“The Joy of Repentance,” Friend, May 2001, 40
When I noticed a paper snowman at school, I thought that no one wanted it. I picked it up, tore it into small pieces, and made a paper trail out of it. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, but I did. The snowman belonged to a second-grader named Phyllis. When she came back to get it and saw what had happened to it, she began to cry.
My heart ached to make Phyllis feel better, but I didn’t know how. I was afraid to tell anyone what I had done, but my little sister had seen what happened and told my mom. I think that this is the only time I’ve been grateful that she loves to tattle on me.
My parents and I talked about the steps of repentance: first, tell the person and Heavenly Father that you’re sorry; second, do your best to fix the wrong; third, promise to never do it again.
I realized that I couldn’t fix Phyllis’s paper snowman, but the next day I apologized to her and found out what her favorite candy bar was. Then I vacuumed, washed dishes, and did other chores at home to earn money to buy Phyllis her favorite candy. Usually I don’t like to do chores, but that day it made me feel extra good inside. Mom said that the good feeling was the Holy Ghost telling me that I was doing the right thing.
The next morning, Mom and I went to Phyllis’s classroom, and Mom explained to the teacher why I was giving Phyllis the candy bar. I was embarrassed, thinking that the teacher would think that I was mean. But she said that I was wonderful and that the world would be a much better place if more people were like me! It felt nice to have her think highly of me, but not as nice as the smile Phyllis gave me when I handed her the candy bar. It was a big, beautiful smile that told me, “I forgive you.”
As we left the classroom, I felt warm and happy inside. Mom said that it was the Holy Ghost telling me that Heavenly Father was pleased with me. I hope to feel the Holy Ghost in my life many more times as I take advantage of the gift of repentance.