A Nephi Attitude

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“A Nephi Attitude,” Friend, January 2020

A Nephi Attitude

The authors live in Arizona and Utah, USA.

“For I did liken all scriptures unto us” (1 Nephi 19:23).

Friend Magazine, 2020/01 Jan

Illustrations by Sheyda Abvabi

Plop! Plop! Bennett felt drops of paint hit his face as he pushed the paint roller up the wall.

“Oh great,” he grumbled. His arms ached, he was thirsty, and now he was covered in sticky paint spots. He turned to Mom.

“I don’t really want to do this anymore. Can we go home?”

Mom stopped painting and wiped her forehead with her arm.

“There’s still a lot of wall left to paint,” she said. “And we haven’t been here that long. If you could keep helping, that would be great.”

Bennett looked at the grimy wall. It seemed to stretch on forever. At first he had been excited to help with this service project, but now he was just bored and tired. Several other people were helping paint, but Mom was right—there was a long way to go!

“Fine,” he mumbled, picking up his paint roller.

“Why don’t we play Name That Song?” Mom said. She started humming.

Bennett smiled a little. He was really good at this game! He knew the tune right away.

“That’s ‘Nephi’s Courage’!” Bennett said. “We sang it in Primary last week.”

Mom reached over to give him a messy high five.

“I like that song because it talks about some of the hard things Nephi did,” she said. “Like getting the plates, even when he had to keep trying over and over again.”

“And building a boat!” Bennett said.

Mom nodded. “When we get tired today, maybe it would help if we think of what Nephi would do. We could try having a Nephi attitude.”

Bennett liked the idea of being like Nephi. Nephi was strong and brave and good.

Bennett imagined Nephi painting with him. He imagined Nephi standing on his tiptoes to help him reach the highest bricks. He imagined Nephi racing him to see who could paint the fastest with the least drips. He thought Nephi would probably like working hard to help someone else.

Little by little, Bennett and Mom kept painting the wall, playing Name That Song as they went along. Sometimes they took a water break under a nearby tree with the other helpers. As the sun got high and hot in the sky, Bennett realized that they were almost finished!

“Sorry I was grumpy,” Bennett told Mom as they sat in the shade. “I guess I feel like Laman and Lemuel sometimes.”

Mom laughed. “We all do! And I really appreciate your help. Thanks for not giving up.”

Bennett looked at the wall. Almost all of the grime and graffiti was now covered with fresh, clean paint. It made the whole block look brighter! Bennett grinned. He had helped make that happen!

There was just one part left to paint.

“C’mon, Mom,” Bennett said, taking a last gulp of water and picking up his paintbrush. “Let’s go and do!”