While in fourth grade, my son, Taylor, was one of 12 semifinalists in a spelling bee. In the semifinals, Taylor tied with another boy for a spot in the finals. The tiebreaker was a “spell-off” in which each student wrote a series of words, which was then checked by a judge. On the last word of the series, the judge ruled that the other boy had spelled the word incorrectly. Taylor was declared the winner and awarded the final spot in the evening competition.
The judges congratulated the winners and were handing out certificates when I saw Taylor’s hand go up. He informed a judge that he, too, had misspelled the last word. The judge had misread his handwriting.
The judges met and announced another spell-off. Taylor didn’t win this time. The principal and Taylor’s teacher saw me crying and thought it was because Taylor had lost. I quickly explained that I could not be more pleased with my son. He had chosen to be honest regardless of the cost. I am grateful that Taylor had the courage to be like Jesus Christ and choose the right.
A few months before my eighth birthday, my mom and I were cleaning out my bedroom. We noticed how much stuff I had that I didn’t really use, and my mom asked me where I would put the new things I was going to get for my birthday. After talking about it, I said, “I don’t need gifts for my birthday. Let’s find someone who doesn’t have anything and give him or her the gifts.”
On my birthday, I invited my friends over for a party. I asked that instead of bringing a gift for me, they bring one for a seven-year-old girl who was living in a homeless shelter. A fire at the shelter had burned all of her belongings. During the party we took our gifts to the girl. Because of a death in the family, she wasn’t at the shelter, so we left the gifts on her bed. It was sad to see how little this family had. We all left feeling very grateful for what we have. When my mom asked me later how I thought the party had gone, I said, “It was fun. We did something good today.”
One day my friend got sick. Mom and I baked him some cookies, and I made him a card. I took the cookies and card to his house and told him that I loved him. It made me feel good to do something nice for my friend.
A Great Example
Mariah Atkin is a great example of listening to the Holy Ghost. Mariah loves the animals Heavenly Father has given us to enjoy. One day Mariah’s rabbit, Licorice, had babies. For some reason, Licorice didn’t know how to be a good mother. She didn’t keep her babies warm or let them nurse. Mariah tried everything she could think of to help the babies, but four of them died.
Mariah was so upset that she ran to a private spot in the yard and started to cry. Then she began to pray, asking Heavenly Father to please bless the babies that were still alive. Mariah went back and found the tiny babies huddled together, trying to stay warm.
A thought came into Mariah’s mind: “Take Licorice out of her cage, place a towel over her face and front paws, and hold the babies up to nurse.”
Mariah felt that the thought was from the Holy Ghost, and she was careful to obey. It worked! Mariah helped the babies nurse for three weeks, twice during the day and once in the middle of the night. They are now healthy bunnies with wonderful homes.
Mariah has learned that Heavenly Father loves everything and knows what is happening in our lives. He hears our prayers and helps us make a difference for good when we listen to the Holy Ghost.