Trying to Be Like Jesus Christ

By Kellie Harding, age 9

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My Tea Story

A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of … the saints in Zion (D&C 89:1).

Hi! My name is Kellie Harding. I’d like to tell you about something that happened to me in first grade (age 6) when I was trying to be like Jesus Christ even though it was really, really hard.

At school we were learning about different countries all over the world. I was so excited when the classroom next door invited us to learn about England and sample different kinds of food with them. But when I saw that they were serving all the kids English tea and biscuits, I felt very scared inside. I had learned about the Word of Wisdom in Primary and at family night, and I knew it was wrong to drink tea. I ate my biscuit, but I quietly pushed my cup of tea away, hoping no one would notice. But the teacher did notice and she told me I had to drink the tea. Even though it was scary, I told the teacher, “I cannot drink the tea.”

All the children sitting around me began to whisper about me, and one girl began making fun of me. The teacher and the children kept trying to make me drink the tea, even just a sip of it, but I knew I should not drink it. Jesus Christ wouldn’t do that, so I wouldn’t do it, either. No matter what they said or how mean their looks were, I would not drink the tea.

When the teacher saw that I wasn’t going to drink the tea, she went and got my homeroom teacher. I was embarrassed, and I felt my face get very hot. My teacher also talked and talked to me about drinking the tea, but I did not drink it. I knew Heavenly Father wouldn’t want me to, so I just told both the teachers that I could not drink the tea, I would not drink the tea. They both said that if I didn’t drink it, I would not be able to listen to the story on the rug or play the games with all the children after the tea and biscuits. They also told me that they were going to call my mother. I began to cry. I felt very bad inside. The teachers said that tears would not help—I still had to drink the tea. Even if it didn’t help, I couldn’t stop crying because all the kids were looking at me and the teachers were making me feel like I was being a very bad girl. I was just trying to be like Jesus.

My teacher went to the office and called my mom to tell her that I was being a problem in class because I wouldn’t drink the tea. When my mom told her that we belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we didn’t drink tea, my teacher was sorry. She apologized to me after recess. I wasn’t mad at her or the other teacher. I am just glad that I did the right thing and that I did what Jesus Christ would do. I felt happy inside, and I could feel that Heavenly Father was happy that I did the right thing too.

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison