The Stolen Purse
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“The Stolen Purse,” Friend, Apr. 2012, 18–19

The Stolen Purse

I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself (My Gospel Standards).

Joseph was almost to the edge of the park when he noticed something in the grass. “Maybe a bag of trash got scattered by the wind,” he thought.

As he got closer, a glint of light caught his attention. This wasn’t trash. Joseph saw a checkbook, keys, and a calculator lying near a purse. What cool stuff to find! Finders keepers, right?

Joseph was about to put the stuff in his pockets when he thought, “This isn’t mine. If I lost something, I’d want it back. Whoever this belongs to probably wants it back too.”

So instead he gathered up the scattered things, stuffed them in the purse, and carried it all back to Mom.

“Oh, dear,” Mom said, “It looks like someone’s been robbed.”

Together she and Joseph looked through the things until they found a phone number. Mom called the number while Joseph watched. When she hung up Joseph asked, “Who was it? What did they say?”

“The lady who answered was very excited when I told her what you found,” Mom said. “Her purse was stolen yesterday at the mall. We’re going to go there now to take everything back to her.”

When they walked into the mall, a woman hurried up to them. “Thank you, thank you!” she said. “Young man, you’ve answered my prayers!”

Joseph smiled and handed her the purse. “I’m sorry you got robbed,” he said.

The lady handed Joseph a 20-dollar bill. “This is a reward for your honesty,” she said.

Joseph shook his head. “I don’t need to be paid to be honest. I’m honest because I try to follow Jesus.”

“Then use this money for Jesus,” the woman whispered. Joseph could see tears in her eyes.

As Joseph took the money he looked at Mom. “Do we have a pass-along card?” he asked.

“We sure do,” Mom said, and she pulled one out of her purse.

Joseph gave the card to the lady. “If you call the phone number on this card, you can get a movie about Jesus,” he said.

“Thank you,” the lady said as she shook Joseph’s hand. “I’m very glad to have met you.”

As Joseph got back in the car, Mom asked, “What will you do with the money?”

“The lady told me to use it for Jesus. I guess that means using it for His Church,” Joseph said. “I’ll give two dollars for tithing, some for the Perpetual Education Fund, some for the Humanitarian Aid Fund, and the rest for my mission fund.”

As he told mom his plans, Joseph had a warm feeling in his chest. It felt good to be honest and to use his reward money for a worthy cause.

Illustrations by Cary Henrie