A Special Day
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    “A Special Day,” Friend, Oct. 2001, 18

    A Special Day

    Based on a true story

    Be swift to hear (James 1:19).

    Hilary couldn’t wait. She slid off her bed and landed on Elise’s mattress—hard.

    “Get up, Leesie,” she told her little sister, taking an extra bounce. “It’s a special day.”

    Elise scrunched her nose, groaned, and rolled over. She didn’t even open her eyes.

    Hilary skipped across the room to Baby John’s crib. “Hey, John B., guess what?” She poked her hand through the bars and stroked his little arm. “It’s general conference today.”

    John stuck his tongue out and gurgled at her.

    He’s too little to listen to conference, Hilary thought. Mom didn’t even buy him a new coloring book.

    Hilary could hear the shower going. Probably Daddy. She horse-galloped down the hall and peeked into Mommy and Daddy’s room. Mommy was lying on her side with the covers pulled up to her chin. Hilary tiptoed up to her. “Mommy, it’s conference day,” she whispered into Mommy’s ear.

    Mommy opened her eyes and smiled. “You’re right, darling.”

    “That means Leesie and I get to use our new coloring books, right?”

    “Mmm-hmm.” Mommy yawned.

    “And our new markers?”

    “Yes, dear.”

    “And the new puzzle with the bunny on it?”

    “That’s right.” Mommy rolled down the covers and sat up in bed. “Is Baby John awake yet?”

    “Yep. But Leesie doesn’t want to get up.”

    “Tell her I’m running your bathwater as soon as Daddy’s out of the shower. We need to hurry.”

    “I’ll put the candy you got for us in your bag with the markers,” Hilary volunteered. She was planning to be very good during conference so she could get the most candy. I’m being really good so far, she told herself.

    The family drove to the meetinghouse for the broadcast because it wasn’t on their local TV channels. Hilary and Elise spread their coloring books and markers on a table at the front of the Relief Society room. Mommy and Daddy liked to watch conference there so that the girls could color quietly and Baby John could sleep on his blanket. Hilary listened to the choir sing as she looked through all the pictures in her new book. She had a lot of coloring to do!

    Then a man in a suit and tie appeared on the screen.

    “That’s the prophet,” Mommy whispered. “He tells us what Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to do.”

    Hilary sighed and flipped through the coloring book one more time. “Leesie, let’s do our puzzle now,” she said.

    Elise looked up at her and shook her blond pigtails. “Not yet. We have to listen to the prophet.”

    Hilary saw that Elise’s coloring book was closed. She was looking at the television screen and trying to understand what the man with the tie was saying.

    Hilary tapped the toes of her shiny church shoes on the carpet and frowned. She wondered why they even got the new puzzle if they weren’t going to use it. Then she remembered the candy in Mommy’s bag. Quickly she folded her arms and stopped tapping her toes. She glanced to see if Mom was watching, then gazed up at the television.

    The prophet was saying to be a little more kind to others. Mommy tells us that, too. Hilary also remembered Sister Johnson’s last lesson in Primary: “Jesus said, ‘Love everyone.’”

    Hilary looked around at her family. Daddy was bent over his notepad, writing down with a blue pen what the prophet was saying. Elise still hadn’t opened her coloring book. Mom was holding Baby John, patting his back, and watching the screen. Mom caught Hilary’s eye and smiled.

    Hilary felt happy and warm. I like listening to the prophet, she decided, looking up at the man with the tie. Her new puzzle and coloring book could wait.

    Illustrated by Taia Morley