Always Ready
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“Always Ready,” Friend, Feb. 2012, 8–9

Always Ready

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation (Matthew 26:41).


The shout shocked Jeffrey as he sat reading the Book of Mormon at his bedroom desk. He didn’t move as thundering feet barreled closer.

Suddenly, the door was flung open and two boys wielding plastic swords and wearing eye patches burst in.

“Play with us or surrender, me hearty!” Jeffrey’s youngest brother, Benjamin, yelled.

Jeffrey rolled his eyes and half-smiled. “Reading scriptures around here is hard,” he thought.

Jeffrey had been trying hard to read his scriptures and pray every morning, even though there were plenty of distractions. Reading and praying made him feel like he had a little extra help being ready to make good choices.

After reading, Jeffrey sat down with his brothers to watch a cartoon. When the cartoon ended, another one started. Jeffrey felt like he should do something else, so he turned off the TV and started to play cars with his little brothers.

Dad walked into the room. “OK, guys, time to turn off the …”

“I already turned it off, Dad,” Jeffrey said.

“You did? Why?”

“I just thought it would be better to do something else,” Jeffrey said.

“Good thinking,” Dad said. “Now come on. Mom’s going to take you to school.”

When lunchtime came, Jeffrey sat with his friends. Mrs. Lewis turned on a CD for the students to listen to as they ate.

Jeffrey liked the first couple of songs. When the third song started playing, he recognized it as the same song Mom turned off when it came on the radio a couple of days earlier. Mom said the song’s message wasn’t good. Jeffrey understood, but he still liked the beat of the music.

Now, Mom wasn’t here. Everyone else seemed to like the song—even the teachers. But Jeffrey didn’t feel right as the music played. He walked toward Mrs. Lewis.

“Can you please change the song?” Jeffrey asked.

Mrs. Lewis tilted her head to the side and raised an eyebrow.

“Why?” she asked.

“This just isn’t a song I feel good listening to,” he answered.

“OK,” she said. She shrugged her shoulders and pushed the “skip” button.

Jeffrey immediately felt better.

After school, Jeffrey asked Mom if he could have some computer time.

“Yes,” Mom said. “But just until Dad gets home.”

Jeffrey sat at the computer as Mom cleaned nearby. He typed the address for a new website a friend had told him about. Benjamin sat next to him. The site had a lot of different games on it. Jeffrey clicked on a game and started to play.

Then he started to feel the way he did when the song came on earlier at school.

Jeffrey started to pay more attention to the game. Some things weren’t so good. The music definitely didn’t make him feel happy.

Jeffrey moved the mouse to the top of the page and clicked the red “X” to close it. He noticed he started to feel better again.

When Jeffrey knelt to pray that evening, he knew he had made good choices. The Holy Ghost guided his thoughts and feelings. Heavenly Father was helping him.

Jeffrey closed his eyes, knowing that the next day would bring many of the same situations, but also knowing that as long as he continued to read his scriptures and pray for help, he could be ready to make good choices.

Of course, he still wasn’t sure what he was going to do about those pirates.

Jeffrey had some choices to make. How did he know what the right ones were?

Illustrations by Brad Teare