“We Talked in Whispers,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 51–52
It was about a week after we had taken ten-year-old Wayne into our home through the Church Indian Placement Program. He was a bright, handsome little boy, but, of course, he had to prove himself to the other boys. He fought with them quite often, and he could hold his own with the best of them.
One day I received a phone call from his school teacher. The teacher informed me that he was having trouble with Wayne at school. Wayne was disrespectful to him and to other teachers. This was a blow to me. I had never had a problem like that with my own children, and it greatly upset me. Of course my temper flared, as it so often does, and I began to rehearse all the things I was going to tell Wayne when he returned home from school. “I must nip this problem in the bud,” I told myself.
To make matters worse, Wayne was late coming home from school because of a fight with a neighbor boy. They fought all the way from the bus stop. Finally they were on our front lawn. Both of them were fighting rough. I watched for awhile, until I was sure that the fight was indeed serious, then I stepped to the door and called Wayne into the house.
He ignored me. He was not about to back down from the other boy. As I watched, I became even more angry. I ordered Wayne into the house. I was so angry that I knew I could not deal with the problem while in that state, so I sent him into his room to read.
Shaking with anger, I slipped into my own bedroom and knelt and prayed. I prayed for wisdom in handling the problem, and I also asked that through the Spirit I would know what to say. As I stood up after praying, I felt a warm, calm feeling consume me. It started at my head and gently flowed to my feet.
As I opened the door to Wayne’s room and saw him sitting there on the edge of the bed with a book in his hands, a million thoughts raced through my mind. He looked so out of place sitting in that room; somehow he belonged outdoors where he could run free, as he was used to doing. In an instant my heart went out to this little fellow so all alone, a little boy uprooted from familiar surroundings and plopped down in a different world, to live by different rules. He had to prove to the other boys that he was just as good, if not better, than they.
I sat on the edge of the bed next to him, and put my arm around his shoulders. The first words I spoke surprised even me, for I said, “Wayne, forgive me for being so cross with you.” Then I told him of the phone call from his teacher and gave him an opportunity to explain himself. We had a wonderful talk; he confided in me, and as we spoke, we did so in whispers. This was much different from the tone I had expected to use before asking my Heavenly Father for help. It was a truly spiritual experience and it did more for the relationship between Wayne and me than any other thing.
Thank goodness we have prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us if we ask for it.