Liahona
Are You Two Sisters?
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“Are You Two Sisters?” Liahona, August 2021

Latter-day Saint Voices

Are You Two Sisters?

The young boy’s question caught me by surprise and taught me an important lesson.

Women

Photograph courtesy of the author

My friend Laurie Wharemate Keung is Maori. I am of English descent. We have contrasting skin tones, eye color, hair color, and height. We couldn’t look more different. Yet one day while Laurie and I were serving children at a low-income school, a young Maori boy surprised us with a question.

“Are you two sisters?” he asked.

I chuckled, thinking his question was insincere. The boy, however, asked me again, “Are you two sisters?”

Realizing that he was sincere, I paused for a moment and wondered, “Could this boy not see the clear differences in our appearance and race?” Perhaps he did but thought it made no difference. He eagerly awaited my answer.

I told him we were not sisters, which disappointed him. But I added that we often felt like sisters as we served together. He seemed satisfied with that answer and ran off to his table.

This boy’s sincere question left an indelible mark on me. Why? Because his question spoke a truth to me—that family isn’t limited to genetics or appearance. My husband and I have been blessed to adopt two of our children. We love them, and love and service are an essential part of families.

After all, we are all children of our “one God and Father” (Ephesians 4:6).

I concluded that this boy must have been watching Laurie and me interacting. Maybe as he saw us helping or hugging each other, he assumed we were sisters. His question reminded me that children are always watching adults and forming opinions by what we say and do and how we treat each other. If this boy could assume we were sisters, then surely children across the world can assume we are all brothers and sisters if only we love and serve one another.

Our differences allowed Laurie and me to bring diverse strengths and perspectives to our charity work, making it more effective. Rather than let our differences divide us, we used them to do good and in turn form a close friendship. The young boy’s question can be a lesson for all of God’s children.