"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
January 20, 2015
The Rest of the Story
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

I watched a video on YouTube that moved me deeply. Reading subtitles and listening to the music in the background, a pure and beautiful seven minutes unfolded.

It told the story of a young woman and her little girl, named June. Apparently many people were speaking behind the woman’s back about her being a mother of a child “since age 18, from a sugar daddy.”

A friend who knew the truth of the rest of the story asked Jane, the mother, why she didn’t tell them the truth. She replied, “I would rather them talk about me than talk about June.”

The rest of the story: Jane found a little baby tossed at the side of the road, left to die. She picked her up from the reeds and bushes, tears falling as she looked at this new little one, and fell in love.  At this point, the director chose to focus on this new mother. The tears she shed spoke volumes of feelings.

The video then cut back to present day. At one point, Jane asked a man if he taught art lessons. Out of kindness of heart, he said yes, and began to teach the little girl.

The story was an emotional one, a sweet one. At the end of the video, this woman picked up her child, holding her to her breast as she had done when she first laid eyes on her. Little June said, “I love you, Mom.”

It sounds pretty simple. And it is. Love won. Love ruled. Love covered them with goodness and grace and all the Better Things, despite the harshness of others’ opinions or foolish notions.  Without knowing the Rest of the Story.

I thought, how often do I make a poor judgment based only on what my eyes see? How often do I accept words from another, words of their own judgment or point of view?  Words that may color my own regard?  Not nearly as much as when I was younger, but — to be honest — it still happens. How foolish!

Having been the recipient of ugly innuendo and partial understanding on more times than I would wish, I know better than to do this. Not only because I know how it feels to be on receiving end of the gossip, but — more importantly — because it just isn’t right. It isn’t proper. It wrongs both me and the one I may not see with fully Son-lit eyes.

What a beautiful reminder the video was for me this chilly winter morning! It warmed me in many ways, as it centered me once again in the things that matter most. I feel more warm and fuzzy toward all mankind.

Silly? No… We humans should appreciate any of the good things that jog our memory, that serve as a reminder, that give us an extra dose of goodness — for our own sake as well as the sake of our brothers and sisters, walking the mortal path.  And goodness matters!

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About Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal communications.

A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!

In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and EFY's theme song.

She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world, pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.

She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and laughing every chance she gets.

Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.

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