Who Needs to Change?

When school bus number 882 finally turned onto the dirt road, I had never felt happier to see our house.

I was still upset from the argument that had exploded between me and my friends three days earlier. Or should I say ex-friends? Now I thought of them as stubborn and selfish.

When the bus stopped, I marched down the aisle past Connie and Vicki, determined never to speak to them again.

That night I tossed and turned as contention filled my dreams.

By morning I had a headache. I also woke up late and had to hurry to get ready for school on time. I grabbed my books and slammed the front door without saying good-bye to my mom and little brothers and sisters as I ran to the bus stop, arriving just as the bus pulled up.

I walked quickly down the aisle, finding a seat away from Connie and Vicki. I could feel their eyes watching me, but I sat close to the window and pretended not to see them. I vowed that we would not be friends again until they changed.

I reached for my history book to read my assignment. I was surprised when I saw in my hands Pathways to Perfection by Elder Thomas S. Monson. I had grabbed the book by accident as I raced out of the house. It had fallen open to what I needed to read most: a chapter titled “Love As Jesus Loves.” The words seemed to be directed to me as I read Matthew 22:36–39:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.” [Matt. 22:36–39]

Then these words penetrated my heart:

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Those verses took on new meaning for me. Tears filled my eyes as I felt my Heavenly Father’s love for me. And I realized that it wasn’t Connie and Vicki who needed to change. It was me!

That morning on the bus I made a commitment to serve and love the Lord through loving those around me.

[photo] Photograph by Melanie Shumway