The Bad Picture

“The Bad Picture,” Friend, August 2017

CTR Story

The Bad Picture

“I’ll stand for truth. I’ll stand for right. The Lord can depend on me” (Children’s Songbook, 162).

Friend Magazine, 2017/08 Aug

Illustrations by Ben Simonsen

“Hey, look at this.” Jack pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket. “I found it in a magazine this morning.” He unfolded it and held it out to Taran.

But Taran could see right off it wasn’t something he wanted to look at. He turned away. “I don’t want to look at that.”

Jack shrugged and put the paper back in his pocket. “Baby.”

Taran didn’t really care.

When Taran got home, he helped Mom make flatbread for dinner. He dragged a chair over to the counter, and Mom tied his apron.

“Mom,” he said, “when I was at Ian’s house, his friend tried to show me a picture of a person without clothes. I turned away and walked away.”

Mom set down the bowl of dough and gave Taran a hug. “That was a really good choice. Thank you for telling me about it.”

“In family night that’s what you said to do.” Taran patted his hands with flour and lifted the dough onto the counter.

“I’m glad you remembered. Is that the first time someone’s shown you a bad picture?”

Taran nodded.

“Well, I’m really glad you told me. You know you can ask me about anything or tell me anything, right? Even if you made a bad choice, I’d still want to know so I could help. I wouldn’t be mad.” She dabbed a bit of flour onto his nose.

Taran smiled and wrinkled his floury nose. “Yup. I know.”

After dinner that night, Dad said, “Today someone tried to show Taran a bad picture, the kind we’ve talked about in family night.”

Reena’s hand shot up in the air. “I remember talking about that!” Dhara wasn’t old enough to remember much, but she nodded too.

“So what did you do?” Sonia asked Taran.

“I didn’t look at it, and I walked away.”

Mom nodded. “We’re really happy Taran made such a good choice. And we’re so proud of him for letting me know what happened.”

Dad reached across the table to give Taran a high five. “Way to go, bud.” Reena and Dhara clapped, and Sonia gave Taran a big smile.

“So to celebrate we have a special treat!” said Dad. That made everybody cheer.

Mom got up to pull the ice cream out of the freezer, and Taran and Sonia ran over to grab bowls and spoons.

“OK, bud,” said Dad, pointing the ice-cream scoop at Taran. “Which flavor do you want?”

As they all dug into their ice cream, Mom said, “Dad and I just want you kids to remember that if you’re worried or have questions, you can always come and talk to us, no matter what. It makes us happy.”

“And gets us ice cream?” Sonia asked as she held up a spoonful of chocolate.

Mom laughed. “Sometimes. But mostly it just makes us happy.”

Taran nodded as he finished his last bite of ice cream. Telling Mom had made him happy too.

CTR Challenge

“I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father” (My Gospel Standards).

  • Find an August 2016 Friend (online works too) and read through “Be Smart, Be Safe, and Have Fun!” with your family.

  • Go to and watch the video “What Should I Do When I See Pornography?” with a parent or trusted adult.

  • Make a plan with your family. If you see something bad, tell a parent or trusted adult as soon as possible to quickly let go of bad feelings.

  • I challenge myself to …