“Outnumbered,” Ensign, July 2004, 18
On Monday morning I went to school, where I am one of only five Church members among 1,200 students. A group of boys approached me and invited me to be a member of their group. I was outnumbered. They had body piercings and were taller and bigger than most kids. They bullied those who didn’t join them.
I’m also bigger than most kids, and I considered joining the group because I am shy. I thought that being part of a group would make up for my shyness. I asked them, “Can I think it over first?” They said yes.
I asked my parents for their opinion. They said I should pray and read the scriptures. Before I went to sleep, I read the scriptures and For the Strength of Youth. It says, “Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other in living high standards” (, 12). I also prayed for help: “Are they the right friends for me?”
The next morning during class, I opened my wallet-size For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. I read it again and knew what I had to answer. When they asked me, “So now will you join our group?” I said, without a doubt, “No.”
They asked me why not, and I simply said I didn’t want to get body piercings or to use my strength to hurt others. I said I wanted to be nice to everybody by following Jesus Christ. They looked at me as if to say, “You are wasting an opportunity to have popular friends.”
Today I have a group of friends who are different from that gang. My friends are good students, look clean, and behave well. Now I know that if I seek our Heavenly Father’s help, He will help me.