A Wildflower and a Prayer


Gayle M. Clegg
Adapted from an April 2002 general conference address.

Sister Clegg teaches that while you may sometimes feel alone, Heavenly Father is always near you, even though you cannot see Him.

Have you ever felt alone? When our daughter Tina was six years old, our family went to live in Brazil. None of our family knew how to speak Portuguese, and it was especially hard for Tina to learn. We decided to put her in preschool with four-year-olds, even though she should have been starting first grade. We hoped that being with younger children would help her feel more comfortable and make it easier to learn Portuguese.

But Tina was as foreign to the other children as they were to her. Each day was a struggle for her, and each day she returned home from school very sad.

One day some children were particularly unkind to her. At recess a few children even threw rocks at her, bullying her and laughing rudely. Tina was scared and hurt. She decided that she wouldn’t go back to class.

Sitting alone while the playground emptied, she remembered what we had taught her about loneliness. She remembered that Heavenly Father is always close to His children and that she could speak to Him at any time. He would understand the language of her heart. In a corner of the playground, she bowed her head and said a prayer. Tina didn’t know exactly what to say, so she asked that her father and mother could be with her to protect her.

A Primary song came into her mind:

I often go walking in meadows of clover,
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;
Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.

(“I Often Go Walking,” Children’s Songbook, 202)

As Tina opened her eyes, she noticed one little flower growing between the cracks of the concrete. She picked it up and put it into her pocket. Her troubles with the other children did not disappear, but she walked back into the school, feeling that her parents were with her.

You may sometimes feel alone. You may have a hard time learning something. Sometimes others may be unkind to you. But Heavenly Father is always near you, even though you cannot see Him. He loves you, and He wants you to pray to Him when you feel lonely or afraid. Then He can send His Spirit to comfort you, just as He comforted Tina on that lonely day.

[illustration] Illustrated by Robert A. McKay