A Starring Role


Becki Jackson’s dream had come true. She had been chosen for one of the starring roles in her high school’s musical production—something she had hoped for since she was a little girl.

With the stress of auditions behind her, Becki looked forward to learning her part. She took the musical score home. But as she looked through the manuscript, she was uncomfortable with many of the songs that seemed to have suggestive lyrics and double meanings. And her role was the worst!

This was her senior year—the first year the high school had put on a musical production in a long time. Her one-time opportunity to perform could be spoiled.

Becki and her family, who live in Fisherville, Ontario, Canada, and attend the Simcoe Branch, had been members of the Church for two years. Becki’s standards had always been high, but she was more determined than ever to uphold them now that she was a member of the Church and the only Latter-day Saint in her school.

When she went to her first rehearsal for the play, “I told my teacher-director that I wouldn’t sing those songs,” she says. “He tried to convince me that the lyrics were only supposed to be funny. They didn’t want to lose me as a lead, he said, but if I felt that strongly they would give me different songs to sing.” And different songs she did get!

At the next rehearsal, Becki was assigned to the chorus. No explanation was given. Another girl was assigned Becki’s lead role and was asked to sing the songs.

However, Becki’s classmates were so supportive of her stand that the teachers finally modified the songs by completely removing the verses that Becki had refused to sing.

Becki’s father, Kel Jackson, says, “I knew the strength of Becki’s testimony when I asked her if she was going to continue in the musical or drop out. She answered, ‘I have waited a long time for this, and I have worked hard. They may have taken away my part, but they did remove the bad words, and I am going to be in this production.’ Through weeks of rehearsal, she never again mentioned the situation or complained in any way.”

When asked if she was bitter toward her teachers for their actions, Becki answers, “I didn’t like their attitude about the songs, but they were nice people, and they were working hard to make this a production the school could be proud of.”

On opening night, Becki showed great delight in participating in her limited role, which included a one-line solo. “Many people questioned why she had not played a larger part,” comments her father. “It was then that I fully understood that she had played a larger part than any role in the play. She had set aside personal desires to act in a manner pleasing to her Father in Heaven. Becki’s example is a reminder that sacrifice for gospel principles will always lead to a starring role.”

[photos] Becki Jackson, above, is not only busy in school and church. She is also a professional clown, left, entertaining at local hospitals and community activities.