23989_000_026A true story“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep” (John 10:14).
Mandy * was a friend in my ward when I was growing up. We went to Primary together. She had no brothers or sisters and lived with her mother, who seldom went to church.
In those days, Primary was held on a weekday afternoon. One time while we were waiting for Primary to start, some of the girls in our class said some things that hurt Mandy’s feelings. She began to cry and went home.
Later in class when our teacher was taking roll, she paused when she came to Mandy’s name and asked if anyone knew where she was. The room became silent, and a couple of girls began to squirm in their chairs. It didn’t take long for our teacher to learn what had happened.
Our Primary teacher set aside the lesson she had prepared and taught a lesson I have never forgotten. She stood up and told us that we were all going to Mandy’s house to apologize and to mend our friendships.
We were silent as we walked the two or three blocks to Mandy’s house. At first, it was awkward when she came to the door with red and swollen eyes. But apologies were given and accepted. Our friendships were renewed, and soon we were all in tears.
Mandy came back to Primary that day. She continued to come every week and remained faithful as a youth. When she grew up, she married a returned missionary in the temple. Today she and her husband are raising a beautiful family. They remain active and involved in the Church.
I am thankful for a Primary teacher who cared enough to teach us about love and repentance by taking us to find a lost lamb. Through her example, I came to know just how much Mandy—and each one of us—mattered, not just to her, but also to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have never forgotten that lesson.