“A Dress for Primary,” Friend, Jan. 2004, 43
Desiree’s lower lip quivered as she watched her mother carry her dresses into the dry cleaner. She knew they wouldn’t be clean in time for church on Sunday. Mom had explained that to her, and Desiree had said that she understood, but now she wasn’t sure. When Mom came back, Desiree bit her lip to make it stop quivering. She didn’t want Mom to know she was upset.
“I want a new dress,” Desiree said when Mom got into the car. “It will be my first day in Sunbeams.”
“Sweetheart,” Mom answered, “you don’t need a new dress. Your dresses will be just fine when the smoky smell is gone.”
“But what will I wear on Sunday?” Desiree frowned.
“I don’t know yet,” Mom replied. “We’ll find something.” When Desiree sighed unhappily, Mom added, “Just be glad that no one was hurt in the fire.”
Desiree tried to be glad as she remembered Mom waking her up in the middle of the night and carrying her outside while Dad had called the fire department. They had quickly crossed the street to safety.
Later, Desiree learned how they had been awakened when the fire started—Dad had heard someone calling him. He woke up to see the house filling with smoke. Because they woke up and quickly got help, their home hadn’t burned down, but there was still a lot of smoke damage and a big mess to clean up.
“What if I pray for a new dress?” Desiree asked.
Mom sighed. “I think it would be better to pray that some other little girl could get a new dress.”
“Well, it might be a good idea to focus on being thankful that we didn’t lose very much in the fire instead of worrying so much about things we want,” Mom explained. “We should pray for others to have the things they need.”
“We don’t have everything we need,” Desiree said.
“Yes, we do,” Mom said. “We might just have to wait a little while to get it all back.”
Desiree drew pictures in the frost-covered car window with her finger the rest of the way home. As she thought about what Mom had said about praying for others, she decided it would be a good idea. She knew of children her age who needed shoes, clothes, and even enough food to eat. The more she thought about them, the more sorry she felt for acting selfish. Her mother was right; she did have everything she needed.
“Hey, there are your cousins,” Mom said as they pulled into the driveway. Desiree’s cousins were standing on the front doorstep with a big plastic bag on the ground beside them.
After Mom parked the car, she let Desiree’s two cousins inside. They were both older than Desiree.
“Look what we have!” the girls exclaimed.
“What is it?” Desiree asked.
“When we heard about the fire, our mom helped us go through some of our things,” Angela, the oldest cousin, explained. “Here, you can have these.”
Desiree took the big plastic bag and eagerly opened it. Inside she found some toys, stuffed animals, and clothes. At the very bottom was a pretty Sunday dress. Desiree squealed with delight as she pulled the dress from the bag. “Look!”
Mom clapped her hands in surprise. “Oh my goodness! How did you girls know she needed a dress for her first Sunbeam class?”
Angela shook her head. “We didn’t.”
“Thank you!” Desiree cried happily.
“Remember to thank Heavenly Father, too,” Mom said. “He’s the one who inspired your aunt to send us the dress.”
“But how did He know? I didn’t pray for one—honest!” Desiree said.
Mom hugged Desiree and smiled through happy tears. “He knows what we need even before we ask Him, just like He knew we needed to get out of the house before we started smelling smoke. Remember?”
“Wow!” Desiree smiled. “He really does know everything.”
Carrying her new dress up the stairs, Desiree went into her room to pray in thanks.
“There is nothing about us [Heavenly Father] does not know. He is conscious of our every need.”
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 31.