“Shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother” (Zechariah 7:9).
My Brother and the Puppy02289_000_031
I was blessed to grow up with people who loved me and influenced me for good. The greatest influences in my life were the members of my family. My parents chose the right, and they trusted me to do the same. And my older brothers set good examples for me to follow.
One older brother taught me an important lesson when I was five years old. That was when my twin, Karl, and I received a puppy. We did not understand the responsibilities that come with having a pet—we thought it was just another toy that didn’t require any particular care. We didn’t worry too much about giving the dog food or water or taking care of it. But we had an older brother who felt just the opposite. He had a great love for animals. He saw the need and took care of our puppy.
That dog grew up thinking that it belonged to our brother, and we used to argue about whose dog it was. Karl and I insisted that it was our dog, and we had contests with our older brother to see whom the dog would go to if we called to it. The dog always went to our brother.
The dog understood loyalty and the love our brother showed it. This experience taught me a powerful lesson about the law of the harvest, which tells us that as you sow, so shall you reap. My brother planted love when he took care of our dog, and he reaped the rewards of trust and loyalty.
My mother knew this lesson too. She had great faith. When she was young, her parents seldom attended church, so she often went to church by herself. Her loving example helped bring her parents into activity and involvement in the Church.
When I was growing up, my mother would get up regularly in fast and testimony meeting and bear her testimony. Then she would say how much she appreciated her sons and what good boys we were. Her faith in us provided great benefits. Even if we did not always live up to her words, she showed us what we could become.
Just as my mother had faith in me and my brothers, I have great faith in the rising generation of children today. You have been saved for these times. I am amazed to see so many wonderful, beautiful young children who have such great faith. You children are the future of the Church, and you are being prepared for a great work. As you serve in faith, you will sow seeds of righteousness and harvest the blessings the Lord has prepared for you.
Illustration by Richard Hull