Caleb rolled over in bed and sighed. He thought about his favorite online game. That castle I built yesterday was awesome—if I ever get the chance to finish it! But I can’t keep playing when everyone’s using bad words. Maybe Henry and their other friends were playing online together right now.
Just then Mom knocked on his door and saw Caleb still in bed. “Why aren’t you getting ready for church?”
“I don’t want to go,” Caleb said. He turned and stared at the wall.
“Are you still thinking about the message board yesterday? I talked to Henry’s mom like you asked.”
“But it didn’t even make a difference.”
“I’m sorry about the game,” Mom said. “For now, can you get ready so we’re not late?”
“I’m tired of feeling different!” said Caleb. “I just want to do what my friends are doing. They’re not going to church today.”
Mom nodded. “Sometimes choosing the right is lonely, but that’s one reason we go to church.”
“To feel lonely?”
“No, to feel the Holy Ghost. When we feel lonely, the Holy Ghost can comfort us.”
Caleb didn’t say anything. But why am I the only one who has to make good choices? he thought. No one else stopped playing when they saw the bad words.
“Can we talk about this more after church?” Mom asked.
“OK.” Caleb slowly got dressed and grabbed his scriptures.
During sacrament meeting, Mom asked Caleb how he was feeling.
“Bored. I want to go home.”
Mom put her arm around Caleb. “Are you listening to the talks? This is a good one.”
Caleb looked up. Bishop Marsh was talking about commandments. Caleb started listening. After a while, a peaceful feeling started to push out his grumpy feelings. He kept listening. The feeling grew stronger until it seemed to fill him all the way up.
“How are you feeling now?” Mom whispered.
In Primary they talked about how the Holy Ghost can guide and direct us. When Caleb came home, he felt like everything would be OK. He was actually glad he’d gone to church.
On Wednesday, Caleb was doing his homework in the kitchen. Mom came and sat by him.
“By the way,” she said, “Henry’s mom found out who was using the bad words and asked him to stop. It turns out some other kids were uncomfortable too. She started monitoring the message board, and everyone’s using better language.”
Caleb nodded and twirled his pencil. “Well, Henry and I decided we were getting too addicted to the game, so we’re taking a break. It’s nice to not always be thinking about it. But I’m glad the guys are using good language.”
“Sounds like you helped your friends make better choices,” Mom said. “Remember how you said you felt different from your friends? Well, there’s something that does make you different, but in a good way. Do you know what it is?”
Caleb thought. “I have the gift of the Holy Ghost?”
“That’s right,” Mom said. “The Holy Ghost helps you notice and avoid things that can hurt your spirit. I think He also prompted you to have me talk to Henry’s mom. Sometimes you’ll be the only one making a good choice. But when you follow the Holy Ghost, you’ll be happier in the long run.”
Caleb smiled. He did like having the Holy Ghost with him—even if it meant being different.
The Bus Ride
The kids on my bus are really inappropriate, and I used to dread getting on the bus. My older sister let me borrow her MP3 player full of Church songs, and now I don’t dread going on the bus, as long as I have the MP3 player and some Church magazines. I am really glad the Church can help me stay on the right path.
Savannah N., age 11, Arizona, USA