This is the part when I start having to be careful about what I expose my child to. Because you never know what kind of fearsome beasts are lurking in your recent issue of The Friend.
Yes, The Friend. The church’s magazine for children. You think you can just flip it open and read any story to your toddler and it’ll be fine. But no. I learned this a few weeks ago as I was reading Simon the article by Pres. Uchtdorf — “A Banner of Faithfulness.” A lovely story. It’s about John Rowe Moyle, a stonecutter who worked on the Salt Lake Temple. His leg gets broken by a cow. His leg is then amputated so he doesn’t die. And then he carves himself a new leg from wood and eventually works up the strength to walk the 20+ miles to the Salt Lake Temple every week (and then back home on the weekend) where he carves the stone that says, “Holiness to the Lord The House of the Lord.”It is a lovely story, one that I’ve heard often in my 26 years. But if you are 2 years old, you may not make it to the part about him getting better and accomplishing this amazing feat. You may be hung up on the “broken leg” and the “amputation” bit at the beginning. Which I only realized when I finished the story and asked Simon what he thought. He was staring wide-eyed at nothing, looking slightly horrified. Then he asked me to show him where it said “broken leg.” And that is when I realized my mistake. We talked about it. I tried to explain that things like that can happen but bodies can heal. The next morning he wanted to look at his “new magazine” and he flipped straight to the broken leg story. We talked about it again. I summoned Charlie and Lola to help me via the episode “Charlie is Broken.” He was clearly still troubled. It’s been about 3 weeks and he still flips straight to that story and wants to read about the cow and the broken leg. (The amputation was more frightening at first, but he seems to have gotten over it.)
If you ask him about it now, though, he’ll tell you that a man got his leg broken by a cow and then he got better and went and built the temple. So, all’s well that ends well, right? And in the meantime I’ll hope he doesn’t develop bovine-phobia or some other such dreaded condition.