President Grant’s Example


“Learn to do well” (Isaiah 1:17).

“Class, please pass your papers to the front.” Heidi reached behind her to pick up Molly’s paper. She loved to look at Molly’s beautiful writing before she passed it forward. Her letters seemed to flow together perfectly. Heidi looked at her own paper and was embarrassed for anyone to see the poor handwriting. She slid her paper under Molly’s and passed it forward.

“Mom, will you write my homework for me?” Heidi asked as she walked in the door. Her mother had beautiful handwriting too. Maybe if her mother wrote her homework, she wouldn’t feel so embarrassed.

“Why do you want me to write your homework? Are your arms broken?” her mom teased.

Heidi told her mother about Molly’s beautiful writing. “I wish I had practiced my handwriting more last year.” Heidi sat down at the table and plopped her face in her hands.

“You know, Heidi,” her mom said, “if you work hard enough at it, your handwriting can be as good as anyone’s. You just have to put your mind to it.”

Heidi wasn’t so sure. She pictured Molly’s writing and thought there was no way hers would ever look like Molly’s.

“Do you remember the prophet Heber J. Grant?” Mom asked.

Heidi looked up. “Yes. We learned about him in Primary.”

“He had bad handwriting when he was young. He really wanted to improve, so he practiced and practiced until his handwriting was so good that he received an award for his penmanship.”

Heidi was amazed! She looked up to the prophets, but she had never realized they had problems just like hers when they were young. She decided that if Heber J. Grant could work to improve his handwriting, so could she.

The next day at school Heidi worked hard on her handwriting. It was difficult at first. She had to stay late to finish writing her assignments, but the story of President Heber J. Grant motivated her to continue.

It was weeks before Heidi began to notice any improvement. It still took her a long time to do her assignments, but her writing was getting better.

One day Molly noticed. “Heidi, you have really nice handwriting,” she said.

“Thanks.” Heidi blushed. She couldn’t help but let a smile creep across her face.

That night Heidi left a note on the refrigerator for her mother. It was in beautiful handwriting.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for telling me the story of Heber J. Grant. I probably won’t win any awards, but I finally feel like I have nice handwriting. Following the prophet wasn’t as hard as I thought!

Love,

Heidi

President Thomas S. Monson

Photograph of President Monson by Busath Photography

“The holy scriptures, the guidance of your parents, and the diligent teaching you receive in Primary … will fortify you in your determination to be your best self. Study with purpose, both in church and in school.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Your Celestial Journey,” Liahona, July 1999, 115; Ensign, May 1999, 97.

Illustrations by Steve Kropp