1 Nephi 18
Nephi’s brothers began to “worship the Lord” again which helped them to be willing to work with Nephi to build the ship. Nephi did not work the wood or build the ship “after the manner of men; but [he] did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto [him]” (1 Nephi 18:2). Heroes work hard. They build and they create.
Heroes don’t always know how to do, how to build, or how to create what God has asked them to do. Instead, they remember what God has asked them to do and why He has asked them do it and then seek His guidance on how to accomplish the task. Nephi said, “I…did go into the mount oft, and I did pray unto the Lord.” Nephi asked the Lord how to build the boat. Nephi learned from the Lord how to build the boat. So, Nephi did it. He built a boat with his brothers’ help and when it was finished they beheld “that it was good, and [the] workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.” Heavenly Father provided the “how.” He will always “prepare a way for [us] that [we] may accomplish the thing which he commandeth” (1 Nephi 3:7).
Today’s heroes may not build ships, but they build hearts, they build minds, they build homes and businesses and nations. The things they say and do are constructive. They lift others up rather than tearing them down. They seek to cultivate and improve rather than hinder or destroy. They create beauty all around them. They are even able to create beauty from ashes, from mistakes, and from suffering with the Lord’s help and know-how (see Isaiah 61:3). After Nephi and his family safely arrived in the promised land, they “began to till the earth, and…to plant seeds….and they did grow exceedingly…[and] were blessed in abundance.”
Our lives will be blessed when we work hard to build and create. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that creating will contribute to your “Happiness, Your Heritage.”
The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.
Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.” 6
The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come….trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.