shrugged. “She kept asking for flowers again. I didn’t know what to do, so I just gave them to her. I prayed for help last night, but it’s not getting any better.”

“Don’t give up,” Mom said. “Heavenly Father hears your prayers. Just keep praying, and you’ll know what to do.”

That night Jenny prayed again for help with Emily. When she got to class the next morning, she quietly sat down at her desk next to Emily. Almost immediately Emily told Jenny to give her a paper flower.

Jenny hesitated. Suddenly she knew what to say. “Emily, I have a question for you.” She paused and took a deep breath. “I want to buy Mrs. Patterson a new wind chime, and I need help picking one out. Do you want to come shopping with my mom and me?”

Emily’s face lit up. “Really? I guess I could help you.” She looked down at her hands. Then she reached into her desk. She carefully pulled out several paper flowers and handed them to Jenny.

“I’m sorry I took your flowers.”

Jenny reached for the flowers, and the girls smiled at each other. Mom was right, Jenny thought. Maybe she just wanted a friend!

As Jenny turned to her desk, she felt happy inside. Heavenly Father had heard her prayers! She was sad to lose her favorite teacher, but she was happy to gain a new friend.