“McKay and the Whale,” Friend, Jan. 2006, 16
McKay felt terrible! He had been playing with his bubblegum and gotten it all over his hands. Then, to make matters worse, he had wiped the bubblegum off his hands and onto his bedroom wall. He knew his mother and father would be coming to tuck him into bed any minute, and he was afraid. He didn’t want to get into trouble, so he piled a toy box and some toys on top of each other until they hid the bubblegum mess.
When Mother walked into his bedroom, she said, “McKay, why are your toys stacked up like that?”
He shrugged his shoulders, hoping she wouldn’t figure it out.
Father came in and sat next to McKay on the bed. “Well, shall we read scriptures?” he asked.
“Yes,” McKay said. He loved reading with his parents every night.
Father began to read the story of Jonah and the whale.* McKay closed his eyes and listened. He could understand why Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh and teach his enemies about the gospel. That would be a scary and hard thing to do.
McKay’s father read about Jonah running away so that he wouldn’t have to obey God. But God knew where Jonah was no matter where he went. Heavenly Father had to send a whale to swallow Jonah in order to teach him a lesson.
McKay frowned. He thought about Jonah trying to run away and hide from God. McKay remembered the bubblegum mess on the wall. Even though his mother and father couldn’t see it, Heavenly Father could. “Mom, Dad,” McKay said, “I’m hiding something.” He went to the wall and uncovered the mess.
“Yikes!” Mother said. “I’ll get a washcloth and some cleaner.”
Father shook his head. “Why did you try to hide that?” he asked.
“Because I was afraid, and I didn’t want to get into trouble. I’m sorry.”
Mother handed him the washcloth. “Here,” she said. “I’ll spray the cleaner. You scrub.”
After he finished cleaning the wall, McKay knelt with his parents and said a prayer. Then, he climbed into bed. “I’m glad you learned a lesson tonight,” Father said.
McKay smiled and said, “And I didn’t even have to be swallowed by a whale!”
His parents laughed and kissed McKay good night. McKay didn’t feel terrible anymore. In fact, he fell asleep feeling great.