Friend to Friend

Elder Rex D. Pinegar

My dear friends,

“I dare you!” are words boys and girls often hear from friends who want you to prove to them that you are brave or strong or daring. They may ask you to do something that your parents or teachers have told you not to do—something that you know is wrong to do. I have learned that when we do something we know is wrong, we show weakness rather than strength. A person shows true bravery and strength only when he has the courage to do right.

Once, when I was about seven years old, I had a pal whom I liked very much. We often walked home from school together. We talked about such things as what happened at school that day or what we were going to be when we grew up. We talked of being brave and of being able to do many things.

Sometimes we would dare each other to jump across a ditch or to climb a tree just to prove that we were brave or that we could do things we had seen older boys and girls do.

As we came to my home one day we stood out by the road and talked about who was the fastest runner in the school. The discussion got a little louder as both of us began boasting. When I strongly insisted that I could run faster than my friend, he turned to me and said, “If you’re so fast, I dare you to run across the road before that car gets here!”

I looked up the road and saw a car a short distance away. Without another word I dashed into the road to prove that I was fast and brave. A moment later the car’s brakes squealed! Its bumper hit me, and I landed in an unconscious heap.

When I opened my eyes, my aching body, a hurt pride, and my mother’s anxious face made me realize that I had been neither fast nor brave. I had only been foolish. I had brought sadness to myself and to others.

Fortunately, my injuries healed quickly. Of greater importance was the lesson I learned that has been valuable to me throughout my life. I learned that the only dare a person should ever accept is the DARE TO DO RIGHT.

If you accept a dare to do something that is not right, something that Heavenly Father or your parents would not want you to do, you will be left with a sad and disappointed feeling. When you dare to do right you will have a good feeling about yourself.

As one friend to another I encourage you to be obedient to your parents and to the teachings of the Lord. Your parents and friends will respect you and will have confidence in you. You will have respect for yourself and will grow up with confidence in the Lord. By daring to do right you will become a friend of Jesus Christ and you will enjoy His greatest blessings.

May you always DARE TO DO RIGHT.
With love, your friend,
Rex D. Pinegar

[illustration] Illustrated by Howard Post