“The Button,” Friend, May 2003, 36
Jessica slipped her arms into her new spring coat. It was beige and blue and had tiny silver buttons. She’d wanted a new coat for a long time. Her old one was too small.
“I’m ready for our walk, Mom,” she called up the stairs.
Every evening they went for a walk. Mom was going through cancer therapy, and the only thing that made her feel better was to walk around the park. She said that the fresh air and sunshine were Heavenly Father’s medicine.
“How far shall we walk today?” Mom asked as she came down the stairs.
Jessica shrugged. “As far as you want. My homework is done.”
Mom smiled. “I feel good today. Let’s take a long walk.”
Eager to get going, Jessica led the way out of the house into the sunshine. A cool breeze tugged at her new coat. She buttoned it up.
Many families were out enjoying the grass and the creek that flowed through the park. Jessica saw dogs, children, and even a few kites as she and Mom walked along the sidewalk. Everything seemed perfect.
A soccer ball rolled in front of Jessica. She picked it up and tossed it back to the small boy who had kicked it in her direction. Feeling warm now, she unbuttoned her coat. “Oh, no!”
Mom stopped and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“A button on my new coat popped off.”
“It couldn’t have gone far. Let’s look for it.”
Jessica nodded, and they began searching.
After several minutes, Mom said, “Maybe we’d better check a little farther back. You might have lost it when we entered the park.”
They walked slowly, scanning every inch of the path. Finally they gave up and went home.
Over the next several days, things kept going wrong for Jessica. She lost her homework, had an argument with a friend, did poorly on a test, cut her finger, and caught a cold. At the end of the week, she went home from school feeling sad. “If one more thing goes wrong,” she told her mom, “I’m going to cry for a month.”
Mom wrapped her arms around Jessica. “When I’m having one of those days or weeks when I don’t think I’m going to make it, I pray extra hard. I pour my heart out to Heavenly Father. I thank Him for the many blessings I have. I tell Him how much I love Him, and I tell Him that I can’t make it without Him.”
Jessica nodded and wiped a tear that escaped from the corner of her eye. “Does it work?”
Mom smiled. “Of course it works! I believe in Jesus Christ and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church. I also believe that He lives and that He loves us more than we know. I couldn’t get through my cancer treatments without Him. He wants to help us.”
A warm glow filled Jessica. She knew that what Mom said was true.
“Why don’t we go for our walk right now?” Mom suggested. “Fresh air and sunshine will lift your spirits.”
“Can we go in a few minutes? I think I’ll go to my room and pray first.”
Mom smiled. “Let me know when you’re ready to go.”
A little later Jessica was walking quietly beside her mom. The afternoon sunshine made her smile. Suddenly a warm tingle started in her heart and chest. She stopped. “Look down,” a voice in her head said.
Jessica looked down. She froze. In the crack of the sidewalk was the silver button she had lost the week before. Joy filled her from head to toe. “Mom, look!” She picked up the tiny button and held it out in her hand.
“See, I told you Heavenly Father loves you.”
Knowing that Heavenly Father loved her so much that He would even help her find a button filled Jessica’s mind and heart with wonder. Her hand closed over the button. Today was turning out to be a very good day.
“I bear you my testimony that God the Father lives. He loves us. He hears our prayers, and He answers with what is best for us.”
Elder Henry B. Eyring
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
From an October 2001 general conference address.