Trying to Be Like Jesus

By Jovencio Joseph “J. J.” Sigaya Ilagan III


He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

Love Note

I am the oldest of four children. When I was 10 years old, my sisters Kathleen and Kyla, my brother David, and I often scattered our toys around the house. To help us be more responsible, our parents bought us a cabinet. We liked to arrange our toys in the cabinet. Every morning before leaving for school, we checked to see if our toys were in their proper places. Kyla, who was three years old then, didn’t attend school yet.

One afternoon when we returned from school, we were horrified to find the toy cabinet empty. We called Kyla and demanded to know where our toys were. She pointed behind the bedroom door. There we saw our toys in a careless heap, some of them damaged.

I was so angry that I ordered Kyla out of the room. After we put our toys back in the cabinet, I took a pen and paper and wrote in bold letters “Kyla is not allowed to enter this room!” I stuck it on our bedroom door, and we called Kyla to read it. She didn’t know how to read yet, but she pretended she could, reading loudly, “J. J., I love you, from Kyla.”

I felt my cheeks turn red with shame. Kyla had shown me love despite my being angry with her. I will never forget that experience. Whenever I am tempted to be angry, it humbles me. Kyla taught me that we don’t have to be grown-ups to try to be like Jesus. We can start now.

[photo] Jovencio Joseph “J. J.” Sigaya Ilagan III, age 12, is a member of the Tugbungan Ward, Zamboanga Philippines Stake.

The Borrowed Book

My schoolteacher has a special shelf where she keeps books that she doesn’t want anyone to take home. I saw a book there that I wanted to take home and read that night. I knew I could finish it and bring it back the next day before she missed it.

I read the book that night and put it on my dresser. Later, my sister spilled a glass of water on the book and didn’t tell me. By the time I found out, my teacher’s book was wet and puffy. I was so scared that I started to cry! I was afraid my teacher would be really mad at me. I prayed that she wouldn’t be mad and that she would still trust me. I decided I should pay for the book, and my sister agreed to help pay, too. We put our money in an envelope.

The next morning I wished that I didn’t have to go to school. All morning I practiced in my head how I would apologize to my teacher. Finally I took the book and money to her and explained what had happened. She didn’t get mad at me, and she even gave back the money.

I know that Heavenly Father forgives us and loves us, but it would have been better if I had chosen the right in the first place. I learned a good lesson, but I’m glad that it’s over. Now I am trying to choose the right every day, even when it’s hard.

[photo] Gerika Ballard, age 8, is a member of the Bluffdale Eighth Ward, Bluffdale Utah Stake.

Turning the Other Cheek

Last year I was sitting on the school bus when an older boy came over and started saying mean things to the boy next to me. I told him to stop. I said it was not nice. He didn’t like that, so he slapped my face. I sat there shocked that he had done this to me. My mom had told me that when kids say or do mean things, I should sing the Primary song “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus.” So I started singing the song in my head, and the boy slapped me again. I did not hit the boy back. I didn’t want to hit him. I followed Jesus’s example and turned the other cheek. I know I did the right thing by not hitting back. I am happy that we have Primary songs that can help us during hard times.

[photo] Matthew Painter, age 9, is a member of the Hazeldale Ward, Beaverton Oregon West Stake.

I Will Keep the Sabbath Day Holy *

One Sunday a friend came to my house, and I told him, “I can’t play today.” He was sad because I couldn’t play. But we played on Monday. I felt great, and he did, too.

[photo] Rebekah Nielson, age 6, is a member of the Willow Glen Ward, San Jose California Stake.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Elise Black

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    See My Gospel Standards, Faith in God guidebook, back cover.