Helaman Wonders
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“Helaman Wonders,” Friend, November 2021

Helaman Wonders

“They’re just emails. Is that family history?”

“The hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers” (Doctrine and Covenants 2:2).

Childhood

Helaman wondered about lots of things. He wondered about science and history. And he wondered what things were like when his grandparents were his age.

One day he was kicking a soccer ball against a fence outside. He kicked it back and forth, back and forth.

I wonder what kinds of games kids played outside a long time ago, he thought. Did his grandparents play soccer too when they were kids?

Helaman stopped the ball with his foot. Wait … he could ask them!

He raced inside to the computer and logged in to his email account. Mom and Dad had made one just for him. He used it to email his family who lived far away. He sat down and typed an email to Grandma Barnes.

Helaman wonders …

What was your favorite thing to play outside when you were a kid? Mine is soccer.

Love,

Helaman

Click! He sent his question. He sent the same question to Grandpa Barnes. Then he sent it to Grandma and Grandpa White too.

The next day, Helaman checked his email. He had two new messages! He clicked the first one open.

Hi, Helaman!

My favorite thing to play outside was paper dolls. My friends and I would hang up a blanket to make a little house. I also liked playing jacks and hopscotch and riding my bike.

Love,

Grandma White

He read Grandpa White’s email next.

Hi, Helaman,

When I was a kid, we didn’t have TVs or computers. So we played outside a lot. In the summer we went swimming, and in the winter we went ice-skating. I also liked playing capture the flag with my friends.

Love,

Grandpa White

Helaman grinned. It was fun to learn about his grandparents!

Days went by, and Helaman kept wondering. Every time he wondered, he asked his grandparents a question. And he learned a lot about them!

He learned that Grandpa Barnes took ballroom dance classes. Grandma Barnes loved to memorize words and make scrapbooks. Grandma White used to be scared of singing in front of people. But later she sang at her high school graduation. Grandpa White learned how to make model airplanes when he was little, and he still liked to make them.

Childhood

Helaman laughed when he read about Grandma White’s old cat, Tommy. She used to dress him up in doll clothes and push him around in her doll stroller.

“What are you reading there, Helaman?” Dad asked.

“It’s an email from Grandma White,” Helaman said. “I’ve been asking her questions.”

Helaman showed Dad all the emails he’d been sending back and forth to his grandparents.

“Sounds like you’ve gathered some great family history stories!” Dad said. “Why don’t we put them on FamilySearch?”

Helaman tilted his head. “They’re just emails. Is that family history?”

“You bet!” Dad said. “Whenever you learn about your family, that’s family history. It’s a good idea to keep these stories so we can remember them later. Here. Let me show you.”

Dad helped Helaman log in to FamilySearch.org and type in all the things his grandparents had told him.

“Now the stories are saved so our family can read them later. Isn’t that cool?” Dad asked.

“Yeah!” Helaman smiled. “And I have lots more questions I want to ask.”

Friend Magazine, Global 2021/11 Nov

Illustrations by Gareth Conway