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The choices we make can affect not only us, but also those around us as well. This is especially true for me because I am the oldest of seven children in our family. If I do something, amazingly enough my sisters suddenly like to do it as well. Therefore, I am not only accountable for how my choices affect me, but also for how my choices affect my sisters.

As Laurel president, it is also my responsibility to be a good example. The young women in our ward are very important to me, and I must, therefore, try to make good choices.At school, I am an editor for my school newspaper. Many times it becomes necessary for me to be more patient than usual, but I know if I am, I will be representing the Church well. Most of my friends outside of the Church know that I am a Latter-day Saint and respect my standards, which makes me glad. It is at times comical the way people are amazed that I do not do certain things. I try to make the kinds of choices that will help my friends respect the Church.

Because this is my last year in high school, and I will be soon leaving for college, I am often faced with having to choose between those things of a secular nature and those things of eternal importance. Whenever I get my priorities mixed up, I am so thankful that I can repent for those wrong choices I many times make in the weaknesses of my carnal being.

How wise and loving of our Heavenly Father to help us grow by allowing us to face the consequences of our actions.

These words written by Shakespeare often echo in my head when I am tempted to make choices that will only benefit the here and now: "We must not let our passions destroy our dreams."

Though many times I come short of my expectations, I hope that by my constant efforts now I will someday be sealed to that special someone in the temple, create an eternal family and have the opportunity to someday return to my Heavenly Father.

I am thankful for my beautiful family, and that through them I can learn the things that can help me make better choices concerning myself and others.

I admire and try to follow and pattern myself after those who have loved the Lord and made wise choices in this life, such as Nephi. My mother is another great example for me because she constantly makes selfless choices that will be for the benefit of us - her children.

I can only hope that I am making choices in righteousness and that I am being a good example for others. I know that the choices we make here in this life have the power to - and will - affect us eternally.