It had just started to rain when seven-year-old Angela stepped into the tent. Her two older brothers, Michael and Mark, were already inside. Mom and Dad had their own tent set up not far away.
“Let’s say our prayers before we get into our sleeping bags,” Michael said.
The three children knelt in prayer. Angela thanked Heavenly Father for her many blessings, and she asked Him to keep them safe from the storm and to help them sleep well.
After her prayer, she slid into her sleeping bag. For a long time all was quiet except for the plomp, plomp, plomp of the rain against the roof of their tent. Then she heard Michael’s voice. “Hey, Angela, wasn’t Mount Rushmore cool?”
“Yes,” she answered with a yawn.
“So were the animals in the park,” said Mark.
“I liked them too,” Angela agreed. She pictured the buffalo calves grazing so close to the road that she could see their eyes watching the slow-moving cars.
Angela squeezed her eyes tight. “Go to sleep,” she told herself. “It’s just thunder.” It had rained almost every day that her family had been on vacation. Every time it rained, lightning shot across the sky like hot arrows, and thunder echoed on and on like beating drums.
Angela pulled the sleeping bag over her head. “Go to sleep,” she told herself again.
“Mark, are you awake?” Michael whispered into the darkness.
“Hmmm?” Mark’s voice was heavy with sleep.
“Are you awake?”
Mark opened his eyes. “I am now,” he said.
“Angela, are you awake?” Michael asked.
“Yes,” Angela whimpered. “I’m scared. I want to go to Mom and Dad’s tent.”
“It’s raining too hard,” Michael said. “You’ll get soaking wet. Besides, it’s not safe to go out in the lightning.”
Angela frowned. “But I’m really scared.”
“You don’t need to be scared,” Mark said. “The lightning is really cool! It’s just a bunch of static electricity in the clouds.”
“And the thunder sounds like a big whip!” he added.
Angela shuddered. “I don’t like it!”
“Well, then think of things that make you happy,” Mark suggested. “That might help.”
Angela closed her eyes and thought about a field of yellow flowers. She imagined herself running down a hill into the field, laughing.
Flash! Boom! Flash! Flash! Booooom!
“It’s not working,” Angela said, shaking. “I’m still scared.”
Suddenly, rain began pelting their tent. Angela scrunched deep within her sleeping bag. What could she do to stop feeling scared? Then a quiet thought entered her mind. “Why don’t we sing?” she shouted, hoping her brothers could hear her above the noise. “My Primary teacher said that singing Primary songs can help us feel better.”
“OK,” Mark said loudly. “What should we sing?”
“How about ‘I Am a Child of God’?” Michael suggested.
Slowly, quietly, Angela started to sing.
“I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here …”
Angela stopped. Her brothers weren’t singing with her. “They must not be able to hear me,” she thought. So she sang louder.
“Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.”
Her brothers were singing now.
“Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.”
(Children’s Songbook, 2–3)
“Now what should we sing?” Angela asked.
“Let’s sing that one again,” Michael said.
Over and over, Angela, Michael, and Mark sang “I Am a Child of God” until the storm passed and peace returned to their tent.
“It worked!” Angela told herself as she snuggled into the warmth of her sleeping bag. “Finally I can go to sleep.” As she closed her eyes, another thought gently filled her mind. “I am a child of God, and I know He will help me find the way.”
“Just like the beautiful Primary song you sing, each of you truly is a child of God.”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), “To the Children of the Church,” Ensign, May 1989, 81.