There’s a new video in YouTube that is a re-enactment of a true story. A girl left her purse at a church dance. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You might have heard of members of this church being called Mormons. This is a nickname it’s okay to use when talking about the people who belong, but it’s not the actual name of the church.
The adult leaders who found the purse needed to find out who it belonged to so they could return it. There was no identification outside the purse, and they hated to snoop, but there was no choice. To see as little as possible, they reached in and pulled out just one item. They figured they’d see as little as possible before finding identification.
The first thing they found was a booklet called “For the Strength of Youth.” This is a booklet given to Mormon teenagers that remind them of the moral standards God wants them to live by. Even though there was no name on the pamphlet, the leaders realized it told them something important about the girl—she cared so much about living the way God asked her to live she even brought the standards with her to dances.
The next item they looked at was a notebook. They were sure that would have some identifying information in it. However, it turned out to have six pages of scriptures in it—it was a list of the girl’s favorite scriptures. Again, although they still didn’t know her name, they knew she loved to study her scriptures.
Every item they pulled out of her purse told them more about what kind of girl owned the purse. They found things that showed she was artistically creative, that she loved to serve others, that she was neat, and that she was domestic. She was prepared for emergencies. Finally they found her identification. They were happy to see what an incredible young lady she was, and they knew this by what was in a purse she never expected others to peer into.
If someone were to go through your purse, pockets, or backpack, if they were to search your school locker or your bedroom, if they were to read your journal…what would they learn about you? Would they find you to be the person you portray yourself to be, or would they learn you were not the person they had thought you were? Would they be excited to learn your standards—even when you think no one is watching—or would they be sad and worried?
Even if your parents or complete strangers never go through your private things, God knows what is in them. What does He see when He peers into your private life? Are you proud of the person you are? Are you one person when others are watching and a different person when you’re alone? Are you one person to your friends and another to your parents and religious leaders?
A lot of times we divide our lives into little categories and we live differently depending on where we are and who we are with. However, to become a real person, we must be the same person all the time under every circumstances. When we are always the same, living by the same standards, people trust us more. They know they can depend on us in every situation. We are more genuine, more real.
To be a Christian, we have to be Christian all the time, not just when important people are watching. Jesus wants us to be like Him every minute of every day, no matter who we are with.
When my children were younger, one of them had a church teacher for a while who was very popular. She had just graduated from high school and had been head cheerleader and a prom or homecoming queen. She told the children in the church class she taught that summer that she had never once lowered her standards in order to be popular. She hadn’t felt a need to dress immodestly, use inappropriate language, or live differently than her family and her church had taught her to live. Even though this meant she didn’t wear all the latest fashions (even though she was always fashionably dressed) and even though she sometimes stayed home when her friends wanted to do something she knew was wrong, even though she never swore, cheated, or did other immoral things…everyone still liked her. She was still the most popular girl in school because she was a wonderful person, kind to everyone, dependable, and herself. No matter what situation she was in, she was always herself and she was always who God wanted her to be.
Take a few hours today to look through your purse, your backpack, your locker, and your bedroom. Pay attention to how you behave in every part of your life. Are you always the person God wants you to be?