Luke the Leader

By Ana Nelson Shaw

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in California, USA.

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Luke’s friends wanted him to say a bad word. But he knew what to do instead.

“Choose the right way and be happy” (Children’s Songbook, 160).

Luke the Leader

Luke loved playing foursquare with his new friends from kindergarten.

Britton bounced the red ball to him.

“Hey guys, listen to this,” Britton said. Then he said a word Luke had never heard. It sounded ugly. Luke didn’t feel good when he heard it.

“Say it, Luke,” Britton said. “It will be funny!”

Luke stood there holding the ball. He didn’t know what to do.

“Come on,” said Sean. “My brother and his friends say that word. They all think it’s funny. Say it!”

Luke looked at Tiffany. What could he do? Luke knew it would be wrong to say the word.

Then he had an idea. He could use words to make people feel good inside instead of bad. His grinned. He thought of the silliest word he could.

“Zugga-bugga-zoo!” Luke said. It worked! His friends laughed so hard they sat right down on the ground.

“That other word doesn’t sound funny,” Luke said. “Let’s make up silly words instead!”

“Flazzle-razzle!” Tiffany said. Luke laughed. They all made up funny words until recess ended.

After school Luke walked home with Mom and told her about recess.

“How did you know it was a bad word?” Mom asked.

“I didn’t feel happy when I heard it.”

“I’m so proud of you!” Mom said. “You listened to the Holy Ghost tell you not to say that word. Then you used your talent of making people laugh to help you choose the right!”

Luke hadn’t thought about that. He smiled.

“Hey, I have a good word for you,” Mom said. “It starts with L.

“Luke!”

“That’s good, but I’m thinking of someone who shows other people the way. Like the game, Follow the …”

“Leader!”

“Right! You were a leader with your good example. You were a leader with laughter.”

Luke hugged Mom. Then they raced back home. They laughed the whole way.