“Rainbows for Grandma,” Friend, Aug. 1998, 47
Patrick’s six-year-old arms were full, with a bag of books, crayons, and paper in one hand; his stuffed dog, Muffin, in the other hand; and his pillow squashed between his arms, blocking most of his view.
“Hey, watch out!” his eight-year-old sister, Madeline, said as he bumped through the hall.
“Sorry.” Patrick’s voice was muffled by the pillow, which somehow got into his mouth when he tried to talk. He reached his chin up high, then pushed the pillow down a little so he could see the front door better. When he reached the car, Dad unloaded the things from Patrick’s arms.
“It looks like you’ll be plenty comfortable all the way to Florida with this big pillow and Muffin to keep you company,” Dad said.
“I can’t wait to get to Grandma and Grandpa’s house! I hope that it doesn’t rain, so we can play outside every day.”
Dad laughed. “I hope it doesn’t rain on the way down, either, because it’s no fun to drive in the rain!”
“OK, Dad, I’ll say a prayer for no rain all the time we’re gone to Florida!”
Dad patted Patrick’s shoulder. “Patrick, I’m happy that you understand that you can pray for the things that are important to you.”
“I learned in Primary that sometimes Heavenly Father doesn’t give us everything we want but that we can still get a good feeling that He is watching out for us and doing what will help us. That’s what Sister Lawrence said.”
“She’s right,” Dad said. “I’m very glad that you go to Primary. We’ve learned a lot of new things since joining the Church, haven’t we?”
“Yes, but I want to really join! I can’t wait until I am baptized, like you and Mom and Madeline!”
Dad rumpled Patrick’s hair. “Your eighth birthday will be here sooner than you think,” he said. “And when you are baptized, I think you will know more than anyone else in our family did when they got baptized! You’ll have had almost two years with wonderful Primary teachers like Sister Lawrence, and almost two years of family home evenings to help make you very wise.”
Patrick helped Dad put the bag of books and papers under his seat in the car, and Muffin on the seat beside the window. “Dad, do you think Grandma and Grandpa will come to my baptism?”
Dad’s face looked serious, and he pulled Patrick onto his lap. “Grandpa and Grandma feel sad that we don’t go to the church they go to anymore. They don’t understand about how the Holy Ghost gave us the warm feeling inside and let us know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church.”
“If Grandpa and Grandma could have the missionaries come to their house, then they could have the Holy Ghost give them a warm feeling inside too. Then maybe they would want to join the Church.”
“Maybe so, and that would be wonderful. Right now they have asked us not to talk about the Church to them. But it is really important that we show them that we still love them very much, even if we don’t go to their church anymore. Can you help us do that, Patrick?”
“Sure. It’s easy to show Grandpa and Grandma that I love them. They’re nice!”
Everyone had brought everything they wanted to take to the car, and Dad found places to pack it all in. “All aboard!” he called into the house. Everyone piled into the car. Dad said a prayer for safety as they traveled, and they were off.
It seemed to take forever to drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Sometimes Patrick played with Muffin and showed him all the things out of the window. Sometimes he read his books or worked on puzzles. And sometimes the whole family listened to music and sang along.
Mom had brought tapes of Primary songs, and Patrick and Madeline sang along with the ones they knew.
Patrick loved to sing what he called the “rainbow song”* especially. Whenever mother played it, he sang the first verse so loudly that no one could hear anything else.
He hadn’t learned all of the second verse yet, but Patrick knew that it talked about being baptized and about how clean he would feel after he was baptized. When the song was done, he couldn’t keep his feelings in. “I can’t wait to get baptized!” he yelled.
After a whole day of driving, a night at a motel, and another day of driving, Patrick’s family at last arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
In the next few days, Patrick had a great time visiting with cousins and his grandparents and playing in the field and stream behind his grandparents’ house. His cousins helped him build a dam in the stream, and Grandpa helped him capture some insects from the field and keep them in a jar until dinnertime. Then they let them all go.
Before Dad and Mom tucked him and Madeline in at night, they read the Book of Mormon together and had a family prayer.
Each night the person saying the prayer asked that Grandma and Grandpa would feel better about the Church and not be angry anymore. But the day before the family was to leave, it looked as though Grandma and Grandpa would just keep feeling bad about it.
That afternoon, Patrick sat at the kitchen table. He drew a big rainbow on a piece of paper. As he colored it, he sang, “I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain! I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain!”
“That’s a great picture, Patrick,” Grandma said. “And you even made up a song about it!”
“Nope. It’s a song I learned at church.”
“Oh.” Grandma stopped smiling, and she turned to put the dishes away.
“Do you want to hear the rest of the song?”
“No thanks.” Grandma didn’t even look at Patrick or his picture anymore.
Patrick went over to her. “Grandma, even though you don’t like the Church, can I sing the song? I like it a lot. It’s my favorite song, and I always feel happy when I sing it.”
Patrick sat down again by his picture and sang the whole first verse. “‘I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again. I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. I want to be the best I can and live with God again.’”
Grandma came over and sat in the chair beside him. “Patrick, why did you say that I don’t like your church?”
“Because Mom and Dad said you don’t want us to talk about it.”
“Is that what they teach you at your church, that you want to do your best so that you can live with God?”
“Yep. And we should choose the right, especially after we’re baptized. Then we can go to live with Heavenly Father.”
Grandma picked Patrick up in her lap and gave him a hug. “Patrick, I like my church. I couldn’t understand why your family would want to leave it for another church. But if your church teaches you to choose the right and to want to live with Heavenly Father, and if it teaches you beautiful songs that help you feel happy, then I think I should let you talk about it if you want to.”
“That would be great, Grandma! Then we could tell you how the Holy Ghost gave us a warm feeling inside and helped us want to be baptized!”
“Well, maybe so, but right now maybe you could just teach me that beautiful rainbow song!”
“Sure!” He gave Grandma the biggest hug he could.