“The Bad Website,” Friend, June 2023, 40–41.
This story took place in the USA.
Kevin turned around in the computer chair. He hit random keys on the keyboard.
“Mom, can I play the racing game yet?” he called.
Mom looked in from the kitchen. “After you finish your homework.”
Kevin sighed. How was he supposed to focus on homework? He was so close to beating the next level of his favorite computer game. And his homework was, well, homework.
He guessed he could at least start on it. He scrolled through a website. It sure didn’t look as cool as the racing game.
Then Kevin saw a link. He clicked on it. The link took him to a website with pictures of people wearing no clothes.
This is bad, he thought. I should leave it. Kevin looked over his shoulder. No one was watching him. He looked at a few more pictures. He was just curious.
Kevin started to feel a little sick inside. He quickly closed the website. He tried to go back to his homework. It’s OK, Kevin thought. I just saw just a few pictures. But the bad feeling didn’t go away.
Kevin felt like he should talk to Mom about the website. But he was scared. What if she got mad?
That night, after dinner, Kevin helped Mom wash the dishes.
“Are you feeling OK?” Mom asked.
“Yeah,” Kevin said.
But he wasn’t OK. He felt like he was going to cry. The feeling that he should tell Mom came back. But Kevin was still scared.
Heavenly Father, please help me, he prayed silently. He felt a little better.
“Can I talk to you?” Kevin asked.
“Of course,” Mom said. “What do you want to talk about?”
Kevin looked at the floor. He wasn’t sure how to start. “When I was doing my homework, I looked at a site that had pictures of people without clothes. I was just curious. But now I can’t forget what I saw.”
“I’m glad you told me,” Mom said. She gave Kevin a hug. “Curiosity is normal. You know that those things are bad, and you shouldn’t be looking at them. But the good thing is that you were honest. You’ll feel better now because you told me.”
“You’re not mad?” Kevin asked.
“Of course not,” Mom said. “I love you. I want to help you. And so does Heavenly Father. He can always help you make things right.”
The sick feeling left Kevin’s stomach.
“I was scared to tell you,” he said. “But I felt better after I said a prayer.”
“It sounds like the Holy Ghost helped you be brave!” Mom said.
Kevin had felt calm and peaceful when he prayed. But even before he prayed, he had felt like he needed to talk to Mom.
“I think the Holy Ghost helped me the whole time,” Kevin said. “He told me the pictures were bad. And He told me I needed to tell you what happened.”
“I’m always here if you need to talk about things like this,” Mom said. “I won’t get mad. Let’s work together to make a computer safety plan.”
Kevin smiled. “That sounds like a good idea to me.”