For my magazine I am choosing to do a New Era article. I think that what my topic is will really relate to teenagers my age. For my magazine content, I shared a story from when I was younger. I was face with decisions of weather to listen to the Spirit or not. I talked about how sometimes its hard to make the right choice. I also mentioned about how if you do make the wrong choice, Heavenly Father will still love you. I think that its something that teenagers need to hear. They need to know that its never too late to make the right choice and that god always loves them.
Story: Never too Late
As a young child a friend, who was also a neighbor, and I were given permission to walk home from a church activity together. We were instructed by our parents to stay together and walk straight home. At one point on our walk home a sister from our ward pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride. We responded by thanking her for the offer but preferred to walk home. We continued on our way. While walking past the neighborhood of a mutual friend, my walking companion thought that it would be great to stop and say and say “hello”. I reminded her of what our parents said. She was insistent that we should stop. Her persistence changed my mind and I said, “Ok, only for a second.”
I was nervous that we would get in trouble. When we got to the friend’s house, the Spirit kept telling me to go home. I reminded my friend that we needed to go home multiple times. A short time had passed and I insisted that we leave. Instead of agreeing with me and resuming our walk home, she made plans with other friend to walk over to, yet, another friend’s house in the opposite direction from our neighborhood. The Spirit once again prompted me to go home.
I made the choice to listen to the Spirit. I told my friend, “I am going to go home now.” We said goodbye to each other and separated. At this point I had done the two things that my parents asked me not to do: I did not go straight home and I did not stick with my friend. I was worried for her and myself. When I passed the home of the kind sister from my ward who earlier offered us a ride, the Spirit again came to me. I felt an overwhelming feeling that I needed to ask her if I could take her up on her offer after all and get a ride home. It was starting to get dark and, by foot, I was still far from home. It would have been dangerous for a child of my age to walk home alone, especially in the dark. I contemplated whether or not I should go ask for a ride.
I finally decided and went and knocked on her door. I asked her if I could get a ride home and she happily drove me home. When I got home I did not tell my parents what had happened and started getting ready for bed. Later in the evening my parents came to my room and asked if I knew where my friend was. Her parents called my parents and said that she was not home yet. I told my parents what happened and where I thought my friend had gone.
I felt sure my parents would be mad at me for not “sticking together” with my friend. It turned out that my parents were more proud of me than they were upset with me. They were happy that I made a good choice when my friend had not. My parents later got a call from the sister in our ward who drove me home. She told my parents what happened and how she was impressed with me to have to courage to ask for a ride and leave my friend. My friend made it home safely; however; she was punished.
I learned from this experience. I learned that sometimes it is hard to make the right choice. This lesson has been with me throughout my life. Some think that Heavenly Father does not ask much from us. Others may feel He asks too much. I believe the things that He does ask of us is for our benefits and for our salvation. The things my parents asked me to do that day were simple. They told me to stay with my friend and go straight home. To some people these instructions may seem like restrictions; however, they were intended for my benefit.
Sometimes we don’t listen to the things we are asked not to do, but there is always time to do the right thing. I strayed from what I was instructed to do; but, I still had the courage to do the right thing. Heavenly Father wants what’s best for us and is willing to help us. He helps us by sending the Holy Spirit as He did for me. If we listen to the Spirit we will be blessed. If I would have listened to the first warning, maybe my friend would not have ended up getting in trouble. Sometimes not listening to the Spirit it will affect those we are involved with.
Heavenly Father loves us. Jeffrey R. Holland said in a General Conference talk in April of 2012, “However many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love.” No matter what we do or say, God still loves and is proud of us, just like my parents. God will be happier when you come home to Him safely than He will be disappointed that you did not always listen to His instructions.