A Boy Learns a Lesson

A Boy Learns a Lesson

by Thomas S. Monson

In about my tenth year, as Christmas approached, I longed for an electric train.  The times were those of economic depression, yet Mother and Dad purchased for me a lovely electric train.

Christmas morning bright and early, I thrilled when I noticed my train.  The next few hours were devoted to operating the transformer and watching the engine pull its cars forward—then backward around the track.

Mother said that she had purchased a wind-up train for Widow Hansen’s boy, Mark, who lived down the lane at Gale Street.  As I looked at his train, I noted a tanker car which I much admired.  I put up such a fuss that my mother succumbed to my pleadings and gave me the tanker car.  I put it with my train set and felt pleased.

Mother and I took the remaining cars and the engine down to Mark Hansen.  The young boy was a year or two older than I.  He had never anticipated such a gift.  He was thrilled beyond words.  He wound the key in his engine, it not being electric nor expensive like mine, and was overjoyed as the engine and three cars, plus a caboose, went around the track.

I felt a horrible sense of guilt as I returned home.  The tanker car no longer appealed to me.  Suddenly, I took the tanker car in my hand, plus an additional car of my own, and ran all the way down to Gale Street and proudly announced to Mark, “We forgot to bring two cars which belong to your train.”

I don’t know when a deed had made me feel any better than that experience as a ten-year old boy.

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