Be a difference maker.
On our first day of seminary my junior year, the teacher challenged us to become friends with someone new by the end of the semester.
I like a challenge, so I chose someone who was as different from me as I could.
I was shy, had the same friends since elementary school, and loved seminary.
Kevin sang the songs at the top of his lungs and told Brother Howell he would come every day if he promised to give him an F on his report card. (His friends didn’t think seminary was cool.)
I decided to walk with Kevin to and from seminary every day. Just across the parking lot. It seemed easy. He always walked alone. As soon as we got to the school building, we both went our separate ways.
It didn’t take long to realize Kevin didn’t have a lot of friends. In fact, over the next few months I realized he only had two. He ate lunch with them, walked the halls with them. And sluffed class with them. But not seminary.
One day, Kevin and his two friends walked up to me at my locker. Kevin told me he was on a scavenger hunt and needed one of my shoes. I was wearing sandals. It was against the rules to go barefoot in school. But Kevin wasn’t a rule-keeping kind of kid. I debated it for a minute and then reached down to take off my sandal. Then I told him I had to have that shoe back by the end of second period, no matter what.
I will never forget what happened next. It’s been over three decades, and I still remember as if it were yesterday.
“That’s OK,” he said, “I don’t really need your shoe.” Then he turned around to those two friends and said the words I will never forget: “I told you there was one person in this school who believed in me.”
Who needs you to believe in them today?
Who needs an extra friend?
Who could you walk through the parking lot with?
Sometimes standing as a witness of Christ means eating lunch with someone who needs a friend, stopping to talk with someone new, meeting someone where they are, and extending love to them.
Become a difference maker.
The Lord needs you.
And in case you need this reminder today, I believe in you.
President Emily Belle Freeman
Young Women General President