“Hey, Sofía! Wanna go to the Valentine’s Day dance with me?”
Sofía felt her cheeks turn red. She didn’t know what to say. Kyle Thornton was one of the cutest and nicest boys in the seventh grade, and here he was asking Sofía to the dance! Sofía knew she shouldn’t date until she was 16, but part of her really wanted to go. It would be so much fun! And besides, the dance was at school, so meeting Kyle there wouldn’t exactly be a real date. …
But Sofía didn’t feel super comfortable with the idea.
“Um … can I tell you tomorrow?” she asked.
“Sure, no problem.” Kyle smiled and walked to class.
After school, Sofía’s best friend, Ashley, ran up to her. “I heard Kyle asked you to the dance!” she said. “That’s so great!”
“You’re going, aren’t you?” Ashley asked.
“Well, my family is going to make cookies and take them to a care center that day,” Sofía said. “I’m probably going to go with them.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Ashley said. “You can do something with your family any day. This is important, especially since Kyle asked you!”
Sofía knew lots of girls liked Kyle. What would they think if she said no? But how could she tell Ashley she couldn’t date yet?
“I gotta go,” Sofía said. “Mom needs me home right away to watch the twins.”
“OK,” said Ashley. “Let me know what you decide.”
When Sofía got home, Mom gave her a quick hug before hurrying out the door to go visiting teaching. Sofía and her eight-year-old twin brothers, Mateo and Leo, spent the time building block towers and cities.
As she played with her brothers, Sofía thought about the dance. All of her friends were going. She thought about Kyle and smiled. It would be fun being at a dance with him. But she knew what the prophets had said—kids shouldn’t date before turning 16. She wanted to be obedient. As fun as the dance might be, Sofía knew what she had to do.
At school the next day, Sofía saw Kyle in the hallway. She took a deep breath and walked up to him. She had practiced what to say all morning.
“Thank you for asking me to go to the dance with you,” she said. “But I can’t go.”
“Why not?” Kyle asked, his smile fading.
“I’m not going to date until I’m 16,” Sofía said. “But we can still be friends.”
Kyle’s shoulders slumped. “OK. I guess I understand.”
They said goodbye, and Sofía walked to class. She hated seeing Kyle so sad. But she also felt OK about her decision.
On Friday after school, instead of picking out an outfit and doing her hair for the dance, Sofía frosted heart-shaped cookies with Mom and Dad and her brothers. Instead of going to the school gym, Sofía went to a care center to pass out the cookies.
In the main room at the center, Sofía noticed a piano in the corner. She knew several Primary songs by heart, so she asked her family to sing along while she played. People sitting nearby clapped at the end of each song. When she and her family finished singing “A Child’s Prayer,” Sofía saw that several people had tears in their eyes.
“Thank you!” one lady said. “That was even better than the cookies! Will you come back?”
Sofía smiled. “Of course!” Maybe she could even invite her friends and Kyle next time.
If This Happens to You …
Here’s what you can do. Mark the things Sofía did in the story!
Be polite and kind.
Thank them for the invitation.
Explain that you’re not going to date until you’re 16 or that it’s a rule in your family.
If they ask about the Church’s teachings, don’t be scared to tell them.
Suggest another activity. Having friends is important no matter how old you are.