The Unruly Man
Hannah clung to Mother’s hand as they walked towards the temple. She was frightened by the people who were
waving protest signs and shouting. Hannah buried her face in Mother’s coat when a scary looking man with a long unkempt beard approached and handed Mother an Anti-Book of Mormon pamphlet.
“Thank you for your concern,” Mother said to the man, “But, I’ve prayed about The Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost told me it is true. Have you read it?” Mother asked in a kind voice.
“I ain’t going to read a false book filled with lies,” The grumpy man spouted.
“If you change your mind the missionaries in the Visitors’ Center will give you a copy,” Mother responded with a kind voice. “It’s a wonderful book!”
Hannah peaked out from behind Mother’s coat. The man’s face had changed. Instead of looking mean and ornery, he looked forlorn and confused.
Mother reached out shook the man’s grimy hand. “God bless you,” she said, “I hope you change your mind and read The Book of Mormon someday. I promise you it will change your life and bring your closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ,” she added before leading Hannah away through the crowd.
After arriving at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building they slipped into the rest room. Hannah looked at Mother as she washed and dried her hands.
“I didn’t like that man. He was mean. Why did you talk to him and shake his dirty hand?” she asked in disgust.
“Hands can be cleaned,” Mother said, holding her hands up and turning them back and forth for Hannah to see.
Mother took Hannah by the hand and led her out the door and into the grand lobby where they found a bench to sit on and talk.
“Hannah, I know we’ve discussed how you shouldn’t talk to strangers and I could have ignored him, but the spirit whispered to me that we were safe and if I was kind I could help soften that man’s heart. Do you understand?”
While Hannah thought about Mother being kind to the unruly man the spirit whispered the words of a song to her. Smiling at Mother, Hannah nodded, “Yes,” and then quietly sang, “I want to be kind to everyone, For that is right, you see. So I say to myself, ‘Remember this; Kindness begins with me.’”
By Margie Nauta Lee