The Family Likened To a Car – Jesus Christ is the Master Mechanic

This Sunday, there was a combined Relief Society / Priesthood Meeting. Our Bishop began to relay a message to us holding examples of real-life tires (worn evenly, worn unevenly, a blown out tire that has lost its thread and then a shredded tire.

The message took about an hour, but let me summarize the main ideas of what he said:

The road is like the straight and narrow path in life.

We can be likened to a tire. A tire that is aligned with the gospel wears evenly and last a while. A tire that isn’t aligned (to the gospel) properly will wear out faster and unevenly. A tire that has too much pressure or too little pressure and overloaded can blow out when traveling on the road. A shredded tire is a total catastrophic failure from all factors: not being aligned, not pressured correctly, overloaded, adverse road conditions.

The front tires would be the parents of a family: both mother and father. They turn together and guide the entire car and back wheels.

The back wheels would be the children. They follow where the parents go. They follow our examples.

The suspension that connects the tire to the car is likened to the gospel and scriptures that we have: The Bible (Old Testament, New Testament), the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and modern revelation. They absorb the roughness in the road and keep the front tires tracking straight.

The steering column is likened to the Prophet on Earth that we have today, Gordon B. Hinckley. Input from the steering wheel is transferred to the steering column, which turns the suspension and finally the front tires.

Heavenly Father would be the steering wheel and person behind it. Giving revelation to the Prophet, which is the steering column.
The family would be the entire car, made up of all the previous components connected together going down the road of life.

Jesus Christ is the master mechanic. He can fix anything on the car. Normally when you have an unevenly worn tire, blown out or shredded tire you would just buy a new one. Not Jesus Christ. He can repair any tire.

Being a car freak and total nerd, I completely enjoyed and appreciated the message that he brought forth. It is a very good analogy and puts everything in perspective in an automotive point of view.

A missionary at a moment’s notice

Yesterday, my companion asked me to speak on my experiences of how I was lead to the church. The message the spirit prompted me to give was the importance of every member to be a missionary by leading in example.

My companion spoke afterwards and got a different message about what I spoke about. He pointed out that as I had my friend Mike to make me feel comfortable with the missionaries, his brother had a similar opportunity by passing a young married couple talking to missionaries in a department store parking lot. As he walked by he overheard the unsureness of the young married couple.

He joined the conversation by introducing himself to the young married couple as a member of the church and shortly speaking about how the gospel has helped him raise a large family. He gave his name and number to everyone and let them know that his family was at their disposal if they should need anything.

A few days later, the missionaries called thanking him for taking a minute to help. The missionaries had been out all day and that young married couple had been the first people to agree to hearing more about the gospel.

It just goes to show how mindful we have to be at all times about the fact that there are people waiting to hear the gospel, but don’t know where to start or do not feel comfortable without a little help.

Our duties to the Church: Home Teaching

As an investigator attending Elder’s Quorum. I often heard about assignments called “Home Teaching.” It seemed a bit different and I did not quite understand what it was about. I began looking into what is entailed in home teaching and I came across an article: Confessions of a Halfhearted Home Teacher

As a new member and Aaronic Priesthood holder in the Church, I have found Doctrine and Covenants, Chapter 20 (D&C:20) to be very useful in instilling an enthusiastic urge in performing the duties that I have. Two verses that really stick out me are:

The priests duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, And visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties. (D&C 20:46-47)

Another two verses that jump out at me are:

And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; And see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty. (D&C 20:54-55)

I have been blessed with being able to perform most of my duties in my short time that I’ve been a member. Specifically: baptize, administer the sacrament (passing and preparing – I am privileged to bless sacrament in two weeks!), and home teaching. Taking part in these ordinances gives me a tremendous feeling of joy!

This evening, I had the opportunity to meet with the family I was assigned to “home teach” with my new companion. It was a wonderful experience. I was a bit anxious to go to my first home teaching but it went great. I got to meet and learn about a new family that just moved in to my ward and more about my home teaching companion. I had the chance to teach a gospel principal and hopefully leave an impression on the family for the month.

As we were walking to the house of the family we were to home teach, I let my companion know that I have never done it before. He explained to me how the purpose of home teaching is to get to know the family, letting the family get to know you and get them comfortable for asking for any type of help when needed. This reminded me of the scripture in the Book of Mormon that greatly impressed me when I was investigating the church. This verse is about Alma preaching to people in the wilderness:

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light (Mosiah 18:8)

“…willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” What a powerful concept that I observe in this church every day.

As I saw for myself, home teaching is an important component to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It teaches something to the families and also teaches the teacher. It lets us get to know each other, it allows us strengthen each other and it allows us to “watch over the church” just as this verse in Doctrine and Covenants says:

The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them. (D&C 20:53)

I cannot wait to do it again.

How I received the answers to my questions

The foundation of my newly found faith lies in receiving answers to three critical questions that we are encouraged to ask when investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  1. Is the Book of Mormon true?
  2. Was Joseph Smith a true prophet of God?
  3. Is this church the right and true church?

Very simple questions that yield very powerful results. In my opinion, answers can come in many ways:

  1. Feeling the Spirit.
  2. A thought that just clicks and makes sense in your mind.
  3. An event that happens and triggers a sense that you just received your answer.
  4. A faint whisper in your ear.
  5. It could be anything, actually.

It could be very obvious. It could very subtle.

The best way to receive an answer is to prepare yourselves to be more attentive.

  1. Pray often and throughout the day.
  2. Study. Read the Bible and Book of Mormon often. At least once a day. Before studying, pray to Heavenly Father that you may understand the things you will read. After reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, pray again to know if the things you have read is true. Specifically ask if the Book of Mormon is true. Specifically ask if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. Specifically ask if the church you are investigating is true. Wait, listen.
  3. Attend Church.
  4. Ask any question that comes to your mind to your missionaries or Mormon friends. (ALL questions are welcomed and there is an answer for EVERYTHING!)
  5. Fast and Pray.
  6. Begin obeying the Words of Wisdom.

In the New Testament of the King James Bible, the book of James, Chapter 1, Verses 5 through 7 state:

“If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:5-7)

What the above verses mean is that if you ask Heavenly Father with absolute faith, believing you will absolutely receive an answer, and that you sincerely intend to act after receiving an answer then you will receive one. It seems easy enough but it was difficult for me. Only through prayer, sincere study, and honestly wanting to know the truth; was my answer received.

In the Book of Mormon, the Book of Moroni, Chapter 10, Verses 3 through 5 state:

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:3-5)

These wise words changed my life.

I admit, I tried a few years prior, but maybe for a few days and I also had my doubts as well. The next time I tried, I studied, I prayed and I had patience to kept at it.

One night after studying what the missionaries have given me, my wife and I got on our knees and I prayed. I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. I prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I prayed to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the true church and the right one to join. After the prayer, I waited. About five seconds later I had the chills, a feeling of overwhelming happiness and I began to cry.

Without a doubt, the Holy Ghost just gave witness to me of the things I asked.

This testimony is the foundation of my faith. All other things are built upon the fact that I asked and received an answer.