Firm Foundations
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“Firm Foundations,” New Era, Jan. 2019, 46–47.

Firm Foundations

“Take the Peanut Butter Crackers”

Firm Foundations

Illustrations by Alyssa Gonzalez

It was a beautiful day, so I decided to ride my bike to the ward barbecue. I wouldn’t be able to stay long because I had cross-country practice. As I was getting ready to go, the idea of taking some peanut butter crackers crossed my mind. How silly, I thought, I’m going to a ward barbecue. I don’t need to take any food.

As I pedaled to the barbecue, I again thought I should’ve packed some peanut butter crackers. Too late now. Soon I was at the park waiting for the food to be ready. I waited and waited and waited. By now my stomach was growling, and I was getting hungrier by the minute. But I couldn’t wait any longer; it was time for practice, and I had to leave. I wished I had those crackers.

When practice was over, I pedaled back to the barbecue, wanting desperately to eat. I made it to the park just as people were driving off. Please let there be food left! I scrambled trying to find leftovers. Hamburgers! Yes, there were some left! I slapped some meat on a bun and devoured my cold burger.

As I took another a bite, I had a new thought: Heavenly Father cares about me. He was trying to send a message that would have helped me. It’s miraculous, really, all the ways we are watched over. To have the Spirit’s guidance is an amazing blessing, even if it’s a simple thought like taking peanut butter crackers.

Angela T., Washington, USA

Reading the Book of Mormon Saved My Scholarship

Firm Foundations

I knew my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my college education, so I’d studied like crazy in high school. All that effort paid off—I got into the school of my choice and received a good scholarship.

In college I did my best to keep up, but sometimes it felt like I was slipping behind. When midterms rolled around, my grades hit me like a bucket of ice water. If I continued on this path, I would lose my scholarship by the end of the term. I panicked. What more could I do? I was already getting up before dawn and studying until the library closed.

In despair I turned to the Lord in prayer. The distinct answer was to read the Book of Mormon every day. What? How could reading more help when I couldn’t even finish what was already on my schedule? But I trusted in the Spirit’s promptings, so when I got up early to study, I read my Book of Mormon and then turned to my college books. Miraculously, I got all of my reading done for that day.

Continuing this study pattern over the following weeks, I got all the way caught up on my schoolwork and even had time for a little bit of a social life. By the time final exams were finished, my grades were high enough that I was no longer in danger of losing my scholarship. My dreams of receiving a college education could still come true as long as I kept listening to God’s promptings.

Jennifer G., Arizona, USA

He Wants to Help Me

Firm Foundations

I have always struggled to fit in. One night this particular struggle was hitting me really hard. It pushed me to the point of tears. When it came time for bed, I was feeling really drained and didn’t want to think about this struggle anymore. I decided I wouldn’t pray about it. I would just say my regular prayers and then go to sleep.

But as soon as I started praying, the Holy Ghost began to work on me, telling me that my Savior loved me, that He wanted to help me, and that I wasn’t alone. I was actually having a conversation with my Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. I was able to express how much I hurt, and He listened.

The Spirit was so strong that I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father and my Savior would never really leave me alone. They would always be there for me. I felt strengthened and uplifted and knew that I would be able to get through this trial. I know that Heavenly and Jesus Christ love me. Never again will I forget that. They are waiting to help us. All we have to do is reach out.

David M., Idaho, USA