Jana’s Good Example

    “Jana’s Good Example,” Friend, Feb. 2011, 28–29

    Jana’s Good Example

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

    “See you later, Mom!” Trevor said as soon as sacrament meeting was over. Trevor couldn’t wait to get to Primary. He walked as fast as he could toward his classroom.

    “Walker, Ethan, wait up!” he called. Trevor’s friends slowed down so he could catch up.

    Trevor and his friends were always in a hurry to get to class. They liked being together, and their teacher, Sister Goodell, gave great lessons with stories and activities. After class, they liked to hurry to the Primary room and sit in the little Sunbeam chairs before the leaders had a chance to put them away. Sister Dolan, the Primary president, would tell them to sit in the big chairs. The boys would tease her a little bit and shake their heads, then laugh and move to the back row. Trevor loved all the familiar jokes, the familiar scripture stories, the familiar friends, and the familiar songs of Primary.

    But something was unfamiliar today. Somebody new was in his classroom—a quiet girl that Trevor had seen around school.

    “Boys,” Sister Goodell said, “This is Jana.”

    Jana smiled shyly.

    Sister Goodell smiled too and asked, “Jana, would you like to say the prayer?”

    Jana looked embarrassed. “Sorry,” she said quietly, “I don’t know how.”

    Jana was quiet for the rest of the lesson. She didn’t have her own scriptures, and she didn’t know the answers to any of Sister Goodell’s questions. Trevor wondered if Jana was worried because there was so much to learn.

    “She can watch the rest of us to see how to act,” he thought.

    When class was over, Jana stayed close to Sister Goodell and went straight to the Primary room while Trevor and his friends got a drink. When Trevor walked into the Primary room, he was disappointed to see that the little chairs had already been put away. He and his friends would have to wait until next week to play their favorite joke. He sat down near Jana so she could watch him and see what to do.

    He was surprised when Sister Dolan said, “Before we start, I want to thank Jana for being such a great example. She came in and helped me put away the little chairs without even being asked.”

    Suddenly Trevor felt embarrassed. He realized that his favorite joke wasn’t very reverent and probably wasn’t very funny to Sister Dolan. He watched Jana during sharing time and noticed that she listened quietly when Trevor would have been playing with the bookmark in his scriptures or whispering to his friends. During singing time, he noticed that even though Jana didn’t know the songs, she had learned some of them by the end because she paid such close attention. When it was time to go, Jana walked up to Sister Dolan and told her that she liked her sharing time lesson. Trevor had never done that, not ever!

    Trevor thought about Primary and Jana’s example for the rest of the day. Jana was helpful. She was reverent. She was thoughtful. She understood what to do at church better than Trevor did, and she had never come before. Trevor knew that he still had a lot to learn in Primary. He hoped Jana would come back soon and they could learn it all together.

    Illustrations by Matt Smith