A Seat at the Front

“A Seat at the Front,” Friend, June 2006, 32–33

A Seat at the Front

(Based on a true story)

Do all things without murmurings and disputings (Philip. 2:14).

Six-year-old Amber looked around the busy chapel as the people came in. She saw the young men who passed the sacrament smiling as they sat down. Moms and grandmas hugged their neighbors. Dads and grandpas shook people’s hands. She also saw her friends from Primary sitting on benches with their moms and dads and brothers and sisters.

Then Amber looked at her bench. Only her mom, older sister, and brother sat with her. Her dad sat with the bishop at the front of the chapel.

Amber didn’t like Dad sitting at the front of the chapel. She knew he sat there because he was called to be the second counselor in the bishopric. But she wanted him to sit next to her so she could snuggle against his arm.

Mom looked at her grumpy face. “What’s wrong, Amber?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t like Dad sitting in the front,” Amber said.

“Bishop Smith is responsible for all the people in the ward,” Mom explained to her again. “That is a very big job. He needs helpers like Dad and Brother White. They have received a call from Heavenly Father to help the bishop and each person in the ward.”

After sacrament meeting Amber went home with her family. Dad stayed at church for a meeting. When Dad got home, Amber sat on his lap. “I missed you in church,” she said quietly. Dad looked at her carefully. “Well, I’ll see what I can do about that,” he said.

The next Sunday after Primary, Dad was waiting for Amber. Together they walked into the chapel and up the steps. Dad took his place next to Bishop Smith. Dad had told Amber that she could sit with him for a few minutes before the meeting started.

Amber tried to be very reverent. She listened to the soft organ music and watched as all the people sat down in the chapel. She saw white-haired ladies sitting together on a bench. She noticed that some of the families had only a mom, and some had only a dad. And some children came to church with their grandmas and grandpas.

“And the bishop takes care of all these people!” she thought. “He does need help.” Amber knew that she could help the bishop by not being grumpy when Dad sat away from her. “From now on I’m going to be happy!” she thought. Then she looked at Mom and her brother and sister. “They look lonely without me sitting next to them,” she decided.

Amber smiled at Dad and whispered, “See you at home. We’ll be waiting for you.” Then she walked quietly back to her family.

Illustrated by Apryl Stott