Instant Messages

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Free Music Downloads

Did you know you can download your favorite hymn or Primary song as an MP3 file at the Church’s Web site? You can also use the Interactive Church Music Player to help you learn a song. It lets you view, listen to, and print the hymns and children’s songs. You can even transpose the key or change the tempo. Or learn how to conduct music. Try it out. You’ll be humming along in no time. Go to www.lds.org/music and hear what’s there for you.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Keith Larsen

Zipping My Lip

I never seemed to quit gossiping. I didn’t think of how it affected other people but instead thought only of what I would gain from it. I thought I could become more popular by knowing everything about others.

One day I received an invitation to a friend’s party. When I arrived at the party, I met a girl I disliked. While she was in another room watching TV, the rest of us formed a circle. We began to talk about how mean the girl was and how we hated her.

One of my nonmember friends stood up, looked at everyone, and said, “We shouldn’t talk behind someone’s back, no matter how mean they are. It’s not right.” She then left the circle.

Everyone disagreed with her but me. I was speechless. I stood up and left the circle too. I thought to myself: “You knew better. Your example hasn’t been the right one.” I began to cry.

I realized that I had been hurting others. My friend had shown great courage; I had been too scared to think of standing for truth and righteousness. That night I repented. I promised Heavenly Father that I would try to do the right thing and be a good example to others no matter what situation I’m in.

Krissie Bak is a member of the Waconia Branch, Burnsville Minnesota Stake.

I Took the Challenge

As a teenager I was lonely and depressed. I had few good friends, hated school, withdrew from my family, and often had doubts of Heavenly Father’s love for me. I hated myself and despised the world.

Then everything changed. My Young Women president challenged the girls in my ward to read the Book of Mormon and pray regularly for three weeks. Despite my doubts I took the challenge. That night I opened my Book of Mormon and read for about 10 minutes, then said my first sincere prayer in months. Though difficult at first, eventually the reading and praying became a habit. Soon the three weeks were done.

Our Young Women president gave each girl who had completed the challenge a small prize. But more prized to me was the difference it had made in my life. As I continued to read the scriptures and pray, I became happier. Problems no longer seemed as difficult, and I recognized how blessed I was. Instead of feeling worthless, I felt like a beloved daughter of God and developed a strong testimony with steadfast faith.

How wonderful it was when in the midst of prayer, I felt the Spirit testify of Jesus Christ and His loving sacrifice for me! I wept to think that I had ever doubted my Heavenly Father, who is merciful enough to forgive me when I am ready to repent. To know this is a wonderful prize indeed.

Millicent Lawrence is a member of the Fort Wayne First Ward, Fort Wayne Indiana Stake.

I Need Thee

At the age of 13, I was struggling with a recurring illness. I had no idea what was affecting me, and no one seemed to have any answers. (I was later diagnosed with a muscle disease that can be treated.)

Even now, years later, I can remember finding a quiet place at school so I could pray. I would sing these lines over and over again in my mind: “I need thee, oh, I need thee; Every hour I need thee!” (Hymns, no. 98).

I will never forget those times when I kept a constant prayer and song in my heart. I could recognize so clearly that my Father in Heaven heard me. I learned that He is listening and loves me enough to never leave me. He continues to be the one constant strength in my life.

[photo] Photograph by Christina Smith

Hanna Jardine is a member of the Fallon Second Ward, Fallon Nevada Stake.

A Better World

Sometimes I get really down about all the heartbreaking things that are happening in the world around me. It’s hard to go anywhere or do anything without coming into contact with negativism. Here in the last days Satan is working extra hard because his time is running out. If he can’t get us to be unfaithful, he tries to make us lose hope.

But the Lord can give us courage, hope, and joy. Ether 12:4 reaffirms this: “Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world … which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast.”

Lindsay Petersen is a member of the Carmel Ward, Indianapolis Indiana North Stake.

Learning to Stand

Most people don’t think of a 17-year-old boy having to relearn to stand, but that was my situation this past year. I broke my jaw in a car accident and also had an emergency appendectomy. I was in rough shape, physically and mentally, and spent a lot of time in the hospital.

I remember clearly the first chance I had to stand after days of lying in bed. Despite the awkwardness, standing felt good. It wasn’t easy to do, but I did it.

Standing isn’t just putting your feet on the floor and standing up. We must also stand in holy places where we can be protected (see D&C 87:8). With the Lord’s loving help, any child of God can withstand the winds of temptation and evil. Everyone can stand strong. The Lord has provided a way for me to stand tall physically and, more importantly, spiritually. And boy, am I grateful!

Marcus E. Price is a member of the Seward Branch, Lincoln Nebraska Stake.