Samuel’s Scriptures


Samuel’s Scriptures

“Hurry up, Jared, or we’ll be late for church,” Mother called from the bottom of the stairs. Rushing down the stairs and out the front door, Jared suddenly remembered that he needed his scriptures for Primary. Rather than taking the time to go back upstairs, he grabbed a set from the living room bookshelf.

On the way to church, he flipped through the Bible to find his favorite scripture about baptism. He wanted to share it in Primary opening exercises. He was surprised to find that the scripture he was looking for was already underlined in red and that there was a date written in the margin. “What happened on 2 July 1982?” he asked, reading the date.

“Let me think,” Mother said. “That was about the time Samuel turned eight. Why, I believe that was when he was baptized.”

Samuel was Jared’s big brother. He had recently married and moved to another state to go to college. Even though Samuel lived far away, Jared loved him very much and still felt close to him.

Jared turned to the first page of the Bible and saw Samuel’s full name printed in a child’s scrawl. Jared realized this must be the set of scriptures his brother had used when he was in Primary. And Samuel must have had the same favorite scripture about baptism that Jared had now. That made Jared feel even closer to Samuel. Turning back to Matthew 3:16–17 [Matt. 3:16–17], Jared carefully wrote his own baptism date in the margin next to Samuel’s.

Jared happily carried his brother’s scriptures to his Primary class. When the teacher asked the students to open their scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants 4 [D&C 4], he discovered there was a bookmark there. It was old and worn around the edges.

Jared turned it sideways so he could read the words written on it: “Every young man should serve a mission.” He thought about Samuel’s mission to Mexico and about how Samuel had begun saving money for a mission while he was still in Primary. Jared wondered if Samuel had started his mission fund when he got this bookmark.

After Primary, Jared carried Samuel’s scriptures to sacrament meeting. When one of the speakers read Doctrine and Covenants 131:2 [D&C 131:2], Jared was not surprised to open Samuel’s scriptures and see that the verse was already underlined. He also found a card there on which Samuel had written five reasons he wanted to get married in the temple. Jared thought about his brother’s recent temple marriage. Samuel must have started planning to get married in the temple when he was my age!

When Jared got home from church, he wrote a letter to Samuel:

Dear Samuel,

Thanks for letting me borrow your scriptures today. I hope you don’t mind that I wrote my baptism date in the margin next to yours. I’ve always wanted to be just like you when I grow up, and now I know how I can start. I want you to know I am going to save some money each week for my mission. And after my mission, I want to get married in the temple. Thanks for being a good example to me your whole life.

Love, Jared

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison