Shadows on the Wall


“Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world” (D&C 50:41).

“Mom!” Desiree cried. “I’m scared!”

Mom appeared in Desiree’s doorway and turned on the bedroom light. Desiree squinted into the corner where the scary shadows had been. Nothing was there.

“I thought I saw a wolf in that corner,” Desiree said.

Mom wrapped her arms around Desiree, making her feel snug and safe. “When the light is on, we can see that there’s really nothing there,” Mom said.

When Desiree felt better, Mom turned out the light and went back to bed. Desiree closed her eyes and tried to sleep. Then she opened one eye and looked at the wall. The shadows were still there.

“Mom!” she cried again.

This time Mom didn’t smile when she turned on the light. She looked tired. She asked, “Desiree, do you remember what you were watching on television earlier?”

Desiree nodded. She had watched a program about wolves.

Mom sat on Desiree’s bed. “What we watch can really influence us—our thoughts, our actions, and even our feelings.”

“But the show I watched about wolves wasn’t bad,” Desiree said.

“What we watch on television can affect our thoughts, even if it isn’t a bad program. I think that what you watched tonight played a part in how you are feeling,” Mom explained.

Desiree thought about what Mom said. She had never noticed being affected by what she watched before.

“Wow,” Desiree said. “I’ll have to be more careful in deciding what to watch.”

Mom smiled. “That’s a good idea, Desiree.”

“But what about tonight? I still feel scared.”

“I have an idea,” Mom said. She took a picture of Jesus Christ off Desiree’s desk and pulled it out of its wooden frame. Then she neatly taped it to the wall where Desiree had seen the scary shadows. “He will always be there for you, Desiree. Remember that when you are afraid.”

As Mom turned off the light, a warm feeling filled Desiree’s heart. She knew what Mom had said was true. Jesus would always watch over her, help her, and quiet her fears.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“Fear not; only believe. Believe in God, the Father of us all. … Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “Fear Not; Only Believe,” New Era, Jan. 2000, 6.

Illustration by Sam Nielson; detail from Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, by Heinrich Hofmann, courtesy of C. Harrison Conroy Co.