No Laughing Matter


One day in my fourth-grade religion class in Jamaica, my teacher asked all the students to tell about their religious beliefs. Since I was the only Mormon in my prep school, I was chosen to represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

By the time it was my turn, my heart was beating a hundred miles a minute. I was never much of a public speaker, and I didn’t have a loud voice. When I stood up, I just stared at the sea of eyes before me and tried to speak about some of our beliefs. I first spoke about the Word of Wisdom, then talked about the sacrament, about how we used bread and water to represent the Savior’s body and blood when he died for us.

Before I could say another word, everyone started laughing at me. Tears stung my eyes as I wondered what I had said to make them laugh. I quickly wiped my eyes and went to my seat amid chants of “Bread and water, bread and water.” By the end of the day I was still being teased, so when it was time to go home I was overjoyed. I still don’t know why they decided to make fun of what I was saying.

When I got home, I took my mother’s huge Bible off the shelf and began looking at some of the pictures. As I was flipping a page, I glimpsed a scripture and quickly turned back to it. It was Matthew 10:32: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” [Matt. 10:32] As I read the words over and over, a feeling of peace washed over me as I realized it didn’t matter who laughed at me, as long as I was doing what was right.

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Snow