Scriptures in a Suitcase


Based on a true story
“The Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction” (D&C 33:16).

Keryn stuffed an extra pair of jeans into her suitcase, then squeezed it shut.

“There!” she said to herself.

She had been looking forward to the school trip for months. Her class would be at camp for two days, living like pioneers—making candles, cooking over fires, even helping to build a log cabin.

Keryn glanced around the room, trying to spot anything she had missed. Her toothbrush was packed. She had clean clothes and an extra pair of shoes—oh, she’d better grab her old sweatshirt.

As she picked up her sweatshirt off the floor, her eyes fell on her scriptures on the table by the bed, and she froze.

Each member of her family had agreed to read the Book of Mormon daily, and so far Keryn hadn’t missed a night. But how was she supposed to read it in a cabin full of girls from school? With a sigh, she unlatched her suitcase, stuffed her scriptures between T-shirts and jeans, and sat on the suitcase to close it. Maybe she could find some quiet time to go off by herself and read.

“C’mon, Keryn. Race you to the campfire!” Sarah took off, and Keryn ran to catch up.

The day had been fun and very busy. Keryn had chopped at a log to help build the cabin, dunked candlewicks into wax over and over, carved a whale out of soap, and swum in the lake.

The fun carried on through the campfire time of singing songs and listening to a storyteller. Finally, Keryn, Sarah, and two of their cabinmates marched through the darkness to the cabin arm in arm, singing loudly.

The girls flopped onto their bunk beds, told stories, and laughed about the day. Then one by one they began to get ready for bed.

Keryn brushed her teeth, then climbed onto her top bunk and listened to the others. She had decided to leave her scriptures in the suitcase, but she just didn’t feel right. Then these words came into her mind: “Read them. You know you need to read them.”

Reluctantly, Keryn climbed out of bed and pulled her scriptures out of her suitcase. Then she climbed back up and tried to open the Book of Mormon without being noticed.

No such luck. She had just found her place in Mosiah when Sarah poked her head over the edge of the bunk. “What are you reading?” she asked.

“OK,” Keryn told herself, “it’s time to be a missionary.”

“It’s a book like the Bible, and it’s called the Book of Mormon,” she said aloud.

Sarah climbed up on the bunk with her. “What’s it about?”

Carol and Tasha gathered around too.

Keryn sat up. “Well, right now I’m in a part called Mosiah, and a prophet named Abinadi is preaching the gospel to the wicked king and his priests. He’s telling them about the Ten Commandments and all the things they should already know. But they’re doing evil things instead.” She scooted over so Tasha could climb up.

“What happens to them?” Tasha asked.

“Well, later Abinadi won’t deny God, so the king has him killed.”

“What?” exclaimed Sarah. “That’s awful.”

“Yeah, it’s really sad,” Keryn agreed. “But Alma, one of the king’s priests, really listens to Abinadi. He ends up teaching the gospel to lots of people.”

“That’s awesome,” Tasha said. “I read my Bible most days, but I didn’t bring it here.” Then she flipped onto her stomach and reached down to the bottom bunk. “Hey, Carol, did you see me jump in the lake?”

Keryn smiled as the conversation turned back to the day’s events. She was glad she hadn’t left her scriptures in her suitcase, glad her friends didn’t make fun of her, and glad she had a chance to tell them about the Book of Mormon.

She looked at Sarah, Carol, and Tasha, now talking about their craft projects, then turned back to her book and continued reading about Abinadi and King Noah.

[Love for Book of Mormon]

Elder M. Russell Ballard

“My love for the Book of Mormon is ever-increasing. It seems that every time I read from it, new light flows to me from its pages. I love this sacred and choice book.” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We Add Our Witness,” Tambuli, Dec. 1989, 13; Ensign, Mar. 1989, 5.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Richard Hull

Jennifer Jensen is a member of the Zionsville Ward, Indianapolis Indiana North Stake.