“Lousy Lyrics,” New Era, Jan. 2013, 46–47
“If choosing the right is supposed to bring you blessings,” I thought to myself, “then why am I sitting alone in the hall of my new junior high?”
I didn’t know many people in my new school. My music class was where I felt most comfortable because I like to sing. After weeks of being the new kid, it was nice to feel like I fit in. Today, however, was different. Mrs. Wyler (name has been changed) had brought a recording of a popular Broadway musical, one my stake president had cautioned us to avoid. Mrs. Wyler turned to the class: “Any comments before we start?” she asked.
I squirmed in my chair. Everyone was looking eagerly toward Mrs. Wyler, the disc in her hand. I thought perhaps I could sing Church songs in my head to drown out the lyrics she would play, but I knew that would be hard for me in this situation. I looked at Mrs. Wyler as my hand slowly went up in the air.
“Yes, Jill?” she said as she inserted the disc into the player. I couldn’t think of what to say. I couldn’t say that my stake president told me not to listen to this musical, because she wouldn’t know what a stake president was. I had no idea how to explain, especially in front of the entire class.
“I have religious objections to this musical,” I said, knowing it sounded lame. The class was now watching me in silence.
“Oh,” said Mrs. Wyler, glancing at the clock, “Why don’t you just take your chair and sit in the hall this period.” As the door swung shut I could hear the wave of laughter as the music began. Sitting in the hall was miserable. “So much for making friends in this school,” I thought.
A couple of weeks later in English class, my teacher passed out copies of some new poems. One student raised her hand. “I have religious objections to these poems,” she said. I glanced over at her quickly, thinking she was making fun of me, but she looked back at me and smiled a real smile.
Instead of having people think I was stupid for having standards, it became the popular thing to do. Sometimes you have to show where you stand by where you are willing to sit.