“Fear in the Night,” Friend, May 2000, 3
Garrett felt a terrible fear in his heart when he watched the news. There was always something sad or scary in the stories that the reporters told each night. Somewhere in the world there was a war; there were children who didn’t have enough to eat or a place to sleep. Somewhere in the world someone had been killed, or there were tornadoes or earthquakes. All these things made him worry that something bad was going to happen to him or his family.
It was nighttime, but Garrett couldn’t sleep. Although it was dark outside, the moon shone through his window and he could see all the corners of his room. On the desk was a picture of his brother and him. He wished that he was Allen. Allen was older. He was stronger and smarter. Garrett knew that if he was Allen, he would not be afraid. He thought that if he shut his eyes tightly and wished hard enough, maybe he would be Allen.
When he opened his eyes, he was still Garrett. And he was still afraid. He tried to think of something else. It would be his birthday soon. He and his mother had looked through the toy catalog together just the other day so that he could show her some of the things that he really liked. He tried to think of them now. Still, the frightening thoughts would not leave his mind.
He tossed and turned until he could think of nothing else but being with his mother and father. He always felt safe with them. They were in the room right next to his. He could sleep on their floor, and they would protect him.
All was quiet in the house as he made his way to their bedroom.
Garrett’s dad rubbed his face sleepily as he awoke to Garrett’s nudges. “What is it, Son?”
“Dad, can you give me a blessing? I’m afraid.”
Mom was awake now, too. “Garrett, are you all right?”
“What are you afraid of?” Mom asked.
“I can’t stop thinking about the news.”
“It’s all right,” Dad told him. “Of course, you can have a blessing.”
His father got out of bed and slipped on his robe. They sat quietly for a moment while he collected his thoughts. Then he placed his hands upon Garrett’s head to give him a father’s blessing.
Garrett listened carefully as his father told him that everything would be all right. He reminded Garrett that because he had been baptized, he was entitled to have the Holy Ghost, who is a comforter, with him. If he listened closely enough, his father explained, he would be able to feel the Spirit and feel peace and calm. And, his father added, Heavenly Father was aware of Garrett and was watching over him and would protect him.
Garrett remembered his baptism day. He remembered being confirmed a member of the Church. His father had said, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
Garrett thought about the times when he had felt the Holy Ghost. There was always a good feeling in the chapel, and he usually felt the same way when he listened closely in Primary and when he prayed at home or read scripture stories with his family. He knew that what his father was saying in the blessing was true.
When his father had finished, Garrett kissed his parents good night.
“Do you want to sleep in here with us?” his mother asked.
“I think I’ll be all right now,” he replied. “Thanks, Dad. I love you both.”
Garrett’s room was still dark when he returned. He lay in bed, quietly trying very hard to listen. Then the still small voice came to him and he knew that everything would be all right. He was glad that he had chosen to be baptized so that he could have the Holy Ghost as a companion! He slipped into a peaceful sleep.