Friend to Friend: The Lord’s Nickel


The Lord’s Nickel

Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone

A few years ago, the company for which I worked transferred me and my family to Southern California. A few weeks before we moved, Arnold, a neighbor, told me a story that I will never forget.

One Saturday afternoon he saw our three-year-old son, Lawrence, in front of his house. Lawrence was down on his hands and knees searching for something in the gravel and along the sidewalk. When Arnold came outside to get the paper, he asked Lawrence what he was looking for. Lawrence told him that he had lost a nickel. Then Arnold went back inside his house to read the newspaper.

Several hours later when he looked outside again, Lawrence was still out there. It was beginning to get dark. Lawrence had taken off his shoes so he could rub his bare feet around with the hope that he could feel the nickel that had somehow escaped his sight.

Our neighbor went outside to offer his sympathy and then suggested, “Maybe you should go home and come back tomorrow when it’s lighter.”

Lawrence picked up his shoes, came home, and told his mother and me that he had lost his nickel. Later that evening when Lawrence went to bed his mother comforted him, “Maybe you can find your nickel tomorrow.”

The next morning when Arnold went to get the Sunday newspaper, Lawrence was in his pajamas searching in the grass.

“My, but you are up early this morning,” Arnold said. “Are you still looking for your lost nickel?”

Lawrence nodded his head and kept on looking.

A short time later, Lawrence came into the house and came to our bedroom and shook his mother. “I found my nickel,” he told her, his voice full of pleasure.

Hardly being awake, his mother answered sleepily, “Fine, Lawrence, go back to bed.”

I made the same kind of suggestion to him and he went downstairs to his own room.

Not long afterward the older boys and I got up and went to priesthood meeting. When we came home, Lawrence and the rest of the family were all ready to go to Sunday School. When we walked through the front door of the chapel, we met Arnold.

“Well, Lawrence, you must have found your nickel,” he said.

“Yes, it was my tithing saves,” Lawrence replied.

Arnold said he was humbled by a three-year-old boy who had taken a great deal of time to look for a nickel—not just to have his nickel but because it belonged to the Lord.

On the day we were ready to move, Arnold and his wife came to tell us good-bye and give us a package. I’ll never forget my feeling when we unwrapped the package and found inside a framed picture of a nickel pasted on a piece of white cardboard. Underneath the coin these words were written: The Lord’s Nickel.

It is important to learn at an early age to listen to our parents and to our Sunday School and Primary teachers. Every young person ought to strive diligently to do four things:

  1. 1.

    Pay tithing.

  2. 2.

    Attend church meetings regularly.

  3. 3.

    Keep the Lord’s commandments.

  4. 4.

    Obey parents.

I know that when you do these things you will be blessed. Lawrence has been blessed for he has had great joy in being called to serve in various church positions. And he has been prepared.

May the Lord bless each one of you, my sweet young friends. Thank you for this opportunity to spend a few moments as one friend to another.

[illustration] Illustrated by Mike Richards