Batteries and Bitter Winds
C. Lee Bendixsen, Idaho, USA
One day following my shift at the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, I volunteered to take two brethren to their car, which had stalled on the highway just south of Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA. A kindly couple had stopped during that bitter-cold December day and brought Brother Thompson and Brother Clark the remaining distance to the temple.
Brother Thompson was convinced that his car needed a new battery. I took him to purchase the battery at a nearby automotive shop, and because I had tools in my car, I agreed to change it.
Fortunately I had brought a new pair of gloves and my winter jacket. Pulling the car’s hood up, I prepared to remove the dead battery and replace it with the new one.
To change the battery, I had to disassemble and move several car parts, including the windshield washer reservoir. I soon found that my tools would not fit all of the metric-sized bolts and several screws would not even budge. I used different tools and tried different positions, but nothing moved. The temperature outside was around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15°C), and the semitrucks whizzing by created wind gusts that were bitter cold. I had reached a cold, frustrating impasse.
I turned to the only help available. I prayed earnestly, explaining my need to Heavenly Father and asking if He would either loosen the bolts and screws or help me find a way to do it. Finishing my prayer, I again grabbed a pair of pliers and grasped a resisting screw. It was already loose! Silently and fervently expressing thanks, I removed the screw and continued.
Soon I found a frustrating, resisting bolt deeper in the car. Again, completely stymied, I prayed more earnestly for help, doing so with growing trust. This time I felt directed to remove some deeper bolts first and then twist the battery brace, which I did. The resisting bolt moved easily. In a few moments I pulled out the old battery.
I slid the new battery in and with numb fingers reassembled all the parts as best as I could. I then reattached the electrical cables. Brother Thompson turned the key and smiled broadly as the engine started. I gratefully closed the hood. I had been outside for about an hour, and my lower legs and feet were numb as I stiffly stumbled into my car.
I followed Brother Thompson and Brother Clark home to ensure their safe arrival. As I drove, my car’s heater felt lovely, and my legs and feet slowly warmed. I thanked Heavenly Father profusely for His help. In return I was impressed to know that He had answered the prayer of these brethren by sending me as His servant. In His wonderful way He had provided for their need and reaffirmed my faith.
A Valued Possession
Rafael Barrios, Santa Fe, Argentina
I used to work at a customer service call center where it was impossible for co-workers to socialize much with each other. Our supervisor decided to organize a lunch one Saturday with the entire group to give us a chance to get acquainted. She instructed each of us to bring some object that was valuable to us and explain why it was significant.
As I thought about her request, I realized that this would be an opportunity to teach my co-workers about the gospel. Because religion is a sensitive topic, I knew I had to be careful regarding the object I took and how I explained its value to me.
When the lunch day arrived, we all enjoyed getting to know each other better. After lunch our supervisor began our activity by presenting her valued object—a family photo album. She told us of the difficulties she had gone through while separating from her husband, becoming a single mother, and starting a new life.
Following several other presentations, it was my turn. I told my co-workers that my object was something I brought with me every day: my CTR ring. I told them that the letters stood for “Choose the Right” and that the ring reminded me to always obey the commandments of God. Several people asked questions about the Church and Latter-day Saint beliefs, which gave me an opportunity to tell them about the importance of families in our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children, that families can be eternal, and that we have a Savior who gave His life for us. I also shared some experiences from my mission. As I spoke, I felt the Spirit, as did my co-workers.
After that day some asked other questions about the gospel, and I invited several of them to church. I later changed jobs and never found out if any of them became interested in knowing more, but I felt good knowing that I had told them that the true Church of Jesus Christ is upon the earth and that Heavenly Father has a plan of happiness for His children.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a responsibility to share the gospel. Through small and simple things like a CTR ring, we can teach great lessons that may work toward the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
Read Your Book of Mormon
Jewelene Carter, Virginia, USA
We were supposed to be filled with joy, but our hearts were heavy and our arms were empty. Debra Caelia Carter arrived on her due date, April 26, 2010, but she was stillborn.
As we walked into our home, I carried the tiny pink blanket we had used to hold and cuddle Debra at the hospital. When I sat on the couch, overcome with emotion, our two-year-old son approached the empty blanket and whispered, “Hello, baby sister. I love you.”
Tears streamed down my face, and I turned away. As I did so, I saw the words of a poster from the Friend magazine hanging on the wall: “Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance.”1
I began to pour out my heart to God in silent, fervent prayer. As I did so, I felt the Holy Ghost whisper, “Read your Book of Mormon again.” I had just finished reading it, but the feeling was distinct and the impression clear.
Arising early the following morning, I began reading the Book of Mormon. I used pencils and markers to highlight every passage about faith, prayer, hope, Jesus Christ’s attributes, preaching the gospel, and hearkening to the Lord’s voice. I knew that I must do what Nephi, Enos, Moroni, and other Book of Mormon prophets had done when they suffered trials. And I must do it with the same love for the Savior that filled their lives during difficult times.
During these daily, personal scripture study hours, I felt the Lord’s arms encircling me in His love, and I felt the power of His atoning sacrifice for all. The Spirit spoke to me, a peace covered me, and answers came to my fervent prayers. Pondering the words I read gave me strength as I grieved.
One day the Spirit filled me with joy as I read these words:
“I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. …
“Little children … are all alive in [God] because of his mercy. …
“For behold that all little children are alive in Christ” (Moroni 8:17, 19, 22; emphasis added).
I felt as if I could see my daughter alive in Christ—smiling and happy and encircled in His arms. From that moment on I felt the power to endure, and I felt a new hope ignite in my soul for my family. I knew that if we would hold fast to the Atonement, the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, and each other through our temple covenants, we would be reunited as a family eternally.
I love the Book of Mormon, which clearly testifies of Jesus Christ, what He did and does for us, and what we must do to be like Him. The Book of Mormon brings light to my life and fills up my heart with hope in Christ.
From Elaine S. Dalton, “At All Times, in All Things, and in All Places,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2008, 118.
Priscilla Costa Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil
Several years ago while my parents were helping the Relief Society organize some clothes, shoes, and other items to be donated to the needy, my father noticed a well-kept pair of shoes in the middle of a pile of items. At that moment he felt a strong impression to keep the shoes.
My mother laughed and said, “This pair of shoes is three sizes too small for you. They wouldn’t even fit!”
My father, however, strongly insisted. After several jokes from the sisters, they finally allowed him to keep the shoes.
As soon as he arrived home, he cleaned them, filled them with newspaper, and placed them in a box on top of his dresser. We received instructions not to touch the box. For five years it remained in the same place.
One day a new family moved into the house next door. They had two children and a six-month-old baby. My sister and I immediately became friends with their two girls, who were our age. We shared with our new friends what we were learning in church, and we invited them to Primary. They were excited and eager to learn more about what we had shared with them.
After returning home from Primary, they didn’t stop talking about the Church with their parents. Our parents then invited the whole family to hear the missionary lessons and go to church. They joyfully accepted. They loved the lessons, and we were excited to attend church with them.
But when Saturday came, their daughters seemed disheartened. When we asked what was wrong, they said their parents no longer wanted to go to church.
We were disappointed and asked Daddy to talk with their parents. When he told them about the blessings of attending church, the father replied, “Yes, I know all of this. The problem is that I haven’t worn any other kind of shoe besides my sneakers in a long time, and I know that we should go to Church meetings well dressed.”
At that moment my father looked at my mother. She knew exactly what to do. The shoes in the box on top of Daddy’s dresser fit our friends’ father perfectly, and the entire family went to church. It was a wonderful Sunday for them and for us. Soon they became members of the Church, and today they are a beautiful eternal family.
I know that my father received direction from the Holy Ghost to keep those shoes. As a result, I always seek His guidance in looking for families ready to hear the gospel. I know He prepares families, and I know we need to look for them and bring them to Christ.