“Halloween Choice,” Friend, October 2016, 34–35
At breakfast when Mom reminded everyone about their family temple trip on Saturday, Carly frowned. She had completely forgotten about that. Usually she loved going to the temple, but Saturday was the day of Jennifer’s party!
Jennifer was Carly’s best friend, and on Saturday she was having a Halloween party. Carly could hardly wait. But now she didn’t know what she should do.
“Mom, Jennifer’s party is Saturday too,” she said. “Would it be OK if I stay home and go to the party?”
Mom smiled. “You are 12 years old now,” she said. “I think you can make up your own mind.”
All week Carly worried about Saturday. The temple was far away, so her family didn’t get to go very often. But Halloween parties didn’t happen that often either.
I can just go to the party, Carly decided.
But that didn’t feel right.
“Why do the party and our temple trip have to be on the same day?” she asked at dinner.
“You’ve got a tough choice to make,” Dad said. “What do you think you should do?”
Carly didn’t see anything wrong with going to the party. All her friends from school would be there, and it would probably be a lot of fun. But it wasn’t a question between right and wrong, and that made it harder. Going to the party was good, but Carly knew that serving others in the temple was better.
“I guess I’ll go on the temple trip,” Carly said. Immediately her heart felt lighter.
The next day at school, Jennifer ran up to Carly. “I can’t wait for the party,” she said. “What are you going to wear?”
Carly took a deep breath. “I’m really sorry, Jennifer,” she said. “But I can’t come to your party. My family is going to the temple that day.”
Jennifer crinkled her nose. “What’s a temple?”
“It’s a special place where we go to worship God,” Carly said. “It’s important to me, but I’m sorry I’ll miss your party.”
“It’s OK,” Jennifer said. But she looked sad.
“How about if you come over after school on Monday and tell me all about the party?” Carly said.
Jennifer smiled. “OK!”
Early Saturday morning Carly took her pillow and backpack out to the car. Mom put her arm around Carly’s shoulder. “I’m so glad you’re going with us.”
“So am I,” Carly said, and she meant it.
At the temple Carly listened carefully to the words of the baptismal prayer. When she thought about how each name was for a real person, she was sure there was no place she would rather be than here, being baptized for them.
On the way home, Dad said, “Because of our family, 15 people had baptisms done for them today. I know these ancestors are grateful for the opportunity to accept the gospel.”
Carly settled down for the long drive home. She couldn’t stop smiling.