The Best Test I Ever Failed

“The Best Test I Ever Failed,” Friend, Jan. 2015, 28–29

The Best Test I Ever Failed

I definitely had more faith than a little mustard seed. This math test would be a breeze.

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?” (James 2:14).

I looked up as my Primary teacher asked me to read a scripture.

I read, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed … nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).

Our teacher held out her hand and showed us a tiny mustard seed. I started feeling excited. I definitely had that much faith. So nothing would be impossible? What a great way to live!

The next day I went to school with big plans. Things were going to be different from here on out. No more working hard for good grades. Not with faith on my side!

My math teacher walked to the blackboard. “Take out your notebooks. We have a lot to review for the test tomorrow.”

I wanted to laugh out loud. Why should I bother paying attention? I had faith! I relaxed at my desk and ignored the lesson. Who knew school could be this easy?

That night after dinner I helped Dad carry dishes to the sink. “Have any homework tonight?” he asked.

“Nope.” I almost told him more, but I decided to keep it a surprise for now. He’d be so proud of me once he learned how much faith I had.

“Wow, lucky you.”

I smiled. Oh yeah. I was feeling plenty lucky, all right.

The next morning Tia ran over as I got off the school bus.

“Hi!” she said. “Sorry I couldn’t come over last night. It took me forever to study for the test.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Hmm. I didn’t study at all.”

“What?” Nathan said. He’d just joined us. “You didn’t?”

“Nope. I don’t have to study to get an A. I have faith! Just wait and see.”

My friends were impressed.

When I got my test score later that afternoon, though, all my bragging stopped. I got an F! I couldn’t believe it. An F, as in fail. What about all my faith? What had gone wrong? I knew my faith was bigger than that shrimpy seed. I hid my grade from my friends.

Later that night I sat at the kitchen table, still confused. Dad sat down next to me. “Something wrong?”

I took a deep breath and told Dad the whole story. When I finished, he nodded slowly and said something I’d never forget: “Faith without works is dead.”

Then Dad taught me how faith really works. I learned that it’s not enough just to believe in something. I have to act too. That means I still have to do my part.

I went to bed that night with my pathetic math test on the floor next to me. I looked down at the big, fat, red F on top of the page. Dad was right. Expecting to do well without doing any work is like trying to grow a mustard plant without even planting the seed in the ground.

After that day, whenever there was a test, I still had faith. But this time I had faith that Heavenly Father could help me work hard and study and do my very best.

With this kind of faith, nothing really is impossible!

Friend Magazine, 2015/01 Jan