“Divine Destiny,” New Era, Sept. 2019, page–page.
The author lives in France.
I’m from France, but my sister and I spent a year in the eastern United States as exchange students. During that time, we met lots of people, but the one who left the biggest impression on me was a girl named Destiny. She became one of my best friends. We did all kinds of things together, during school and after school, and with my sister. Destiny was always happy. That was the thing I liked most about her.
Then one day I saw her in a troubled mood I had never seen her in before. I asked her what was wrong. She said she didn’t want to talk about it. Then I noticed a paper in her hand. I took it and read it.
Someone had written unbelievably mean things to her. The anonymous note said she was ugly, that no one liked her, that she didn’t have any purpose for being alive, and that she ought to go and kill herself. I would never have believed someone like her could be attacked like that. It affected me deeply to know the pain she was going through.
From then on, I made an even bigger effort to be Destiny’s friend—not just to spend time with her, but to always be there for her, and especially to be sincere. I explained to her that she is a daughter of God, blessed with a divine nature, worthy of admiration and capable of great things.
It’s difficult to try to love yourself when others treat you badly and criticize you. As I befriended Destiny, I learned that sometimes the best way to help others is just to love them and to help them know who they truly are.
At the end of the year, when I had to return to France, Destiny told me something I will always treasure. “Emma,” she said, “you saved me. Before you came, I wanted to kill myself. But then you and your sister helped me a lot, just by caring. Today I love myself, and I love you.”
There are many kids in school who endure bullying, who are mistreated or isolated. Find a way to reach out to them. Speak to them, think about them, be kind to them. It’s what the Savior would do, and sometimes just a simple hello or a smile can change everything.