Amanda was quiet on the way home from church. When Mom asked her if something was wrong, Amanda started crying and tried to say, “I don’t want to go to church anymore!” Her words came out all wrong, but Mother understood.
Amanda couldn’t hear very well, so the sounds she made when she talked weren’t always correct. Most of the time it didn’t bother her.
But today had been different; her feelings had been hurt. Even now, she could feel the embarrassment making her cheeks red and her ears ring. There was no way around it—she couldn’t go back to church again.
At home, Amanda told Mom what had happened. She had been asked to say the closing prayer in sharing time. She had gotten nervous. She’d spoken too fast and said “Zesus” instead of “Jesus.” As soon as she said it, Amanda knew it had come out wrong; but worse, everyone else seemed to notice too. Many of the children laughed. Some even teased her afterward and called her a baby. They said they’d never heard of “Zesus” before.
“It’s not fair!” Amanda shouted. “They were mean, and I don’t want to go back.”
“It’s tough being different, isn’t it?” Mom asked as she held Amanda close.
“I’m not just different. They said I’m stupid!”
“Let me ask you something, Amanda: Do you love Jesus?”
Amanda nodded yes.
“Do you believe that our church is His true Church?”
Again, Amanda nodded.
“Do you think Jesus loves you and is happy when you go to His Church?”
Now Amanda wasn’t so sure. “How can it make Jesus happy for me to be laughed at when I go to church?” she asked.
“Jesus doesn’t want you to be unhappy at church, but when you go you learn more about how much He loves you,” Mom said. “You learn how He sees you. Then, you can learn how He sees others.”
Amanda thought about what her mother had said. After she prayed that night, she remembered part of a verse from 1 Samuel that her dad had taught her: “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”*
Amanda knew that Jesus didn’t care about things that seemed different to other people. He walked and talked with people whom others teased and didn’t like. Sometimes even His Apostles didn’t understand, but Jesus taught how to love everyone. He was even nice to people who weren’t nice to Him.
“Is Mom right?” Amanda wondered. “Can I learn to see others the way Jesus sees them?”
All week Amanda practiced remembering how special she was to Jesus and Heavenly Father. She looked for people around her who seemed to have a problem. Instead of thinking about the problem, she tried to think of Jesus and what He would see in that person.
Sometimes it was easy. Other times Amanda couldn’t see much, but when she really tried, she got a warm feeling inside that told her Jesus loved each person. Every time she got that warm feeling she remembered she was loved too.
On Sunday, Amanda went to church with her family. When she saw the children who teased her, she still felt a little angry and hurt. She wasn’t sure if she could find anything that caused them problems, but she wanted to try. As Amanda watched, one boy accidentally tripped and dropped his books. Amanda wanted to join in the laughter of the other children, but suddenly the warm feeling came again. She knew that Jesus loved him and she could too. Amanda handed the boy his scriptures and smiled at him. It was a wonderful feeling.
After church Amanda was quiet again. This time when Mom asked what was wrong, Amanda said, “I was just thinking how good it feels to try to see what Jesus sees.”
“Be that kind of friend and that kind of person who lifts and strengthens others.”
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Gifts of the Spirit,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 20.