Eleven-year-old Merry Lynne Elliott knows the importance of being kind, thoughtful, and understanding to all her brothers and sisters living in the world today. She would like to share with boys and girls everywhere a talk she gave in Sunday School.
When Jesus lived on the earth He often taught people by telling them stories called parables. I would like to tell you a story—that you might call a parable—about a little girl. She is a little different from most girls because when Heavenly Father sent her spirit to earth she could not do some things just like other girls her age. Because she could not ride a bike, paint, write or do many other things that boys and girls and adults take for granted, she became known to her friends and schoolmates as mentally retarded when, in fact, her intelligence was above average.
This little girl has the same kinds of feelings as do other boys and girls—she hurts when she falls, is happy when someone tells her how nice she looks, and becomes emotionally upset when teased and made to feel she is no good by children who could be her friends.
Finally, after a great deal of help from doctors, family, and people who love her, she doesn’t cry so much when teased. But when these children tease her and can’t make her cry anymore by saying mean things, they sometimes hit her so she will cry. And she does, because she cries when someone hurts her.
My story, in case you haven’t guessed, is about me. It is my prayer that Heavenly Father will bring love and understanding into the hearts of these children so that my story can have a happy ending. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.