“Bind on Thy Sandals”


Howard W. Hunter
(Adapted from “Bind on Thy Sandals,” Ensign, May 1978, page 34.)

Some years ago I read an article entitled “Bind on Thy Sandals.” It told of a quarterback on the football team of a small, rural high school. This young man managed to make the team, but it was clear that he was not going to be all-state or all-American. In fact, he was the fourth of four quarterbacks.

By the last game of the season, he had never been called into a game, and he had given up all hope of playing. During the final game of the year he decided to relax and enjoy himself, so he pulled off his shoes, wrapped himself in a blanket, and settled down on the bench to watch his buddies play.

Midway through the game he heard the coach shout his name. He was startled and wondered if he had been mistaken. Then the coach called again, “Hey, you! Get in there and move the ball!”

What should he do? He wanted to say, “Wait, coach, while I put on my shoes.” But instead, he made straight for the huddle, his white-stockinged feet conspicuous to the players, the spectators, and the coach.

He was obviously confused as he called his first play, and by the time he took the snap from center, he had forgotten which play he had called. While his teammates moved to the right, he went left, where he was swallowed up in the snarl of onrushing linemen.

He said later, “No one expected me to make a touchdown. Even running the wrong way was understandable. But there was no excuse for a quarterback without shoes.” (See Improvement Era, September 1969, page 44.)

May I say to the youth of the Church—prepare, believe, be ready, have faith. Do not say or do or be that which would limit your service in the kingdom of God. Be ready when your call comes, for surely it will come. Keep your gospel shoes on, or as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Stand therefore, having … your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:14–15).

[illustration] Illustrated by Matt Kesler