A Little Priority

    “A Little Priority,” New Era, August 2015, 47

    A Little Priority

    Dallin H., Oklahoma, USA

    Instant Messages

    Illustrations by Dani Jones

    It was the first full week of eighth grade, and I was already feeling stressed about keeping up with my heavy course load. To make matters worse, my mom had volunteered the two of us to spend the afternoon taking care of a two-year-old boy named Aaron. The plan was that Aaron would nap for two hours while his mom was gone and I’d work on my schoolwork on my laptop while he napped. However, soon after our arrival at Aaron’s house, we heard him crying. At first, we thought he might fall back asleep, but his crying grew louder and louder until he was wailing, screaming, and calling out for his mom.

    “Great. How am I going to get my schoolwork done now?” I thought. I felt instantly stressed. I still had my computer open to do my assignment, but how much Spanish homework do you think I was accomplishing with his siren-like wailing going on? Yep, nada.

    My mom was doing everything possible to comfort him, but he was clinging to her and sobbing, his tears leaving wet spots all over her shirt.

    Then I felt the Holy Ghost speak softly to my mind and heart, prompting me that comforting Aaron was more important than my homework.

    So I shut my laptop and started to talk to him. Between my mom snuggling and rocking him and me talking to him, he finally stopped screaming and settled down. Soon enough, little Aaron actually got down from my mom’s lap.

    He seemed to want to play. At that point, my mom could have played with him and I could have returned to my studies. But again, I felt that it was important for me to play with little Aaron.

    So I sang crazy songs, made silly voices, rolled around on the floor, and contorted my face in all kinds of funny ways. He smiled and laughed. When Aaron’s mom came home, it was awesome to have a happy, giggly Aaron greet her.

    My mom and dad have always taught me and shown a good example of how serving others brings joy and meaning to our lives. Now I think I understand what it means in the Bible to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39), and it feels awesome!