I was faced with an assignment at school that made me very uncomfortable. Our teacher asked half the class to write an essay on why we should keep the words under God in the Pledge of Allegiance (of the United States) and the other half—my half—to write an essay on why we should take them out. I was sad and felt that I could not do this. I believe in Heavenly Father and have a testimony of Him, and I wanted to keep His name in the pledge. I went to my mom with this problem, and she told me to express my true opinion. She also told me to tell the teacher how I felt. So the next day I turned in the assignment and told my teacher why I could not do as she had asked. To my amazement, that is what she wanted. She hoped we would stand up for what we believed, and gave us the assignment to see if we would make that choice for ourselves. I was the only one in the class who did not defend the assigned point of view.
I Will Seek Good Friends and Treat Others Kindly *
My daughter Emily is in kindergarten. Every day at recess she sees a little girl named Raye who is in a wheelchair. Raye can’t walk or talk. Emily told me that she doesn’t want Raye to feel sad because she can’t run and play with the other children. So whenever she sees Raye, Emily sits with her and holds her hand and tells her stories. One day last week Raye looked cold, so Emily took off her own coat and laid it across Raye’s shoulders. Emily loves Raye and wants her to be happy.
See My Gospel Standards, Faith in God guidebook, back cover.
This summer the older girls in our ward Primary went swimming at the local pool for activity day. Every girl came, and one brought a friend from another church. They were polite and courteous to each other and everyone around them. That alone would have made me proud, but the girls’ next actions were such that I’m sure Heavenly Father was proud, too.
In the pool, an argument arose between some children not in our group. They were fighting over a raft, and the tension was growing. Some of our girls stepped in and helped make peace. They spoke in soft voices and helped keep the situation calm. In the end, everyone went away happy. A woman who saw the incident was so impressed that she approached one of our leaders to praise our girls and ask who they were.
A short while later, a man carrying a baby suddenly cried out, “I’ve lost my wedding ring!” With the baby in his arms, he could not find it by himself. Fortunately, he was standing near our girls. They instantly stopped playing and let the water settle. Within seconds, one of them spotted the ring and dove to get it for the man. He was very grateful.
Neither the woman nor the man asked to be taught by missionaries right then and there. But if they come into contact with the Church again, perhaps they will remember the examples set by the activity-day girls.
“Will You Please Stop?”
A girl in my class at school was saying the Lord’s name in vain. I didn’t like it. When we went to recess I wanted to ask her to stop saying it, but I was very nervous. I finally got up my courage and said, “Will you please stop saying that word?”
She said, “I can say it if I want to,” and she said it again in my face. I asked her again to please not say it in front of me, and she said, “OK.” Since then I haven’t heard her say it.
When I was playing soccer, my coach told us about a final pizza party at the end of the season. It was on Sunday! I felt that I shouldn’t go, even though I wanted to. I decided not to go because I wanted to choose the right.