Friend to Friend: Trust

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“Friend to Friend: Trust,” Friend, Jan. 2001, 6

Friend to Friend:


I know in whom I have trusted (2 Ne. 4:19).

Elder Sheldon F. Child

One day when I was in the fifth grade, my teacher called my name. “Sheldon,” she said, “could you please come out into the hall with me?”

Everyone looked at me as I nervously followed her out of the classroom. My mind was racing as I tried to figure out what I might have done wrong. I couldn’t think of anything, but I was sure that having a teacher call you out into the hallway was rarely a good thing.

My teacher, Mrs. Ruth Rampton, explained that she was going to teach a lesson that afternoon on trees. “I need a book to teach this lesson,” she explained, “and I’ve left it home. Could you please go and get it for me?” I sighed a sigh of relief. She then described the book to me, handed me the key to her home, and said, “This will let you in the front door. I left the book in either the kitchen or the living room. After you find it, be sure to lock the door behind you.”

As I walked the quarter mile to Mrs. Rampton’s home, I held the key in my hand. It represented a great trust my teacher had placed in me. She had chosen me as someone she could depend upon. That trust she placed in me felt good. I decided that I liked being trusted.

Being trusted makes us feel happy, but we must earn that trust. It is very special. My brother Bill was six years older than I was. He was my ideal, I wanted to be just like him. I would follow him and his friends around and, although I am sure he sometimes thought of me as a little pest, he was good to me and allowed me to tag along.

When Bill was in high school, he had saved enough money to buy himself a car. I remember well the day he drove his very first car home. It was his pride and joy, and he spent many hours shining it up. One day as we were coming home, he stopped at the bottom of the lane that led to our barn and asked me if I would like to drive his car up the lane, which was permissible in those days on a farm. Of course I would! I couldn’t believe that he would trust me to drive his new car—I knew how much it meant to him.

I ran around and jumped into the driver’s seat. He showed me where the key was, how to shift gears, and where the gas pedal was. My foot just barely reached the pedal. I knew everything I needed to know to start the car, and off we went. It was great! It was only when we reached the top of the hill that I realized he hadn’t shown me how to stop the car, and we ran right into the side of the barn. I felt so bad! I was sure that Bill would never trust me to drive his car again. However, a few days later he asked me again if I wanted to drive his car up the lane—but this time he showed me where the brake was! I was so grateful that he understood that running into the barn had just been an accident and that it hadn’t destroyed his trust in me.

Growing up for me was much different than it is for many of you. Oh, I had good parents as you have, who taught me and set a good example for me. I went to Primary as you do. I learned the Articles of Faith, we sang many of the same Primary songs you sing, and I learned about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, just as you do today. But in many ways my life was different from yours. I lived in a small town in Utah where my pioneer grandparents had settled many years before. I always lived in the same home. All my friends—everyone I knew—were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My world was very small, and my life was very simple: no television, no video games; I had never even heard of a computer!

Today you Primary children live in over 160 countries throughout the world. Some of your families are newly converted to the Church. Some of you move often and have lived in many homes. Some of you are the only members of the Church in your neighborhood or even in your school. You have access to the entire world through the television and the Internet. It is a wonderful time to be alive! You have many more opportunities than I had as a child. Along with the opportunities come challenges. You have so many more choices than I ever had. There will be those who will tempt you to do things that you know aren’t right.

It is not only important to be trustworthy, but it is important to know whom you can trust. You will learn many things and will need to make choices that will sometimes be difficult. You need to place your trust in those who will lead you to do what is right:

  • You can trust in Heavenly Father. You are His children. He hears and answers your prayers. He loves you and will always be there for you.

  • You can trust Jesus Christ. His teachings tell us how we should live our lives so that we can return and live with Him again.

  • You can trust the Holy Ghost. If you listen to His promptings, He will lead you and guide you and help you make right choices.

  • You can trust your parents. They love you and want only the best for you.

  • You can trust our prophet. There is always safety in following the prophet.

  • You can put your trust in the scriptures. They are true and will give you direction in your life as you read them every day.

  • You can trust your teachers and leaders. They love you and are teaching you the things that Heavenly Father wants you to do.

We must always be trustworthy. We must learn whom we can trust to help us make right choices. Perhaps the most important thing of all is that we must let Heavenly Father know that He can trust us—that He can trust us to do the things that are right, that He can trust us to keep His commandments to be loving and kind and obedient and honest and to set a good example for all those around us. Heavenly Father wants us to be trustworthy, and when we are, we will receive the wonderful blessings of peace and joy and happiness that He has to share with all His children.

At about age three

At age nine, with his mother and older brother Bill

As a young man

Elder and Sister child with their family