You Choose Story-Maze

By Laura S. Shortridge

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    Choose the right when a choice is placed before you (Hymns, no. 239).

    Every day we make choices. Some aren’t a big deal—what color backpack we carry, for example. Other choices are a big deal—for instance, how we treat other people or whether we obey a commandment. Read the story below and pretend that you are the main character. What choices would you make?

    Your mom says that you may invite two friends over after school tomorrow. First you call Julie, who lives a few miles away. She is in your Primary class as well as in your class at school. Her parents say yes! She will walk home with you; her parents will pick her up before supper.

    Next you call Tasha, a nonmember who lives just a few houses away. She can come too. Before she hangs up the phone, though, she asks if anyone else is coming. When you tell her that Julie is also coming, Tasha says, “Yuk! Then I don’t want to come, after all.”

    If you say, “Julie is my friend too. Why don’t you come and get to know her better?” go to A. If you say, “OK, I’ll tell Julie that something came up with my mom and that I can’t have anybody over,” go to F.

    A. Tasha says, “Well, I guess I’ll still come, but don’t expect me to make friends with Julie.” After school, Tasha and Julie walk home with you. When Julie stoops to tie her shoelace, Tasha makes an ugly face at her behind her back.

    If you say, “Julie, Tasha’s making faces at you. She didn’t want you to come,” go to J. If you say nothing but give Tasha a look of disappointment, go to E.

    B. When Tasha is out of earshot, you whisper to Julie that Tasha didn’t want her to come and had made faces at her behind her back. Julie gets very quiet. Your get-together is no fun after that.

    Surely you didn’t mean to do that! Won’t you reconsider and choose I?

    C. You all three go back to the tire swing and have a lot of fun. After a while, Julie’s mom picks her up and Tasha walks home. You’re glad that she and Julie have become friends too.

    This is the end of the story—unless you want to do a little more missionary work. If you do, go to G.

    D. Tasha hides the cigarette as her mother drives past, then starts to put it in her mouth. You yell, “Stop! It really is bad for you.” She says, “Once won’t hurt. I want to know what it tastes like.” She takes a puff and starts to cough. When she throws the cigarette down, you stomp on it and say, “I wish you hadn’t done that. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to hurt our bodies.” Tasha asks, “Is Heavenly Father the same person as God? How do you know that He doesn’t want us to smoke?”

    If you say, “I just do, that’s all. Come on—it’s Julie’s turn on the swing,” go to C. If you say, “Because he told us so in a scripture we call the Word of Wisdom,” go to G.

    E. When you get to your house, punch and cookies are on the table. They turn out to be the favorite treats of both Tasha and Julie. As the afternoon goes on, you see that Tasha is actually being friendly with Julie. Tasha says, “Hey, Julie, I didn’t know you were such fun! You never say anything in school.”

    If you suddenly feel jealous and try to discourage their growing friendship, go to B. If you try to help them become better friends, go to I.

    F. Julie doesn’t come, because she thinks that your mom changed her mind about your having friends over. You and Tasha have a good time, except that you feel guilty about lying to Julie. Later, Julie finds out that Tasha was at your house, and her feelings are really hurt. Your friendship is never the same. You are sad that you lost a good friend.

    You can’t make such a bad decision so soon—repent and go to A.

    G. “What’s the Word of Wisdom?” Tasha asks. “It’s kind of like a health code,” you say. “It teaches us to not smoke, drink coffee, tea, beer, or wine—stuff like that. And to not do drugs.”

    Julie pipes up, “It teaches us to eat fruits and vegetables and grains—you know, healthy things.”

    “So do you two go to the same church?” Tasha asks. When you both nod, she looks down. “I don’t go to church, except when I visit my grandma. What do you do at your church?”

    “Well,” you answer, “we have Primary every Sunday. It’s kind of like Sunday School in other churches. We have a lesson and learn about Jesus Christ. We sing songs, too, and have a lot of fun. Oh, and we have special activity days every so often.”

    “Yeah,” Julie chimes in, “it’s all really neat! Would you like to come with us this Sunday?”

    “Do I have to wear a dress?”

    “We always do,” you tell her. “I’m always glad I do—it just feels right, somehow.”

    Tasha shrugs. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt me to dress up. Sure—I’ll ask Mom if I can go.” (The End)

    H. You put the cigarette to your mouth. You don’t breathe it in deeply, but even so, it tastes yucky. You are still holding it when Tasha’s mom drives by. She stops the car, hollers at Tasha to get in, and says to you, “Don’t expect Tasha to be coming over anymore.”

    You feel awful. When your eyes meet Julie’s, you see that she is very disappointed in you. You promise that you’ll never do anything like that again. Julie gives you a weak smile and says, “I believe you, but I don’t think that Tasha’s mom ever will.”

    This is your last chance in this story to get on the “right-choice” track. Hurry to D!

    I. You suggest that you all play on the tire swing. Tasha has the first turn swinging. As Julie climbs on the tire for her turn, a car full of teenagers zips by. One of them flips a cigarette on the curb. Tasha runs to pick it up. “It’s still lit!” She turns to you and says, “I dare you to try it!”

    If you say, “No, I don’t do that kind of stuff, and I hope you don’t either, ‘cause it’s bad for you,” go to D. If you say, “Well, maybe just one puff—but you’d better not tell anyone!” go to H.

    J. Julie gets tears in her eyes and doesn’t say anything. Tasha says, “Thanks a lot, Big Mouth,” and goes home. You and Julie have fun playing, but you get a knot in your stomach when you think about Tasha’s angry eyes. The next day in school, Tasha won’t even speak to you.

    Not again! Aren’t you glad that this is just a story? Change your choice to E.

    Illustrated by Julie F. Young