The following story is currently circulating among fans. While a primary source is not known it makes interesting reading:

Elvis committed his first sin when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He stole two empty cola bottles from a neighbour’s porch. When his mother asked him about the bottles, he admitted that he had taken them from the Harris's porch without their permission. Gladys took him by the hand and dragged him to the Harris's house.

Although Elvis was embarrassed at having to return the bottles, he was even more upset when Gladys announced that he was to confess his sin at church the following Sunday. She wanted to teach him a lesson he would never forget. When Sunday came, Elvis pretended to be sick. His condition was instantly cured, however when Vernon showed him a strap.

When the awful moment came, Gladys pushed Elvis up to the front of the church and ordered him to confess in front of the entire Assembly of God congregation. With tears brimming form his blue eyes and his head hanging low, Elvis whispered his wrong doing and then ran out of the church crying. He never again took anything without permission. It was one lesson he learned the hard way.