A Promise to Try

By Tami Greene

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in Utah, USA.

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“To be baptized as Jesus was … is just the thing I want to do” (Children’s Songbook, 104).

a boy with his bike, talking to a Primary leader

Illustrations by Kristin Kwan

The sun was going down as Tatsuki rode his bike home. He loved zooming down the small hill by his home, but he needed to be back before it was dark.

When Tatsuki rolled his bike to a stop, he saw his Primary teacher, Sister Yamada, walking up to his apartment building.

“Hi, Tatsuki,” Sister Yamada said with a smile. “I’m here to talk to you about your baptism.”

Tatsuki’s family had just started going to church again. He liked being with his friends in Primary, and he was especially excited to be baptized! Sister Yamada and Tatsuki rode the elevator together and joined Mom in the apartment.

“Tatsuki, I’m so glad you’ve chosen to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized,” Sister Yamada said. “When we are baptized, we make covenants with Heavenly Father. Do you know what a covenant is?”

Tatsuki didn’t know Sister Yamada was going to ask him questions. He started to feel a little nervous. But Mom smiled encouragingly.

“Promises?” he asked shyly.

“That’s right!” Sister Yamada said. “Heavenly Father promises us we can always have the Holy Ghost with us. Do you know what we promise Heavenly Father?”

Tatsuki shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“I’ll give you a hint—the promises are in the prayers we hear before we take the sacrament,” Sister Yamada said. “We promise Heavenly Father that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. Do you know what it means to take Jesus’s name upon us?”

Tatsuki shook his head again. Mom helped him. “It means we are happy to say that we’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” she said. “It means we will do what Jesus would do if He were here.”

“What kinds of things would Jesus do?” Tatsuki asked.

“Well, He would be kind to people. He would help people who are sad or sick,” Sister Yamada said. “And He would teach people how to follow the commandments.”

Tatsuki had a sinking feeling in his stomach. “I don’t think I can be baptized,” he said.

“Why do you think that?” Mom asked.

“There are so many promises! I don’t think I can be like Jesus every day!”

Mom gave Tatsuki a hug. “Remember when you helped Yuna when she was crying yesterday?”

Tatsuki nodded. His little sister had been sad, so he had made funny faces and played with her until she was happy again.

“And remember how you helped your cousins share and be nice to each other last week? You were following Jesus when you did both of those things.”

Tatsuki didn’t know that’s what it meant to follow Jesus. He started to feel a little bit better. He could do things like that!

Sister Yamada said, “And whenever we make a mistake, we can always repent. That just means we can say we’re sorry and try to do better. Then Heavenly Father forgives us, and we can always keep trying!”

Tatsuki didn’t feel so worried anymore. He felt happy.

“I want to be baptized!” he said.

Mom and Sister Yamada smiled. Sister Yamada gave Tatsuki a Book of Mormon with his name written on it. Tatsuki felt happy that he could try each day to be like Jesus. Now he couldn’t wait to be baptized!