“Score One for Honesty,” Friend, July 2019
Eli ran to the window when he heard the pitter-patter of rain falling outside. He saw big black clouds and watched the rain hit the sidewalk.
“Man! How am I going to practice now?” he said. Eli had just signed up for middle-school football, and he had a game coming up.
Eli’s younger brother, Mitch, came to look out the window too. That gave Eli an idea.
“Hey, Mitch,” Eli said. “Want to help me practice my football passes?”
“Inside?” Mitch asked. “Mom would get really mad.”
“She won’t find out,” Eli said. “She’s at the store. We just have to be careful.”
“Well, OK,” said Mitch.
Eli ran upstairs to grab his football. Then he and Mitch started throwing it back and forth.
Eli made a catch in front of the couch. Then another. He was getting pretty good! He threw the ball back to Mitch.
The ball sailed over Mitch’s head. Mitch jumped, his arms outstretched, but it was too high.
“Oh no!” Mitch said. The football had smashed into the shelf where Mom kept her fancy dishes. He and Eli rushed over and stared at the pile of broken plates.
“Maybe we can glue them back together?” Eli said.
Mitch grabbed a tube of glue from the cabinet, and they tried to fit the pieces together. But some were chipped and couldn’t be glued back right.
Maybe we could throw the broken ones away, Eli thought. Mom might not even notice. We can space out the other dishes to fill in the gaps.
But as soon as the idea popped into his mind, he knew it was wrong.
Eli had just become a deacon. He knew that honoring the priesthood meant he needed to be honest. When Dad ordained him, Dad said that there might be times when he would be tempted to do the wrong thing but that he would be able to make the right choice. Eli knew what he needed to do.
“What’re we going to do?” Mitch asked. “Mom’s going to be really mad!”
“We have to tell the truth,” Eli said.
When Mom got home with their baby sister, Annie, Eli and Mitch told her the bad news.
“Mom,” Eli began, “I know we’re not supposed to, but we were playing football inside. I threw the ball too hard, and it crashed into the shelf and broke some plates. It’s my fault. I’m sorry.”
Mom looked at Eli and Mitch. She looked sad for a moment, then said, “Thank you for being honest. I’m proud of you for telling me.”
“How can I make it right?” Eli asked.
“Well, you can start by helping me clean up the broken glass,” Mom said. “Then while you help me with Annie, we’ll talk about ways you can earn money to replace the plates.”
After they cleaned up the mess, Eli spent the afternoon playing with Annie. He felt bad that he broke Mom’s plates, but he learned that it always feels good to be honest.