Like Nephi


“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good” (Alma 37:37).

I stared out my bedroom window and saw a creepy spiderweb outside. Well, that was one thing I wouldn’t miss about this house: the spiders. Maybe our new house wouldn’t have spiders. Maybe I wouldn’t miss this run-down place after all.

“Yeah, right,” I grumbled to myself, lying down and pulling the covers over my head. Not miss this house, this neighborhood, my school class, my best friend? I’d face a whole house full of spiders before I’d willingly move.

“Tanya?” called Aunt Carrie from outside my bedroom door. She was tending my brothers and me.

I poked my head out of the covers. “What?”

“Can I come in and say good night?” she asked.

“I guess so,” I mumbled. If it had been anybody else, I might have said no. But Aunt Carrie was my favorite aunt. She let me try on her eye shadow, she gave us hot chocolate before bed, and she read me stories from the journal she wrote when she was 11, like me.

She came in the room and sat at the foot of my bed. “You’ve sure been quiet tonight, Tanya. Are you worried about the move?”

I groaned. “All my friends live here. Who am I going to walk to school with? Who will I sit by at lunch? I was going to start Young Women here and go to camp next summer—and now I won’t know anybody. I’ll have to start all over again.”

My voice trailed off as big tears filled my eyes. Aunt Carrie gave me a tissue. “It can’t be easy, leaving everyone you love and starting over someplace where you don’t know anybody,” she said.

I shook my head. It wasn’t easy at all.

Aunt Carrie continued. “You know, Tanya, when I think about moving, I think about Nephi.”

“Why Nephi?” I asked.

“Well, he probably wasn’t much older than you when his dad announced that his family was moving.”

I’d always pictured Nephi as an adult. “When was Nephi my age?” I asked.

Aunt Carrie picked up my Book of Mormon from my bedside table. She opened to 1 Nephi and started to explain. “You remember the story about Lehi, don’t you?”

I nodded. I knew how Lehi’s family obeyed the Lord and left their home.

Aunt Carrie read from the open book on her lap. “This is 1 Nephi 2:4: ‘And it came to pass that [Lehi] departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.’ ”

“Did you say Nephi was my age?” I interrupted.

Aunt Carrie smiled. “I don’t know what his age was exactly, but he tells us in verse 16 that he was ‘exceedingly young.’ Even if he was older than you, I don’t think it was easy for him to leave his home. I bet he didn’t know a soul in the wilderness. There probably wasn’t a soul to know!’

I grinned. At least when we moved we would have neighbors. “So what did Nephi do?” I asked. “He never complained. Laman and Lemuel said, ‘Why do we have to leave Jerusalem? Why do we have to leave our riches and our house and our friends?’ But Nephi never complained. Why not?”

Aunt Carrie’s eyes twinkled, as though she had been hoping I would ask. “I don’t know all the answers, but Nephi gives us a clue in verse 16: ‘I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.’ ”

She looked at me, searching my eyes to see if I understood.

“So, he prayed,” I said.

“Yes.” Aunt Carrie’s voice grew softer, and she squeezed my hand. “Tanya,” she said, “you have a choice. You can complain about your move, like Laman and Lemuel, or you can take your difficulties to Heavenly Father in prayer. If you ask Him to, He will strengthen you as He strengthened Nephi.”

I looked at Aunt Carrie and felt warm all over. I sat up and gave her a big hug. “Thanks, Aunt Carrie,” I whispered.

“I love you, Tanya. Good night.”

After she turned off my light and closed the door behind her, I slipped from my bed to kneel on the floor. Maybe with Heavenly Father’s help I could make it through this move after all.

Elder Robert D. Hales

“With the door to our hearts open, we should learn how to liken the scriptures to our lives.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2004, 90.

Illustrations by Brandon Dorman