Hide Footnotes


“Surprise!” Friend, Oct. 2010, 18–19


Benjamin A. of Bluffdale, Utah

A Musical Surprise

Benjamin A. is always surprising people. When he was three years old, he surprised his parents with his Christmas wish: a violin. He had heard his older sister playing her violin and really liked the sound.

For Christmas he got his own little violin, and he surprised everyone by figuring out how to play songs on it by ear. When he was five he got a bigger violin and started taking violin lessons. Then he surprised everyone with how much he loved practicing.

Now Benjamin is nine. And people are surprised because he plays in the high school orchestra. That’s pretty unusual for a fourth grader! Some of his favorite pieces are by Vivaldi and Handel. His favorite Primary song is “A Child’s Prayer.”

Right now Benjamin is trying to learn to compose music. He wants to write a piece that he can play in church.

Family Home Evening Surprises

One Sunday afternoon a few years ago, Benjamin’s dad gave him a piece of paper and suggested that he make something for family home evening. Now every Sunday Benjamin gets out his craft box and makes a project. He has made models of scripture stories like Jonah and the whale and Noah’s ark. It’s always a surprise to see what he will come up with.

Benjamin likes sharing his projects in family home evening. And when it’s time to sing the opening song, Benjamin volunteers to conduct it.

A Popcorn Surprise

Last summer Benjamin planted Indian corn and other plants in his own garden box. After he harvested his corn, he let it dry. Soon there was a special kind of popcorn popping at Benjamin’s house. His family ate his whole crop at family home evening!

Benjamin is the youngest of nine children. He shares a bedroom with his older brother, Joseph. You might find them playing catch or using foam swords to act out the story of Ammon from the Book of Mormon. Joseph is also teaching Benjamin how to play rugby.

Benjamin has a favorite pet—a cat he named Kitty. He used his creativity to make a maze for Kitty out of cardboard boxes.

Whenever Benjamin is around, you can see people smiling. He has a great smile, sparkly eyes, and a fun personality that seems to say, “Surprise!”

Photographs by Christina Smith