I skipped up the dusty drive, past the gray stone houses nestled in bright purple blossoms, and into the open doorway.
Mother pushed back her damp hair and set a bucket of muddy water down. It was Monday, the day she washed the walls and rinsed away the dirt that blew in with the winds.
Monday was also important because of family home evening. My brothers, Chris and Trenton, and I (my name is Laura) always looked forward to it. Tonight, however, was going to be extra special because we were going to see the prophet!
My family lives in a country far from America. Each year, when the prophet speaks to members of the Church during general conference, we have to wait for a video tape of his message. Today that video tape had finally arrived!
Because there are only a few Church members in our area, we take turns holding Sabbath services in each other’s homes. Mom has been teaching us children about prophets and their callings from God. She told us that general conference is very important because that’s a major time when our prophet tells us what Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to do.
Dad put the video into the machine and turned off the light. I fixed my eyes on the fuzzy screen. Suddenly a clear picture formed, and the familiar voices of the Tabernacle Choir filled the room. Then the cameras focused on President Benson as he made his way to the stand.
Mom had suggested that we find one thing the prophet wanted us to do and then work on it the following week. I listened carefully to every word. He seemed to be looking straight at me when he said:
“The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God designed to ‘sweep the earth as with a flood. …’* God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way. … The time is now! You must help with this burden and with this blessing which He has placed on the whole Church, even all the children of Zion.”**
That’s it! I thought. That’s what we ought to choose to work on this week. We should share the Book of Mormon! Then I remembered. My friends spoke another language. The only copy of the Book of Mormon I had was my own precious one given to me at my baptism. And it was in English.
“Well,” Dad said after the video was over, “let’s talk about what President Benson has asked us to do. What did you learn, Laura?”
“I learned how important it is for us to share the Book of Mormon with the people here. But how can I?” I wailed, explaining my problem.
Dad thought a moment. Then he said, “Remember when Nephi was commanded to go and get the brass plates from Laban? That appeared to be an impossible task. But Nephi had faith. Remember what he said in 1 Nephi 3:7 [1 Ne. 3:7]: ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.’ I think that there is a way we can keep this commandment to share the Book of Mormon.”
Dad had our full attention. “How?” we all asked.
“Well, our friends can’t read the Book of Mormon at this time, but they can read us.”
“Huh?” My brothers and I looked at each other with puzzled faces.
Dad explained. “We can tell people what the Book of Mormon teaches through our actions. For example, if I wanted our neighbor to learn about King Benjamin’s words on serving our fellowman, I would help him clean and trim his yard, pick up any garbage, care for his home when he is sick or away, and invite him into our home. He may not actually read the words, but he would read my actions and learn about service and love.”
“Oh, I see!” I exclaimed, jumping off the couch. “We can all do that!”
By the time family home evening was over, we had each committed ourselves to sharing one thing about the Book of Mormon through our actions that week.
The following Monday, when I was asked to tell about what I did, I admitted, “It was harder than I thought it would be. I picked Moroni 7:45, 47 [Moro. 7:45, 47], where he talks about charity. He says, ‘And charity suffereth long, and is kind, … and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in truth. … Charity is the pure love of Christ.’
“You see, there’s a girl at school who always sits by herself. She doesn’t talk very well, and she walks with a limp. I’ve wanted to say hi to her, but I’ve been afraid that the other kids might laugh at me. Well, at recess on Wednesday, I was playing with my friends when I saw Kara sitting on the stump of an old tree, watching us. I tried not to think about her. I told myself that she probably couldn’t play, anyway, with a bad foot.
“At lunchtime I saw her again, eating alone. As I followed my friends to a table, I remembered what I had promised to do, to share through my actions Moroni’s words about love. I began thinking about how I felt when I first moved here. I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t know the language, and I was lonely and afraid. Maybe Kara felt that way too. I was scared, but I got up from my table and went over and sat down by Kara.
“And you know what? I found out that Kara can run and play, even with a bad foot. In fact, she’s faster than a lot of us. And you know what else? I think the other girls learned about charity too. By the end of the week, we were all playing, eating, and laughing together. You were right, Dad. You can share the Book of Mormon through your actions.”