“Sticking to Standards,” Friend, May 2000, 47
I swim on a winter swim team at the Lexington Aquatic Academy. Our team practices all winter and has weekend meets. Right at the beginning, I told my coach that I could compete in the meets that were held on Saturday but not those held on Sunday.
In March we had the last meet of the season, the Kentucky State Championship. The relay race was scheduled for Sunday. A couple of the team members who usually swim the relay were ruled ineligible. The coach asked my mom if I could swim just that one race on Sunday. Mom told him that it was my decision. When he asked me, I remembered something my dad had told me during a family home evening lesson. He had said that it is easier to decide how to handle a situation before you are actually faced with it. That way, when you have to make a decision, it will be easier to do the right thing. I had made the decision not to swim on Sunday before I joined my team. That made it easier for me to tell the coach that I couldn’t swim the relay.
I thought the coach would be mad at me. But at the end-of-the-year banquet, he presented me with a plaque engraved with the words “Christian Attitude Award—John Netherton 1999.” He told the team how proud he was of me for having standards and then sticking to them even when others tried to convince me to do something “just this once.” A couple of families called my mom to tell her about all the nice things that the coach had said about me. We weren’t at the banquet to hear him because it was on a Sunday! One mom even asked my mom where we went to church.
I am grateful for gospel standards and for the chance we have to be an example when we try to follow the teachings of Jesus.