A Dollar in the Pocket


If thou shalt find that which thy neighbor has lost, thou shalt … deliver it to him again (D&C 136:26).
Will Sam choose to be honest?

“What’s this?” Sam asked Mom, poking the pile of clothes on the kitchen chair.

“Sister Fernandez brought them over for you,” Mom said. “Why don’t you try them on while I finish making the salad?”

“OK!” Sam grabbed the clothes and headed to his room.

First he tried on a couple of T-shirts, one red and one blue. They fit just fine. So did the church pants, which was a good thing. His own church pants had been looking kind of short lately.

Next Sam tried on some jeans. Jeans were great for playing in, and they had lots of pockets. Sam slipped his hands into the front pockets. His right hand felt a piece of paper, and he took it out to see what it was.

The paper was a dollar bill.

“Oh!” Sam held the dollar in both hands. With a dollar, he could buy a candy bar or a bag of chips or a soda. If Mom took him to the dollar store, he could even buy a toy.

Sam sighed and set the dollar bill on the dresser. It wasn’t his.

Except—Sister Fernandez had given him the clothes, hadn’t she? So in a way, she had given him the dollar. She wouldn’t care, Sam thought. She wouldn’t even remember.

Sam started to leave the room. He tried not to look at the dollar on his dresser, but his eyes went back to the money. He didn’t feel right about keeping it.

Sam picked up the dollar and took it to the kitchen. “The clothes all fit,” he said to Mom. Then he showed her the dollar. “I found this in one of the pockets.”

Mom put down the salad spoon and fork she was holding. “What do you think you should do?”

“I should give it back to Sister Fernandez.”

Mom looked at the clock. “We have time for a quick trip,” she said.

When Sam and his mother got to Sister Fernandez’s house, she welcomed them inside.

“I like the clothes,” Sam said. “But I found this in the pocket of the jeans.” He held out the dollar.

Sister Fernandez looked pleased as she accepted the money. “That reminds me of when I was a girl and found some coins in the couch cushions. When I took them to my mother instead of spending them, she was so proud of me!”

Mom put her arm around Sam’s shoulders. “Just like I’m proud of Sam.”

“Sam, would you do me a favor?” Sister Fernandez asked.

Sam nodded.

“I’d like you to buy a treat for an honest boy I know,” Sister Fernandez said, and she gave the dollar back to Sam.

“Thank you!” Sam said. His heart felt full. He knew it wasn’t because of the dollar in his hand.

That night at dinner, Mom told the rest of the family what had happened.

Sam’s little sister Rachel stopped slurping her soup and said, “So you got a dollar today!”

“You got some new clothes too,” Dad said. “But that’s not all, is it?”

“No,” Sam said. “I got something better. I got to do the right thing.”

I found a five-dollar bill in the sand box at school. I gave it to a teacher even though my friends wanted me to keep it. I felt happy for doing what Jesus wanted me to do.

Carter B., age 7, California, USA