“Being Myself,” New Era, Mar. 2015, 47
About halfway through seventh grade, I wanted to be part of the “in” crowd. I started changing just to fit in. I got mad easier, I tried to make a boy I liked think I was someone different from who I really am, and I started hanging out with people who didn’t have the best reputation. At the beginning of the fourth quarter of school, I noticed that I’d changed.
I had a lot of fond memories of the year before: no swearing, no bad influences. I’d had great friends—friends who actually cared about me and were good influences.
I decided to stop trying to change and just be myself, including keeping the commandments. Not long after that decision, when a boy asked me out, I told him, “No, I won’t date until I’m 16.” He asked why, and I responded, “I’m LDS.” He was sort of mad because I turned him down, but I knew I’d done the right thing. It felt good to stand up for my beliefs.
I thought, “If my friends leave me because of who I am, then they’re not really my friends.” I’m now a lot happier, and I know that from now on I’ll choose my friends wisely and be true to myself.