A Rock of Faith


When I was a boy in Primary, I believed whatever my Primary teacher told me. One summer day she taught us about prayer: “Remember, if you need Heavenly Father’s help, just ask Him. He’ll always answer.” I skipped home thinking of nothing more than playing ball with my brothers. I didn’t know that the next day I would test my teacher’s words.

The following morning began with the sun scorching the sandstone cliffs and rocky hills that circled my town. Into the warmth of that perfect day my friend Eva and I started off on one of our adventures. Clutching a bag of small, sharp fish-hooks, two spools of thread, and our lunches, we hurried toward the fish-pond.

At last we arrived. We paused and looked at the pond and the willow trees surrounding it, feeling as though some great ocean lay before us and that we had come to bury stolen treasure.

We sat down, slipped off our shoes, and dangled our dusty feet lazily in the cool water. Tying our thread to the hooks, we dreamed of catching a big fish. Then we realized that we had brought nothing to use for bait! It was unthinkable to use any part of our lunches, so the homemade lines just hung loosely in the water, our excitement sinking as rapidly as the bare hooks.

We soon found something new to occupy the morning. Close to the pond was a sand hill. One side of the hill was a smooth slope, but the other side dropped off steeply, forming a cliff as high as a house. At the bottom of the cliff was a pile of jagged sandstone rocks. We started up the smooth side of the hill, pretending to be the world’s greatest mountain climbers, courageously tackling the tallest mountain.

As we climbed, we could see an old wooden post on top of the hill.

“I’ll race you to the post!” I shouted to Eva.

We ran up the hill, sinking at times into the soft, warm sand. Small avalanches trailed behind us and could be heard falling on the rocks beneath the cliff. Soon I was crawling, hurrying toward the post as fast as I could—but I didn’t realize that I was climbing by myself. I reached the top, pleased with my victory, and turned around with a smile to speak to Eva. But she wasn’t near me! As she had climbed, she hadn’t been watching where she was going, and she had run into deep sand. Unable to lift her feet, she had panicked and started swinging her arms wildly—sliding sideways and backward toward the edge of the cliff.

Eva was very frightened, and tears streamed down her cheeks. I shouted to her to turn around and go down the hill on the safe side. But her only answer was a sobbing, “Help me!” We both knew that if I went straight down to her, the sand moving before me would push her over the edge. Desperate, she cried out again, “Help me!”

Suddenly, I remembered my Primary teacher’s words from the day before, and I prayed with all my strength. Eva stopped sliding. Something beneath her small feet was holding firm. I carefully went down a different way to where she was, and helped her turn around. Once she was on safe ground, I reached down to where she had stopped sliding and picked up a rock no larger than the palm of my hand! Somehow that hard bit of sandstone had kept Eva from falling. I put the rock into my pocket, and we went home. We had had enough adventure for one day.

When I got home, I put the rock on a shelf in my room to remind me of my wise Primary teacher’s words: “If you need Heavenly Father’s help, just ask Him. He’ll always answer.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Diane Pierce