Weeding Out the Lie


I’ll form good habits in my youth, to keep my word, to tell the truth (Children’s Songbook, 149).
What could be worse than weeding?

It was Saturday morning, and that meant it was time for weekly chores.

“Olivia, it’s your turn to pull weeds,” Mom said.

Olivia scrunched her face into a frown. “I don’t like weeding.”

“It can be fun if you change your attitude,” Mom said with a smile. “And you can get it done quickly if you get to work!”

Olivia trudged outside and plopped down on the bottom stair on the side of the house. She glared at the weeds in the flower bed. After a minute, she slowly got on her knees and began to pull a weed.

Forty minutes later, Olivia had pulled only a few weeds. She had spent most of her time daydreaming about ice cream and games she could be playing with her friend Lily. The tiny weeds that were left to pull looked like an entire forest to Olivia. She sighed. She was hot, and this was boring!

“It’s not fair!” she said to herself. She thought of her younger brother, who had been assigned to dust the furniture. “Why doesn’t Brian have to weed? He always gets the easy jobs!”

After pulling a few more weeds, Olivia was tired and ready to quit. She sat back and looked at her family’s cat, Link, who was sunning himself on the driveway.

“Here, kitty kitty kitty!” she called.

Link ran to her and rubbed his face against her arm. Running her fingers through his silky fur, Olivia quickly forgot about her weeding. She tipped her head sideways, making her ponytail wiggle so Link would bat at her hair.

Then she heard Mom’s voice from the kitchen window: “Olivia, are you done weeding?”

Hoping that Mom was too busy to check her work, Olivia opened her mouth to say yes. But as she did, a bad feeling came inside her. She hesitated. She thought about being baptized a few days before. She knew she had promised Heavenly Father that she would obey His commandments so that she could have the Holy Ghost with her. She remembered that she could not feel the Spirit if she lied.

Suddenly, Olivia really wanted to tell the truth. She knew this strong feeling was from the Holy Ghost, and it filled her with courage.

“No,” she said. “I haven’t finished.”

“Well, you’d better finish or you won’t have time to play with your friends today,” Mom said.

Olivia still didn’t want to finish weeding, but she felt happy anyway. She thought Heavenly Father would be glad that she had decided to be honest. She jumped up and ran into the house.

“Mom, Mom!” Olivia said. “Guess what happened?” She told Mom about wanting to lie but then deciding to tell the truth. “I chose the right! I stayed clean, and I feel so good!”

“I’m proud of you,” Mom said.

Olivia smiled and hugged Mom. Then she skipped outside to finish weeding.

Our bus driver said we could bring handheld video games to play during the ride to and from school. My friend asked me if I could bring mine. I told him that my mom said I couldn’t. He said I should put it in my backpack when my mom wasn’t looking. I said I wouldn’t do that because I didn’t want to disobey my mom. I know I did the right thing, and I felt happy.

Keith K., age 9, Idaho