Jared Olson of Sparks, Nevada

“Jared Olson of Sparks, Nevada,” Friend, Aug. 1995, 40

Making Friends:

Jared Olson of Sparks, Nevada

What Jared Olson (6) of Sparks, Nevada, likes best about being a member of the Church is simple: “I like going to church and being in the Lord’s house. I feel the Holy Spirit while I’m there.” And he knows how to behave in the Lord’s house. “You fold your arms and be quiet. You don’t run around.”

In Primary, Jared loves to sing about another house of the Lord, the temple. “I Love to See the Temple” is Jared’s favorite song, and he loves to see pictures of temples. He knows that because of the temple, his family can be eternal. He loves his family, so he is grateful for temples. He has not been inside one yet, just in visitors’ centers. One of his goals is to go inside the temple someday. He has a picture of one in his journal.

A picture in his journal? Jared hasn’t started school and learned to read or write much yet, so he puts pictures and special small objects in it. On the first page is a picture of the Savior; beside it is a picture of President Benson. The picture of the Savior reminds Jared that the Lord wants him to be nice to others.

Other pages of his journal include pictures of him when he was younger, candy wrappers from family home evening treats, and stamps he has collected. “When people get letters, I ask if I can have the stamp, and they usually let me have it,” he says. He has about fifty stamps in his collection so far.

Jared enjoys spending time with his family, whether it’s steering remote-control cars with Jacob (15) or playing with action heroes with Jeffrey (8). At other times, Jared asks Ashly (10) to read to him, or Alicia (13) to help him with a puzzle. Jared also spends time with his younger sister, Angela (3). “Sometimes I watch her for my mom. I swim with her in the little pool, and I help her get in the swing. I try to be careful because she doesn’t like to be splashed.” Jared also has fun trying to keep up with the Olsons’ lizards, Speedy and Liz, and making Pugsley, the family dog, do tricks.

Helping around the house is as important as playing. He makes his bed, cleans his room, and empties the small trash cans. As a family, the Olsons deliver newspapers. Jared puts the folded papers into a big bag. Sometimes he delivers a paper himself, placing it to the side of the door so that the people living there won’t trip over it.

This year he had a new responsibility. He helped plant the corn. “Dad read the directions to me, then we poked holes in the dirt, and I put two seeds into each hole. Now the corn’s taller than I am.” He likes working in the garden because it’s outdoors. “I like that we have this earth to live on.”

Jared loves climbing trees, swimming and rafting at nearby Pyramid Lake, and camping with his dad and brothers. “I love hiking. Jeffrey and I find a trail and hike down it. I bring a walking stick.” Even when he’s home, Jared pretends he’s in the mountains, hiking. “I just use my imagination.”

During family home evening, his mom, Julie, often gives the lesson, and the family reads scriptures together. Jared’s dad, Cary, helps him read out of the Book of Mormon. The family also plays games that help them remember what they have read.

Recently Jared and his family learned about the Sabbath day. Jared knows that going to church is an important way to keep the Sabbath day holy. “I feel good when I’m there. It makes me want to do what’s right so I can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again.”

Photographed by Ruth Liljenquist

1. Reading the Book of Mormon with Dad

2. Folding newspapers

3. Jared looking at his journal

4. Alicia helping Jared with a puzzle

5. With Angela

6. Jared’s corn

7. Jared with Pugsley