Loving Your Siblings10452_000_018
Illustrations by Tracy Sabin
We know that through the blessings of temple covenants, we can live forever as families.
So how should we prepare ourselves? The answer is simple, even if the action can sometimes be hard: we need to love our siblings. Though it’s sometimes easy to forget, we should do our best to support them and show them how much we appreciate them.
The following stories show a few examples. As you read, ask yourself how you could show your love for your siblings and strengthen your family relationships today.
Being Each Other’s Angels
Crystal M., Idaho, USA
My sister and I shared a room. People would ask me if it was hard, but I would tell them I loved it. Of course, we had arguments. We would sometimes go a few hours without talking to each other over some silly disagreement, but we still loved each other.
There came a time when Laura was struggling. She was having problems with friends and was struggling to keep up with her schoolwork. I didn’t realize just how unhappy she was until she confided in me and asked me for advice. I suggested that she should get a priesthood blessing. She agreed.
We asked a member of our ward to give my sister a priesthood blessing. I sat on the couch while Laura sat on a stool in the middle of the room. The words that were spoken were powerful. I’ll never forget when the person giving the blessing said that the Lord would always be there for my sister and that He had already sent angels to her. Then the blessing said that one of these angels was me, her sister.
I am so thankful for Laura. She’s been an angel for me just as I’ve tried to be an angel for her, and I know that when we’re there for each other, we’re helping the Lord in His work.
My Brother’s Jersey
Christopher N., Arizona, USA
It was a big deal when our high school basketball team advanced to the state championship game. Basketball was my passion; I was always looking for an opportunity to play in a game or shoot hoops with my friends. I was among the starting five my senior year.
We were in the locker room getting ready to warm up for the big game when I opened up my gym bag to pull out my jersey. My heart sank; where was my jersey? Did a teammate hide it? Was this some kind of joke? I looked around the locker room hoping someone’s body language or actions could confirm it was just a tease, but to no avail. Reality sunk in. I knew I had left my jersey at home.
My teammates started to realize something was wrong. Everyone’s attention was on me when I uttered the words, “I don’t have my jersey.” Months and months of practice and training were about to be washed down the drain because of my mistake.
Just as I was about to accept my fate, I heard a quiet yet familiar voice from the other side of the locker room. “Here is my jersey.” It was the voice of my younger brother. I could play after all! What a sacrifice for my younger brother to make as part of the championship team. Instead of being able to receive recognition for his hard work and practice, he sacrificed so that I could play.
My brother injured his knee the following year and was not able to play again during high school. He felt that he hadn’t accomplished much in basketball, but his sacrifice means so much to me.
Shelli L., California, USA
My brother Bryce and I have been best friends since we were little. I remember afternoons when we’d compete to see who could catch the most bees in a clear plastic cup or he’d “catch” ants on a piece of licorice.
When we were a little older, we read poetry and went for ice cream together, and everyone told us how lucky we were to have each other. Eventually I graduated from high school and went to college 750 miles away. Two years later he followed me. That year together at school was one of the best of my life. It was great to have him close again. But we both knew change was inevitable.
As Bryce’s 19th birthday got closer, we would talk for hours about how excited we both were for him to serve. We couldn’t wait to see where the Lord would ask him to go. The day finally came, and our family gathered as he read us the letter calling him to North Carolina. He’d report to the missionary training center in less than two months.
Suddenly, the reality that Bryce would be leaving hit me with more force than I’d ever imagined it would. That night I poured out my heart, begging Heavenly Father to send me peace. I would miss Bryce so much. It wasn’t that I didn’t think a mission was the right choice. We’d both known it was since we were little. I just needed comfort so I could support my brother as he prepared to enter the mission field.
One night, just a few weeks before Bryce would enter the missionary training center, the Spirit was especially strong as I prayed. I cried, telling Heavenly Father all the things Bryce might miss. Then a thought entered my heart: “Shelli, this is just mortality.” I opened my tearful eyes and looked up, wondering at its simplicity. I smiled, realizing that we were a family and that the blessings of our parents’ temple sealing could hold us together forever. Yes, Bryce was going to miss a lot, but we’d have an eternity to catch up.
The day we took Bryce to the missionary training center was one of the best days of my life. I’d been with him while he shopped for suits and journals, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day. He was really a missionary. As I hugged him good-bye, I said a silent prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father for this wonderful young man and all the years of friendship we’d shared. Those years had truly been a gift. And now, the next two years would be a gift to Him.