Stop That Sputtering


I plugged my vacuum into an extension cord, and as I flipped the switch, the motor started, then stopped abruptly. I flipped the switch again; nothing happened.

Oh, dear, I thought. Just when I need it most, it won’t work.

I checked the outlet and examined the cord. It must be the motor. I decided to check the plug once more. Suddenly the vacuum was working.

By putting a little pressure on the plug and giving it a little push in the right direction, I had made the necessary contact.

How like some people! With constant encouragement or a little pressure, some work fine; but with the slightest stress, tension, or jar, they quit. Like a loose connection, some lack the faith to make and keep the spiritual contact that keeps them going on their own.

Bishops are well acquainted with loose connections, with members who spark and sputter. They sound like this: “I’m too busy.” “Let someone else get the development and experience.” “I need a rest.” “Give somebody else a turn.” “My time is too valuable for that job.”

Jesus knew such people in his day. Of them he said, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15–16.)

What good is a vacuum cleaner that won’t work? What about the person who is forever sputtering—stopping, starting, stopping again?

The Lord has a great work to do. He has said: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)

He needs our help to accomplish his work. He needs us now. Can we be counted on? Jesus realized the importance of the work to be done. He understood his responsibility and accepted it. When only twelve years old, he said, “… wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49.) There was no sputtering with him. His whole attitude was: “… not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39.)

“Verily,” he said, “men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. …” (D&C 58:27–28.)

We have the power. Do we have the faith to keep connections open with him? Do we have the will to work? the desire to serve where needed? Let’s stop that sputtering and stand ready, for the Lord has said: “Be faithful until I come, for I come quickly; and my reward is with me to recompense every man according as his work shall be. …” (D&C 112:34.)

The mother of six children and a successful free-lance writer, Sister Van Wagenen is a member of East Stratford Ward, Highland Stake, in Salt Lake City.