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“@LDSYouth,” New Era, June 2018


A young girl sits in a wheelchair while playing the drums. She is part of a parade

“Actually, I can” is my personal motto. When people meet me for the first time, they don’t realize that I can do a lot of things if I’m creative and put my mind to it.

When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. I thought I would have to give up all the things I love to do—dance, softball, volleyball—but my medication allowed me to keep living my normal life. I stayed super active and kept doing what I loved. I even started playing the snare drum in marching band. Then in 10th grade, my arthritis flared up and I got really sick. I couldn’t hold up my snare drum anymore. And I had to quit dance because it was too difficult for me to participate.

I tried to stay positive. But I really missed my snare drum. Even though I wanted to give up, my family encouraged me to find hope. We figured out how to attach my snare drum to my wheelchair, and soon I was playing in the marching band again!

Lots of times when we’re faced with challenges, we automatically think we can’t do it. But the truth is that “actually, I can.”

Jess P., 17, Utah, USA


I’m thankful for my friends and family. My testimony has been strengthened remarkably in the past few months. My best friend, Hailey, helps me keep my thoughts clean and directs me down the Savior’s path. She’s encouraged me to do what the Lord asks. I’ve been reading my scriptures every day and saying prayers whenever I need. Doctrine and Covenants 19:23 has given me strength. Maybe it will help you too.

I play quarterback and love football, basketball, and track.

Tristan K., 14, Arizona, USA


One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 13:12: “Let us put on the armour of light.” We put on this armor to show the Light of Christ and stand as witnesses of God. When I think about how I can show light to those around me, I think about showing kindness in small ways. Can I give her a compliment? Can I put a smile on his face? We can shine our light and give more good back to the world.

Piano, tennis, basketball, and reading are things I really love to do.

Elizabeth F., 16, North Carolina, USA