Picture This
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“Picture This,” New Era, Sept. 1994, 27

Picture This

Anybody can put books and pencils in their locker. We put a powerfully positive influence in ours.

I counted the days on my calendar. Where had summer gone? I could I hardly believe my first day of middle school was only one week away. I felt excited, glad, and scared to death—all at once.

As my friends and I began making plans for school, we each described the new outfits we had picked to wear on the first day, and debated if backpacks or book bags were the “in” thing this year. We joked about keeping our lockers organized, with each book in perfect class sequence.

Together, my friends and I completed a list of items we thought would be important to put into our lockers. A hair brush, a magnetic mirror, and a pencil box were some of the ideas.

Then Karen spoke up. “I’m going to put a picture of the Savior in my locker.” Everyone became silent. Suddenly the brush and mirror didn’t seem quite as important anymore.

When the first day of school finally came, my anxiety grew. I walked through the hallway to locker number 1290 and began turning the black knob to complete my combination.

I unloaded my new pink book bag and filled my locker with notebooks, pencils, and personal belongings. Then I unzipped a small pocket on the side of my bag to remove a three-by-five picture of the Savior. It was a picture I had received in church nearly a year ago. With a magnet, I carefully hung the photo. There it would stay as my continual reminder to always stick up for what I believe in and to “stand for truth and righteousness.”

I called to Karen, who had a locker just a few feet from mine, and motioned for her to come and see what I had done. She looked in my locker and smiled when she saw I had followed her example.

I often hear people talk about peer pressure and how damaging it can be. But when I look at the picture of the Savior hanging in my locker, and notice his picture in many of the lockers of classmates around me, I realize peer pressure can be positive as well as negative.

I can only imagine how much better this world would be if all the youth of the Church would truly take a stand for truth and righteousness. What a powerful group of peers that would make.

Photography by Steve Bunderson