A Second Mile
My three children and I were on our way home after shopping when we passed the man with the newspapers for the first time. I let Emmily, 2, hand him some money to buy a paper. Lisa, 6, asked, “What is that man doing? Why is he selling newspapers on the street instead of in the store?”
I explained that he was selling a special newspaper and that the people who sell the special newspaper don’t have much money. They often don’t have a home or a family to help them. But they can earn a little money by selling newspapers, and we can help them by buying one.
Many weeks later—on a rainy day—we were on our way to the children’s gymnastics lesson. Because we had to stop at the store, we didn’t take the direct route. After we had made our purchases, I wondered out loud which route we should take to the lesson. We could take a shorter route through a side street or a longer one taking us past the corner with the street vendor. I looked at Lisa and waited for her to choose.
“Let’s take the long way, Mom, and buy a newspaper,” she said. “Jesus would have done that.” We went the second mile that rainy day and bought one of many more newspapers.
On July 24, 2002, my son Steven Jackson and his nephew Taylor Miller were playing in the Pacific Ocean when they were sucked out by a riptide. Both were nine years old. Neither boy could swim, but Steven had strong legs and could dog-paddle. Taylor was having trouble staying above water, so Steven pulled him up and paddled for both of them. They were constantly being pulled under the water, but Steven kept encouraging Taylor not to give up, because help was coming.
In October 2003, the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America honored Steven for unusual heroism for saving Taylor’s life at considerable risk to himself.
My Primary Talk
Christ is our best example of service. He served others throughout His life. When I serve others, it makes me feel good. The other day we were going to give a rocking horse to a boy in our ward, but it had to be put together. I was excited to do this because I could picture the joy on the boy’s face when he got on the horse. When the horse was assembled, I helped Mom put it in the car to take to the boy’s house. Sometimes I complain about doing things like this, but when they are over I’m glad that I did them, and I’m happy.
I Know I Can Repent When I Make a Mistake *
Once our family spent a night at the home of some out-of-town friends. The next day, our friends’ sons went to school, and we were packing up to leave. My sister and I thought it would be funny to sneak into the boys’ room and put silly notes on their bed. We also got a bottle of glue and squirted glue on their beds. Afterward, I didn’t feel good inside. It didn’t seem funny anymore. I decided to tell my mom what we had done. I knew that we also needed to clean up the glue and confess to our friends. I know that the Holy Ghost helped me to understand that what we did was wrong and that I should tell my mom about it. I learned that I should respect other people’s property.
See My Gospel Standards, Faith in God guidebook, back cover.