The Sparkly Sticker

By Susan Denney

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in Texas, USA.

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The more Emily thought about the sticker, the worse she felt.

“Help me, dear Father, to truly repent, making things right, and changing my ways” (Children’s Songbook, 99).

The Sparkly Sticker

Illustration by Christine Almeda

Emily loved snack time at school. It was the only time that she and her friends could chat in the classroom. Emily had three best friends: Lucy, Meredith, and Krista. They always had fun together, and Krista was their leader.

“I have something to show you,” Krista said to Emily, Lucy, and Meredith. She reached in her pocket. Then she pulled out a pink sparkly sticker with a pony on it.

“I’m going to give this to James,” Krista whispered. She giggled.

Emily looked over at James. He was sitting by himself at the table next to them. James always ate his snack alone.

Emily laughed when she thought about what would happen when Krista gave James the sticker. A pink sparkly sticker for a boy. It would be so funny!

Emily held her breath when Krista reached over and handed the sticker to James. What would he say? He would probably hate it.

James looked at the sticker in his hand. Then he smiled. “Thanks, Krista! I’ll give it to my sister. We both really like horses!”

Krista, Meredith, and Lucy burst out laughing. Emily laughed too. James’s smile fell into a frown.

Krista leaned over to Emily and whispered, “Your turn! Give him something else.”

Emily felt a little queasy. She glanced over her shoulder. James had pulled his jacket hood up around his face and was tearing the sticker in half. It had been so easy to laugh at James. But now that it was Emily’s turn to tease him, it didn’t seem funny anymore.

“No,” said Emily. “I don’t want to.”

Krista shrugged and whispered to Meredith instead. Emily couldn’t finish her snack now. Her stomach hurt. The more she thought about James and the sticker, the worse she felt.

Before bed that night, Mom read Emily a scripture about baptism. “Do you remember when you were baptized, how clean and pure you felt?” Mom asked.

Emily thought about James and the sticker. She thought about the way he’d hidden his face. She remembered how she’d laughed. “Mom,” she said, “I did something really bad.” She started to cry.

Emily told Mom what had happened and how bad she felt.

Mom pulled her close. “Oh, Emily! Everyone messes up. Only Jesus is perfect.” Then Mom smiled. “Do you know what repentance is?”

Emily nodded with a sniff. “It’s when you say you’re sorry.”

“That’s how it starts. But it’s more than that. You ask Heavenly Father to forgive you for what you’ve done wrong, and you promise not to do that bad thing again. He’ll help you. And you need to make things right with the person you hurt. Do you think you can do that?”

Emily wiped the tears from her cheeks and nodded. “I won’t make fun of James again. And I’ll tell him I’m sorry.”

Mom hugged Emily. “I promise you’ll feel better when you do. That’s how repentance works.” Mom and Emily knelt to pray. Emily asked Heavenly Father to forgive her and to help her say sorry to James.

After she prayed, she felt better. She would try to be like Jesus. And now she knew she could repent when she messed up. Tomorrow she would talk to James. Maybe she could bring him a new sticker.

CTR Challenge

“I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake” (My Gospel Standards).

  • Read D&C 58:42–43 with a parent or teacher. What does it mean to confess and forsake your sins?

  • When you hurt someone, say you’re sorry—and mean it!

  • Pick one thing you want to do better this week. Pray to Heavenly Father for help.

  • I challenge myself to …