“Abba’s Gifts,” Friend, Sept. 2002, 21
Abba loved Primary, and today it was more fun than usual. The lesson was on giving. During the lesson, they sang her favorite song, “‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream.”* On the way home from church, the words of the song kept going through her mind, “‘Give away, oh! give away.’”
The next day, she went to the library to see her friends at story time. As she got ready, she kept singing the song to herself, “Give, then, as Jesus gives; There is something all can give.”
That’s it! Abba thought. There is something I can give. She dressed quickly and ran out to her mother. “May I use your big blue tote bag today, Mom?”
“Of course you may,” Mom told her. “What are you going to carry in such a large bag?”
“I’m going to wrap up presents to give to people today! I want today to be different.”
Abba and her mother left the house with the tote bag full of the little presents. They were Abba’s own toys, and she was going to share them with others who needed them.
The bus came, and Abba found a seat near the front. A small girl sitting nearby was crying while her mother was trying to quiet a fussy baby.
Abba reached into her bag and handed the girl a present.
Abba’s mother told the girl in her best Spanish, “It’s a gift for you. Open it!”
The little girl looked at her mother, then quickly opened the gift when her mother nodded yes. Soon she was sitting quietly, playing with a small doll.
The people on the bus were all smiling.
Abba and her mother got off the bus long enough to do some banking. When they walked into the bank, one of the customers seemed very angry. He raised his voice to the teller, then stormed away.
Abba saw the sad look on the teller’s face and tugged at her mother’s sweater. “May I give a grown-up a gift?”
“Sure—but first let me ask if she would like one.”
Abba walked up to the counter as her mother told the teller about the gift. Abba handed it to her and watched as a smile broke out on the teller’s face when she opened it and saw a pretty yellow airplane! The teller held it up for the other people in the bank to see.
As Abba and her mother walked out the door, they could hear the other people laughing and talking happily about the gift.
Abba told her mother jokes as the bus sped past the skyscrapers into downtown.
Her friend Jessica met her at the library with some sad news. Jessica was going to move soon. This was the last time that she would see Abba.
When the story hour was over, Abba gave Jessica one of her presents to help Jessica remember her. The storybook cheered Jessica up, and all of Jessica’s library friends hugged her good-bye.
The last stop for the day was at Abba’s big sister’s dance school. Abba loved to go there and play with the older children while she waited for her sister to finish her class. Today, however, instead of being greeted by playing children, she saw one of the teenagers standing by the door crying.
“What’s wrong, Olivia?” Abba asked.
Olivia said that one of the boys had called her a name and made fun of her.
Abba was afraid to offer a toy to a teenager, but she thought about it for a minute and decided that it might help. She was right!
After opening the gift, Olivia dried her tears, picked Abba up and spun her around and around in a big hug. Then Olivia ran inside to show everyone her gift.
All the other teenagers laughed happily as they played with the sparkly bouncy ball. Soon Olivia had forgotten about the mean boy.
That night before she said her prayers, Abba cuddled with her mother. She asked why everyone had seemed so happy, when she had given a gift to only one person at each place.
Her mother explained that everyone was happy because she had given a gift more important than the little toys. She had given the gift of love, and everyone had felt it!
“We are a church … in whose name is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We bear witness of Him, and it is His example and His teachings we try to follow. We give love.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley
(Ensign, June 2000, page 75.)