Mike winced as he heard Braden start telling a joke. Braden was saying the same bad word again and again. Mike wasn’t sure what to do. Mom had always told him that when other kids were using bad words he should either ask them to stop or just walk away. Mike asked Braden to stop, but Braden just ignored him. Because Mike’s seat on the bus was an assigned seat, he couldn’t walk away.
Mike sank down in his seat. He felt miserable. The more Braden talked, the worse Mike felt. He decided to try again. “Braden, could you stop …” But Braden just kept going with his joke. The bus had barely started its route, and Mike’s stop was one of the last.
Mike wondered how much trouble he would get in if he tried moving to a seat farther away from Braden. Just as he was getting ready to move, he had a thought. He knew that singing Primary songs in his mind had helped him before when he was scared. Could singing a song help now too? But even if Mike did sing a song, wouldn’t he still be able to hear Braden’s loud voice? As Braden started another joke, Mike decided it wouldn’t hurt to try.
“I am a child of God,” Mike sang in his mind, “and He has sent me here.” Braden was still talking, but Mike found that as he concentrated on the words of the song he was able to ignore Braden’s bad words. “Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.”
Mike had a warm feeling in his heart. It felt like the song formed a kind of bubble around him. The bubble kept his good feelings in and bounced the bad words away. Even though Mike could still hear Braden’s voice, Braden’s words weren’t making him feel yucky anymore. The Holy Ghost was helping him feel better.
Mike finished the song and then sang it in his head a few more times before arriving at his bus stop. He ran off the bus and into his house. He was excited to tell Mom what he learned—that when you can’t get away from a bad situation, you can use good music to help your mind think of better things.
“The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to put ourselves in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.”1
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Worship through Music,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 10.