“Carrie’s Journal,” Friend, Oct. 1997, 8
Today I watched general conference at the church. Sometimes I get bored because conference seems too long for my ten-year-old body. But today I decided to follow the advice of my Primary teacher. She told me that I’d get more out of the talks if I listened carefully and figured out how I could use what was said in my life. I tried very hard to do that, and I think I did pretty well.
When President Hunter gave the last talk, I listened especially hard. I can’t remember everything he said, but I know that he asked us to be more like Jesus Christ. I’m going to try.
I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. At least that’s what Mom said, though I’m pretty sure it was the same side as always. I was really grouchy, though, and who could blame me? When I went to get my new sweater, I couldn’t find it anyplace. I asked Mom where it was, but she said that keeping track of my clothes was my responsibility and that she didn’t have time to help me search. I stomped back to my room as loudly as I could and slammed the door.
I found my sweater on the floor of the closet. I put it on and slouched down to the kitchen, where Mom was feeding Annie her baby food. Mom asked me to help Charlie put on his shoes, and that made me even grumpier. Charlie’s in kindergarten—why can’t he put on his own shoes? I was about to say something unkind until I looked at Mom’s face. I could see that she was having a tough morning, too, so I helped Charlie, but I wasn’t happy about it. As if all this weren’t enough, I had to walk to school by myself—my best friend had already left without me.
I came home from school that afternoon with a ton of homework. I was just getting started on it, when Mom asked me to watch Annie while she took Mr. Stanley his dinner. She takes dinner to him once a week because he’s in a wheelchair and it’s hard for him to cook. I told Mom that he could buy a frozen dinner and pop it in the microwave, but she just shook her head and headed out the door.
As she left, I noticed that she had a happy look on her face. It reminded me of the picture of Jesus in our living room. Why was she so happy? It was then that I realized that Mom was following President Hunter’s counsel. I decided that if helping someone she hardly knew made her feel so good, maybe it wouldn’t hurt me to try being nicer to my own sister. So I put on my best fake smile and started playing with Annie. By the time Mom returned to give me a kiss and a thank-you, my smile wasn’t as fake, and my day didn’t seem quite so bad.
Today as I was leaving for school, I looked at the picture of Jesus on our wall. It reminded me that I was trying to be more like Him, so I decided to do something nice for someone as soon as possible. At school I saw a new girl wandering around looking lost, so I smiled and asked if she needed help. She said that she was just waiting for a friend, so I smiled again and walked on to class. I searched all day at school and all the way home afterward, but I didn’t see anyone to help.
When I got home, Mom was on the phone, and I could tell that she was talking to her friend Mary. When Mom talks to her, they’re on the phone a long time. Mom told me once that Mary was going through tough times and needed someone to listen to her.
I was on my way to my room when I remembered that I still hadn’t done something nice for someone. My nose told me that the baby needed a diaper change, and I decided that I could be like Jesus right in my own home! I was getting the diaper stuff so Mom could keep talking while she changed Annie, when I asked myself, What would Jesus do? I knew the answer. Jesus taught us to go the second mile, and He loved little children. I took Annie out of the playpen and changed her diaper myself.
It was so smelly that I almost took her to Mom, after all, but I didn’t. Mom saw me and gave me a huge smile that lit up her whole face. Annie grinned and cooed at me! I felt so good that before Mom got off the phone, I picked up Charlie’s toys in the living room and put them away.
Tonight when I was getting into bed, Mom came in and gave me a big hug and a kiss and told me how much she appreciated what I did for her. I felt a warm feeling in my heart as I hugged her back. I’m glad that I listened to President Hunter and tried to be a little more like Jesus. I can’t wait for the next general conference—I’m going to listen even better.