The Best Soccer Player

Jesus said love ev’ryone; treat them kindly, too (Children’s Songbook, 61).

I clenched my fists, bit my lip, and kicked the ball that was rolling toward me. Then I frowned as I watched it soar out of bounds instead of going into the goal.

A girl named Nan had been standing on the sidelines watching our game. She ran to pick up the ball, tripping in her excitement. Everyone laughed. No one thanked her as she threw the ball back to us.

I felt guilty. I knew Nan wanted to play, but I didn’t want to be the one to invite her.

Nan was quiet, with messy brown hair, thick glasses, and a squeaky voice. She didn’t have one friend in our whole class. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her. I had just never talked to her.

That afternoon our teacher announced that she was going to move our desks around. She would make a new seating chart.

The room buzzed with excitement. My best friend, LeAnna, and I smiled at each other.

Just then Caroline leaned toward me. “I heard Nan tell Mrs. Martin she wants to sit by you. Gross!”

I sat in shock. “Why me?” I wondered. I had never been mean to Nan, but I had never been nice to her either.

“Tell the teacher you don’t want to sit by her,” Caroline whispered. “Otherwise no one will want to sit by you.”

I looked at Nan. Her head was lowered. She must have known what everyone in the room was thinking.

Mrs. Martin called me up to her desk. I knew Nan was a child of God and that Jesus said to love everyone. But if I became friends with Nan, everyone would think I was weird.

“Who do you want to sit by?” Mrs. Martin asked me.

“LeAnna,” I said. That was easy.

Mrs. Martin smiled. “Would you be willing to sit by Nan too?”

I looked down at the floor and whispered, “I’d rather not.”

Mrs. Martin looked surprised. “Are you sure, Angie?”

“Yes,” I muttered.

The next day our desks were rearranged. I sat by LeAnna. Nan was across the room. The two girls sitting by her pushed their desks away from hers so it looked like she was sitting alone. She looked like she was going to cry.

A few weeks later Nan changed schools. A girl in my ward went to that school, and I asked her if she had met a new girl named Nan.

“I think so. What does she look like?” she asked.

“Well, she’s really quiet. Her hair is messy, and she wears thick glasses. No one in my class liked her.”

“Really? It must not be the same girl,” she said. “The new girl I know is really fun. Everyone likes her. She’s a great soccer player.”

I thought about the day Nan had watched us playing soccer. She only needed a chance and a friend. And I could have given her both.

That day I made a promise to myself to always be nice to everyone and never let a girl like Nan slip by me without trying to be her friend.

“I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.”

My Gospel Standards


Conference Notes

Taking notes is one way to remember what the speakers teach us in general conference. In addition to writing your thoughts and feelings, you can also illustrate some of the stories and experiences you hear about. Here are some examples of notes from addresses at the October 2011 general conference.

Elder David A. Bednar encouraged young people to search out their ancestors and prepare to perform baptisms for them in the temple.

sketch of family

Illustrations by Elise Black

President Thomas S. Monson spoke about praying with faith and finding his $5 bill in the pocket of his wet jeans.

sketch of lunch and scriptures

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about a man who influenced others for good by reading his scriptures at lunchtime, even though some made fun of him for doing so.

sketch of money in pocket

President Henry B. Eyring spoke about how one of his missionary companions found joy from reading a Book of Mormon he found at the bottom of a box.

sketch of box and book

We’d love to see what kinds of artistic notes you take at next month’s general conference. Fill out the form on page 48 and send us your drawings. We might use them in an upcoming Friend.

Apostles of Jesus Christ

In the sixth article of faith it says, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church.” The Primitive Church is the church that Jesus Christ established more than two thousand years ago when He lived on the earth. The Church of Jesus Christ is organized the same way today as it was then—with prophets and apostles leading His Church on earth.

The Primitive Church

Peter was one of Jesus Christ’s Apostles. Before He was crucified, the Savior called Peter to be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ. When Christ was resurrected and left the earth, Peter led the Church. He received revelation from God for the whole Church.

James and John were also Christ’s Apostles. They were called to assist Peter. Together, the three men were the First Presidency of the Church.

These twelve men were called as Apostles of Jesus Christ. Their mission was to spread the gospel of Christ throughout the world.

The Church Today

Today, Thomas S. Monson has been called by God to be the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He receives revelation from God for the whole Church. He leads the Church on the earth, just as Peter did.

President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf are the first and second counselors in the First Presidency. They are called to assist President Monson.

These men make up the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Just like the ancient Apostles, they have a special calling to preach the true gospel and stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ.