Our baseball team had seven boys and two girls, and we called ourselves the Sonoma Lions. During the summer months, we practiced and played three or four times a week in a big vacant lot after our chores were done. It was just for fun—at first.
Then one day my brother Ramie told me there was another team called the Crows a few streets away from ours. I rode my bike to their team captain’s house and asked him if the Crows would like to play with us at the end of summer.
Two days later, he rode his bike to my house and said his team would like to play against ours—and that the Crows would beat us.
“Oh yeah?” I said. “We’ll see about that!”
We practiced hard, determined to beat the Crows. The end of summer was getting closer, and we were getting excited. And then along came Forrester.
Forrester was 10, and he had some mental challenges. His family had just moved into the neighborhood.
Forrester showed up one day while our team was practicing. He was skinny and just kind of stood there, too shy to ask if he could be on our team. Nobody wanted him to ask, especially me. We didn’t need him to help us beat the Crows, and we were afraid he would make us lose.
I guess he could tell we didn’t want him to be a part of our group. He lowered his head and stood there looking at the ground, kicking at a little rock. Then he slowly turned and started walking away.
A thought came into my mind: “What would Jesus do?”
I realized the Holy Ghost had told me this because the words had come from somewhere deep inside me.
When I looked at Ramie and the other team members, I could tell they felt like I did—awful. So I hurried and caught up with Forrester and asked him to come back and play with us.
I saw a smile come into his eyes, and he looked surprised and happy at the same time.
At the big game between our team and the Crows we all played hard, including Forrester.
We lost the game, 12 to 10. But that was OK. Forrester was a good player and a good sport. He even scored one of our runs. When he ran across home plate, I was cheering and jumping up and down.
Mom and Dad said Heavenly Father cheers for us when we make good choices. And I know that inviting Forrester to join the Sonoma Lions was a good choice because it made me feel warm all over, just like the quilt Mom made me does on cold winter nights.
Illustration by Guy Francis