What would you do if you were really good at karate and other kids made fun of you? Would you use your skills to get back at them? Maybe teach them not to pick on you anymore?
Eleven-year-old Eduardo Dourado knows what he would do—nothing. Although some of his schoolmates make fun of him for keeping the standards of the Church, he chooses the right and refuses to fight. “I could beat them,” he says, “but I don’t want to hurt anyone. Sometimes I’ve had to protect myself, but I try other things first to keep from fighting.”
As Jesus taught, Eduardo ignores insults. But it isn’t always easy. Because he won’t swear and do other bad things, kids make fun of him. Sometimes he feels lonely. But he knows what Jesus wants him to do, and that is what he chooses to do.
Eduardo’s parents, Eduardo Sr. and Karine, say Eduardo is a good disciple of Jesus. He is kind and gentle. He knows right from wrong and is not afraid to stand up for the right. “He is very brave in the gospel,” they say, “and disciplined. Karate has helped him learn to control himself.”
Of course, you don’t have to take karate lessons to learn self-control. Much of what we do in the Church teaches us to discipline ourselves. When we choose to pay tithing, attend church, and be kind and respectful, we are exercising self-control.
Eduardo’s sister Marcella, 8, is much like him. She too is learning self-discipline. Like Eduardo, she takes karate. In fact, she often practices with Eduardo under the watch of their father, who began to study karate when Eduardo did. All three have won medals in city and regional karate tournaments in Brazil. A couple of times they have won first prize. But as much as they enjoy karate, they love the gospel more.
They especially love the Book of Mormon. Brother Dourado has read it 44 times. Eduardo reads it every night, and Marcella is almost finished reading it for the first time.
“Marcella is disciplined like her brother,” Sister Dourado says. “She is a good example.” She prays with her family, and she prays on her own before leaving home each morning. Her mother says, “Sometimes when the rest of the family is ready to leave, she is still kneeling in prayer.”
Eduardo says his sister makes necklaces to sell, and when she sells one she immediately takes out money for tithing. Paying tithing is a discipline Eduardo and Marcella have learned from their parents. Brother and Sister Dourado have always paid tithing, even when they didn’t have much money. Like many married people in Brazil, both have had to work to bring money in to the family.
Brother Dourado works as a police officer and as a commander in Brazil’s air force. He flies helicopters and airplanes. Sister Dourado also does police work. She teaches prison guards how to treat prisoners with respect and help them become good citizens again.
Eduardo and Marcella have a sister, Mariana, 10, who has her own talents. Mari-ana tried karate once, but she didn’t like it. She prefers reading and singing. Like karate, these activities require self-discipline to do them well. And Mariana does them well. She chooses to use her talents in the right way, often reading the Book of Mormon and studying for school. “She is smart and does well in school,” her mother says. She is also very loving and has a beautiful singing voice. When she sings “Our Savior’s Love” (Hymns, no. 113), she touches the hearts of those listening.
Both Mariana and Eduardo plan to serve missions when they get older. Eduardo believes that the discipline he has learned in karate will help him be a better missionary. “Just like a missionary, I’ve learned to wake up early to go to karate classes.”
He and his sisters know that it isn’t always easy being a member of the Church. But following Jesus is always the right choice.