A Promise Kept


(Based on a true story)
Thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:18).

Janelle could hardly wait until Trisha’s birthday party on Friday night. Trisha was turning 11. The invitation promised games, refreshments, and a video. It was the last party of the school year before Janelle’s friends went their separate ways for the summer.

Janelle was the first to arrive at the party. Once all the girls had arrived, Trisha led them to the family room. Crepe-paper streamers decorated it.

After they had birthday cake and Trisha opened her presents, she pulled out the video. “Look what movie I have. My big brother rented it.”

Janelle recognized the video as an R-rated movie. In family home evening, her parents had talked about the right and wrong kind of movies. She knew if she stayed to watch it, she would be going against the standards they’d tried to teach her and against the teachings of the prophet. President Hinckley had spoken out against seeing bad movies. Then she thought of the promises she’d made at the time of her baptism.

“I’m sorry,” she quietly said to Trisha, “but I can’t watch this. I think I’d better call my mom. She’ll come to get me.”

The disappointment in Trisha’s eyes nearly caused Janelle to change her mind. Then she remembered her parents’ counsel that if she ever felt uneasy or worried in a situation, she should call them and they would come for her. She found Trisha’s mom in the kitchen.

“Mrs. Powers, can I call my mom?” Janelle asked.

Mrs. Powers looked up from where she was putting plates in the dishwasher. “Is anything wrong?”

Janelle didn’t want to get Trisha in trouble, but she knew she couldn’t stay at the party. She explained about the movie. Trisha’s mom looked troubled. After she showed Janelle where the phone was, she hurried downstairs. Janelle called and told her mother what was going on.

“I’ll be there in 10 minutes,” her mother said.

Just then, Trisha and the other girls trooped upstairs. “We aren’t going to watch the movie,” Trisha told Janelle. “Please don’t leave.”

The rest of the girls nodded in agreement.

“I thought it’d be cool to watch that movie, but I knew it wasn’t right,” Trisha added, her face reddening. “We thought we’d play some games.”

Janelle grinned. “Let me call my mom back before she leaves and tell her I’ll be staying after all.”

“Thanks, Janelle,” one of the other girls said. “If it hadn’t been for you, the whole party would have been ruined.”

Standing up for what she believed hadn’t been easy, but Janelle was glad that she had.

Trisha threw her arms around Janelle’s neck. “Thanks for staying. The party wouldn’t have been the same without you.”

Janelle hugged her friend back.

[Be True]

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“To our young people, … I say, be true. Hold to the faith. Stand firmly for what you know to be right.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 83.

[illustrations] Illustrations by Bryan Beach