I have always wanted to be a handyman around the house. The garage door has issues, a sink in the bathroom drips, a door lock needs to be replaced—all these are relatively simple tasks given a little knowledge and some time. But I couldn’t do any of these things without the right tools.
A good example of this is YouTube. Some say that YouTube is the second largest search engine (next to Google). Who hasn’t searched that website for a fix to a problem and found the answer quickly, watched the video, resolved the problem inexpensively, and done it all in a fraction of the time it could have taken to schedule, pay for, and complete the job on your own or hire another to do it for you?
A few years back, my garage door began failing. It didn’t happen all at once, but the problem got progressively worse. So I got on the Web, found numerous ideas, picked the best one of many, and completed the task. I had to order the part, wait a couple weeks, find time to install it, and actually do what I had never done before. Miraculously, somehow it all worked out. Now it is not my purpose in sharing this story to show how you can DIY or even save money in the process. My intent is to demonstrate there are tons of strategies in life—some work and others all together fail. This one, fortunately, worked.
Of course, there are much bigger jobs that require a lot more wisdom, energy, knowledge, and time. On these occassions, we often need a little extra help. I certainly do when it comes to my biggest task and most important job—my family.
What tools have we been given? Where are the helps when we really need them?
Today, I wish to discuss just three.
Help #1: Priesthood Authority
Priesthood authority was given to man for the very purpose of blessing God’s children—to help us and our families through life.
What is the priesthood? The following definition comes from the Church website:
The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of our Heavenly Father. Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children. He gives worthy priesthood holders authority to administer ordinances of salvation. All of Heavenly Father’s children can qualify to receive these ordinances and access the power and blessings of the priesthood.
Said another way, the priesthood is the power to act in the name of God. With that kind of support, what could possibly be beyond our ability to achieve? Nothing is outside our reach with priesthood authority.
Yet that is not our only tool.
Help #2: The Holy Ghost
As if giving us access to His power was not enough, the Lord promises His faithful followers with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost—the third member of the Godhead. This too is discussed on the Church website for our edification. When men, women, and children eight years or older are confirmed members of the Church, they are also given the gift of the Holy Ghost—the privilege of every worthy baptized member to have the constant influence of the Holy Ghost, every day and all of the time. This is provided for our benefit.
God’s very power? A member of the Godhead? Wow. If that is not enough already, dare I ask, “Could there be more?” There is! The commandments.
Help #3: The Commandments
Though rules and laws are not typically viewed as privileges, and some think of things like the commandments as annoyances, nuisances, or irritants, I believe that perspective is all wrong. “Consider the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God,” is the way King Benjamin counseled his people. This comes from one of my favorite accounts shared in the Book of Mormon.
The beloved King Benjamin was a righteous king on the American continent years before the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This Book of Mormon prophet speaks about his reign as a time of peace and happiness. Though he was the king, he served his people and labored with his own hands for his support, rather than burdening the people with heavy taxes. He set an example and counseled them to serve their Heavenly King. Naturally, they loved and honored him! My personal opinion is that this was one of the choicest times captured in the days of the Book of Mormon.
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)
Frequently the evidence of that manifestation comes in ways much different than we expect.
The blessings of the temple, for instance, are available to those members of the Church that keep the commandments. Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel brings us untold perspective that quickly changes hardship into peace, confidence, love, and appreciation.
I mentioned that my intention was to discuss just three helps. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about the helps available to enable you and me to return to our heavenly home. It provides dozens of aids in literally hundreds of ways. The gospel plan also gives assistance in the very moment when it feels most needed; it grants us peace, calm, and tranquility even in the midst of hardship and tragedy. It makes things better today and tomorrow with the promise of eternal happiness.
And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88)
Elder Holland shared his thoughts in a devotional address at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, wherein he recounts a statement made by the prophet Joseph Smith:
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end thereof if we pursue the path that leads to it.”
Elder Holland speaks about the quest for happiness, which has been a fundamental pursuit of all mankind. He asks the question, “How do we pursue happiness?” then answers it by saying that happiness often comes to us when we least expect it.
A familiar adage reminds us, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
God and history have shown us the things that lead to happiness.
The scriptures give us the opportunity to receive guidance in our lives from our Father and adds purpose in our efforts. Elder Holland also provides ideas about how one might live after the manner of happiness:
“Your best chance for being happy is do the things that happy people do. Live the way that happy people live. Walk the path that happy people walk.”
Living the gospel of Jesus Christ brings a real sense of joy in life.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do. And if you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:6)
So in my pursuit of the most important jobs in life like raising a family, I don’t really have to be a handyman on my own. Instead, I have been given power, companionship, and guidance to help me successfully complete the tasks of life. And though those tasks can be hard—difficult beyond my capacity to bear—I needn’t worry, because I don’t have to do that on my own either.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a perfect plan with a perfectly discernable outcome for those that follow it… And it accounts for those that don’t, as well.
Isaiah said it this way:
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, … the Creator of the ends of the earth… giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
“… that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-29,31)
We have been given the power of God to help us achieve His purposes and ours. I can do all these things because I have all the right tools.
There are no bigger jobs than for what the gospel of Jesus Christ is prepared. We all need a little extra help, just as I do with my own family.
What does the gospel of Jesus Christ do for you?
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.