In this month’s New Era magazine (a monthly magazine for Mormon teens and other teens who want inspiration) there are several stories about teens who had to have courage in an everyday sort of situation. A lot of times we think of courage as involving physical danger, such as running into a burning building to save someone. Most of the time, though, the courage we are asked to show comes from ordinary, everyday experiences.
Deborah Moore wrote about the experience of losing a best friend. When she was in eighth grade, her best friend decided to start getting drunk and doing other things Deborah knew were wrong. Deborah didn’t know what to do but she was worried for her friend’s safety so she finally got the courage to ask her friend not to drink. Her friend chose not to follow her advice or to continue the friendship.
That took a huge amount of courage for Deborah. She knew she might lose a friend by doing this, but she had to try to help her friend if it was at all possible, so she took the risk. A lot of times when we read stories like this one in religious settings, the story ends with the friend deciding to change her life, grateful someone cared about her. That didn’t happen this time, but it doesn’t change the importance of the story.
It’s really an act of love to try to save someone you know is doing something dangerous. You’d want to jump into a swimming pool to save a drowning friend and a friend who wants to start getting drunk often is in more danger than just physical death—she faces terrible danger to her spiritual life, which is more important in the eternal scheme of things.
Every person has agency—the God-given right to make choices—but they face the consequences of those choices. When we care about someone, we can offer them support for making a different kind of choice, which is what Deborah offered. Even though the friend didn’t appreciate the help or accept it, Deborah had done the right thing. She eventually made new friends who supported her wiser choices and helped her to live the way she knew she should live.
Read the original story about this Mormon Teen.
Another story had a happier ending. Shannon moved to her dad’s house part way through her junior year of high school. She was shy and had a hard time making friends. She was in choir and hoped she’d find friends there, but it was still pretty hard. However, one girl caught her attention, a girl who was outgoing and popular. This girl had one bad habit though—she took Jesus’ name in vain. That means she used his name as a swear word. This really bothered Shannon, but she was too shy to say anything.
One day, though, Shannon decided she was denying Jesus Christ every time she let the swearing go by without saying anything. She surprised herself by asking the girl not to say His name that way because He was her Savior. The class was startled and became silent but several students agreed with Shannon. The girl who had said the words apologized, admitting she hadn’t really thought about what she was saying and that Jesus was her Savior, too.
So sometimes having everyday courage works out the way you hope it will and sometimes it doesn’t. Having courage, though, means you don’t stop to wonder if you’ll come out ahead. It means doing the right thing for the right reason even if it’s possible the story might have some sad parts to it. In the eternal scheme of things, though, both girls had happy endings because they knew they were doing what Jesus wanted them to do, and that matters more than any temporary setbacks.
Read the original story in the New Era about this Mormon Teen.
What have you done to show everyday courage?