Saying the Nice Things
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“Saying the Nice Things,” Friend, September 2021

Saying the Nice Things

The author lives in Utah, USA.

Jonathan had a new idea he wanted to try.

“Pleasant words are … sweet to the soul” (Proverbs 16:24).

Boy with members of his family in his thought bubbles

Jonathan sighed as he walked home from school. He usually looked forward to weekends. But lately there was more teasing and arguing in his family. Jonathan wished they could have more fun together.

That night, Jonathan got on his knees to pray. “Heavenly Father, I want to help my family get along better. Please help me think of a way to help them all feel loved. And please help them get along better. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Jonathan felt happier when he climbed into bed. He knew Heavenly Father would help him know what to do.

After dinner on Sunday, Dad gave out the assignments for home evening. “Jonathan, you’re in charge of conducting,” Dad said.

Jonathan smiled. He liked home evening. It was a special time when they all got to spend time together. It helped him feel close to each member of his family.

That gave Jonathan an idea! Maybe there was a way to keep that special feeling all week long.

On Monday night, Jonathan bounced in his seat as he waited for home evening to start. First his younger brother, Chris, said the opening prayer.

Jonathan stood up. “Thanks for that nice prayer, Chris,” he said. “Now I want to introduce something new. It’s called, ‘Saying the Nice Things.’”

“‘Saying the Nice Things?’” asked Chris.

“Yes! Whoever conducts gets to say something nice about everyone in our family. And they can’t forget to say something nice about themself! I’m conducting this week. So I get to say the nice things.”

Jonathan smiled at Chris. “Chris, you wake up happy every day. You’re a good example, especially when I feel extra tired.”

Chris smiled. “Thanks!”

Jonathan’s heart felt warm. “Joanna, you work really hard, but I never hear you complain. And you always make time for me.”

“Aww, I love you,” said Joanna. She ruffled his hair and gave him a big hug.

Jonathan’s heart felt even warmer. “Tag is a great listener. When I call him at college, he always gives me great advice and tells me to keep going. And before Benson went on his mission, he helped me love the scriptures. I miss him, but he’s doing a great job teaching people about Heavenly Father.”

Jonathan turned to Dad. “Dad, you help us have fun no matter what we’re doing.”

Dad laughed. “Even when we’re getting wet and muddy trying to plant our garden for the fourth time?”

“Even when we’re doing that!” Jonathan laughed. “And, Mom, you make the most delicious breakfasts for us every day before school. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!”

“Oh yeah!” Dad put his arm around Mom.

Mom smiled and blew Jonathan a kiss.

“Hey, now you have to say something nice about yourself, Jonathan!” Chris said.

Jonathan beamed. “With Heavenly Father’s help, I thought of ‘Saying the Nice Things.’ That makes me happy!”

Everyone smiled at Jonathan. “Saying the Nice Things” had made his family happy too.

Friend Magazine, Global 2021/09 Sep

Illustration by Garth Bruner