Friend to Friend: Working for Jesus


Bonnie D. Parkin
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).

Working for Jesus

I grew up in Herriman, Utah, a small community with only one ward. Every time we came into the chapel, we saw large pictures of the latter-day prophets of God. We memorized who they were, just like we memorized the Articles of Faith. Little things like that made a difference in who we became and what we felt as we grew up.

When I was about 10, my mother had an infection around the lining of her heart. There were five of us children in the family. We knew that Mother was very sick. We lived a long distance from the hospital, and in those days children weren’t allowed to go into hospitals to visit patients. When we visited my mother, we stood outside so she could look out the window and see us.

When we returned home, Father gathered us together in my parents’ bedroom. We all knelt around the bed and prayed for Mother. After being in the hospital for a month, Mother got well. I have a testimony that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayers.

The summer after Mother came home was wonderful. Primary was grand! We had Primary on weekday mornings. One week we made little dolls out of stockings. Then we made them little leather dresses. We cut fringe into the bottom of the dresses and added beading. Then we braided hair. We also embroidered faces for them. We made them little beds out of cardboard and yarn.

Primary was the beginning of my testimony. I learned the gospel there and felt the Spirit through good music. I remember the leaders who taught us the songs with so much energy. Singing was fun! I don’t remember anybody telling me what I was feeling, but it was the Spirit. That’s the kind of power that good music has.

When I was in my last year of Primary, a wonderful older lady named Marth Christensen was our teacher. She helped us learn the Articles of Faith [A of F 1:1–13]. To this day I still know the Articles of Faith because of what I learned in Primary. We visited Sister Christensen’s home often. It was always a wonderful experience to be there. She taught us cooking skills, and we made cookies and candy. Sometimes we took the treats we had made to somebody who was homebound. The examples of wonderful teachers taught me to serve.

Our testimonies begin small, but they grow bigger as we progress. I believe that I was born with a believing heart, and I’m grateful for that. But many of the things that strengthened my beliefs were things that happened in Primary. It was a joyous time.

I also learned to serve in my family. I grew up watching my parents and grandparents serve and care for others with love. It is important for children to serve alongside their parents. When a parent does something for someone else, you can deliver items or help in other ways. When you help your parents, you learn to serve as a family. Serving increases our testimonies of the Savior.

My husband, Jim, and I served a mission in England. One day when we called home and talked to our family, our three-year-old grandson James asked me, “Grandmother, do you work for Jesus?” It was wonderful to say to him, “Yes, we work for Jesus.” When we serve in the Church, we’re working for the Savior. I love Him, and I’m happy to serve Him wherever I am.

[photo] 1. Clockwise from left: Jesse Dansie (father), Joyce, Rodney, Ruth (mother), Boyd, Bonnie, and Richard

[photo] 2. About 9 months

[photo] 3. With her mother

[photo] 4. Doll she made in Primary

[photo] 5. Around age 3 (second from left) with siblings Rodney, Richard, and Joyce

[photo] 6. Sister Parkin’s grandchildren