Isabelle was so excited that she almost skipped as she and her dad walked down the hallway. Her mom had just brushed her dark hair and zipped up the long white dress Isabelle would wear for her baptism. She stopped outside the room where everyone was waiting.
“Can anyone have one of those?” she asked her dad, pointing to copies of the Book of Mormon on a small table.
“Yes. They’re for people who want to know more about our church,” Dad said.
Isabelle peeked into the room. It was full of people she loved. Her grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins sat near the front. Her best friend, Grace, sat with her family at the back. But Isabelle didn’t see Miss Perkins, her schoolteacher.
“Let’s go in,” Dad said. “It’s time for the meeting to start.”
“Can we wait one more minute for Miss Perkins?”
Miss Perkins was Isabelle’s favorite teacher. She loved books, and Isabelle did too.
“It was nice of you to invite her, Isabelle, but she might not come,” Dad said gently.
Isabelle sighed and nodded. She and Dad walked into the room and sat in the front row. Right before the opening hymn, Isabelle turned around to look for her teacher one last time. There she was with Grace’s family! Isabelle smiled. Miss Perkins smiled back.
After Isabelle’s baptism the bishop asked everyone to squeeze together for a photo.
“Where is Isabelle?” he asked.
Everyone looked around. No Isabelle!
Grace went to find her friend. First she looked down the hallway, but Isabelle wasn’t there. Then she looked in the foyer, but she wasn’t there either. Finally, Grace looked outside and saw Isabelle standing on the steps of the meetinghouse talking to Miss Perkins.
“Thank you for coming to my baptism,” Isabelle said.
“You’re welcome,” said Miss Perkins. “I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly. I have another appointment today.”
“That’s OK. But I wanted to give you something.” Isabelle handed her teacher a Book of Mormon that she had picked up off the table in the hallway. “I know you love to read, and this is a really good book.”
“Thank you,” Miss Perkins said.
“Will you read it?” Isabelle asked.
“Yes, I will,” Miss Perkins said. “I promise.”
Isabelle felt so happy. She smiled as she turned and saw Grace waiting for her.
“What were you doing out there?” Grace asked. “Your mom wants a group picture.”
“I went to give Miss Perkins a Book of Mormon,” Isabelle said.
Grace’s eyes widened. “Were you scared?”
“A little. But I was more afraid that she would just put it away on a shelf somewhere. So I asked her if she would read it.”
“What did she say?” Grace asked.
“She promised that she would!”
“That’s great!” Grace said.
The two girls joined the group of friends and relatives.
“I’m glad Grace found you, Isabelle!” the bishop said. Then he asked everyone to squeeze together again for the picture. Isabelle stood right in the middle of the front row.
Afterward, Isabelle’s mom leaned over to hug her. “Now you can remember your baptism day forever!” she said.
Isabelle smiled. She knew that with or without a picture, she would never forget her baptism day and how good it felt to be a missionary.
“It should be ‘with great earnestness’ (D&C 123:14) that we bring the light of the gospel to those who are searching for answers the plan of salvation has to offer.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Bring Souls unto Me,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2009, 110.
Illustrations by Craig Stapley