Brother, I Love You


I’d given him candy, trinkets, and time. Now I needed to give my little brother something more. But what could it be?

It sounded simple. For two weeks I was to choose a family member and every day give something small to the person to express my love. I chose my little brother because we usually did not get along very well, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to draw closer to him. I decided to do it anonymously, and for the first week I bought him small bags of candy and various trinkets, leaving them by the side of his bed or under his pillow. After the week was over, I was thinking, Wow, this has got to be the easiest Personal Progress goal ever!

The second week, however, fell during our family camping trip, and the absence of convenient stores seriously complicated things. But I soon found that all it took was a little more creativity. Instead of buying things, I started doing things. I helped him roll his sleeping bag, whittle a marshmallow stick, and untangle his fishing line. Thinking constantly of ways to serve my brother strengthened our relationship incredibly, and I could see clearly the promise being fulfilled: “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light” (1 Jn. 2:10).

The last day of camp I lay in the dark tent, deep in the woods, listening to the soft calls of the birds and the gentle splashing of water from the nearby lake. The wind rustled through the tree tops, and I felt a cool breeze across my face.

“Someone tie up the window,” my brother mumbled sleepily. I felt him shiver beside me and suddenly realized that I had not done anything for him that day. I tied up the window, but since it was the last day, I felt I should give him something extra special. Maybe when we get home, I can buy him something especially expensive, I thought. No, that won’t do. It has to be today, and he is almost asleep. I lay quietly, thinking for a moment, and then rolled onto my side to face my brother.

“Warren,” I whispered.

“Hmmmm?”

“I love you.”

He was quiet for a second before he clearly responded, “I love you, too.”

I lay on my back and looked through the “sun roof” at the clear, dark sky and smiled.

The knowledge that Jesus loves the little children comforted me when I was a child. I now feel his presence each week as I stand with fellow Young Women and recite the theme: “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him. …” I do love him, and I consider the knowledge of his love the greatest gift of all. We are commanded to love one another (John 13:34), and by doing this, we too are giving a gift better than anything money can buy.

[illustration] Illustrated by Roger Motzkus