A Real Hero

    “A Real Hero,” Friend, July 2007, 46–47

    A Real Hero

    (Based on a true story)

    Take … the prophets … for an example (James 5:10).

    Early Monday morning, five-year-old Ji-Woong jumped out of bed and changed into his Meteor Guy outfit. As he flew into the kitchen, he chanted, “Faster than light, stronger than steel, it’s … Meteor Guy!”

    “Good morning, Ji-Woong. You’re up early,” Umma (Mother) said.

    “Of course. I have to save the world!” Ji-Woong zoomed around the table.

    Before lunch, Ji-Woong changed into his Ninja Lizard costume and pretended to climb the kitchen cabinets.

    “What are you doing now?” Umma asked. She dished up sticky rice, kimchee, and pot stickers.

    “I have to rescue someone on the 20th floor. I’m Ninja Lizard!” Ji-Woong shouted. He concentrated on his important mission.

    By late afternoon, Ji-Woong was dressed as the Korean Eagle. “Come on, Little Eagle,” he called to his trusted sidekick. “The city is in danger!” He charged outside with his golden cape billowing behind him.

    After dinner, Ji-Woong and his family gathered in the living room for family home evening. Ji-Woong was still wearing his Korean Eagle costume.

    “Tonight, we’re going to talk about a hero,” Appa (Father) said.

    “Oh, wow!” Ji-Woong exclaimed. “Which one? Ninja Lizard? Meteor Guy? The Korean Eagle?”

    “Those are characters in comic books and cartoons,” Appa said.

    “Yeah, and they’re terrific!” Ji-Woong said. “They can climb and fly, and they save people all the time.”

    “Actually, honey, they are just make-believe. Right?” Umma asked.

    Ji-Woong nodded. “Yes, they are just made up, but I wish they were real. I want to be like them.”

    “The hero I’m going to tell you about is a real person,” Appa said. “He helped save his family from starving in the wilderness, and he made a boat to help them sail across an ocean.”

    “Oh, I know who it is,” Ji-Woong said. “It’s Nephi! I didn’t know he was a hero.”

    “He certainly is, and you can be like him.”

    “But I want to be a superhero and have lots of power.”

    “Did you know that Nephi had tremendous power?” Appa asked.

    “He did?” Ji-Woong was amazed.

    “Of course. He prayed and was led by the Spirit through the streets of Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates.1 He prayed and received power from the Lord to shock his brothers.”2 Appa held up a picture of Nephi shocking his brothers. “Later, he prayed and a terrible storm ceased.”3

    “How did Nephi get his power?” Ji-Woong asked.

    “The Lord gave him power because Nephi was a righteous man who prayed in faith,” Appa explained. “You too can pray and then follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father will help you know when people need help.”

    “And then I can rescue them!” Ji-Woong said happily.

    The next day, Ji-Woong woke up early and rushed outside. He found some sticks in the yard and brought them into the kitchen.

    “What are the sticks for?” Umma asked.

    “I’m going to make a bow and arrow so I can be like Nephi,” Ji-Woong said. “After all, he’s a real hero.”


    Elder L. Tom Perry

    “Heroes can be found in the stories contained in the holy scriptures.”
    Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “‘I Confer the Priesthood of Aaron,’” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 46.

    Illustration by Jared Beckstrand